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Dating Tips Advice Column:
Tips for Getting Responses on Online Dating Services

Dear Dating Tips,
I have used several online dating services and have the same problem on each of them - I don't get any responses to the emails or winks or smiles that I send out. Do you have any tips on getting responses? Am I doing something wrong?
~ Need Response Help

Dear Need Response Help,

You are not alone in this problem, which mostly affects men on online dating services. Here are the contributing factors to the problem:

1) Men largely outnumber women on online dating services (on some sites by a ration of 75% men to 25% women! Thus there aren't enough "fish in the sea" for the number of people fishing.

2) Most online dating services don't tell you when a profile is no longer active or whether a person is a paying member or not. With most online dating services, non-paying members can't read or respond to emails unless they pay first.

3) A lot of people are too generic in their emails or too forward.

Online Dating Magazine studies show that, in general, for every 20 emails you send out (if you are a man) you will get one response. That's a terrible ratio! So what can you do to improve it? Here are several tips for improving the response rate to your online dating communications:

1) Use a service that works in your favor.
If you're a female, services like and Yahoo! Personals are great options. If you're a man, relationship services, which many times have more women than men, may be an option for you to try. Two of the biggest relationship services online are eHarmony and

2) Use a service that allows people to respond for free.
Out of the major online dating services, the only one that allows people to reply for free is LavaLife.

3) Look to see if the online dating service you are using lists when a person last logged on.
By knowing when the last time is a person logged on, you can weed out emailing those who haven't recently been on the service.

4) Only email people that are "online now".
Most services let you know if someone is "online now". If they are online using the service then you know they are active. Email them.

5) Make sure your profile has a picture.
Studies show that posting a picture improves your communication rate. Make sure the photos are recent and that you are decent in the way you present yourself. You should have one shoulder and up shot. Then you should have at least one full body (clothed, of course) shot. Make your pictures more interesting. If you have a pet have your picture taken with it. Never post a picture more than three months old.

6) Know the person you are emailing.
Before you email a person, read his/her profile in depth. In your email ask some questions based on the person's profile. This lets them know you read their profile and you're not just copying and pasting the same message to dozens of other people.

7) Don't talk about yourself.
In some communications some people make the mistake of posting several paragraphs about who they are. This makes you look boring. Face it, people like to talk about themselves. Use this to your advantage by asking questions and leaving who you are a mystery until later.

Follow the above tips and your response rate will increase. Good luck!

~ The Dating Tipster


If you have a question for The Dating Tipster, simply email your question to Most questions are answered within 48 hours and your privacy details (i.e. email address) are always kept confidential and never used for any other purpose.

How has your experience with online dating or relationships been? Take a moment to share your experience! Our readers appreciate being able to read, and learn from, the experiences of people like you.


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