Someone recently inferred that we women must get an ‘ego boost’ from all the mail we get on dating sites. My reply was: “Ego Boost!?!?… Really!? Are you serious? Would you get an ego boost if a bunch of unhealthy looking, nastily presented, unkempt, socially awkward women, with no outwardly appealing personality and none of the qualities you stated in your profile that you are looking for in a relationship, overloaded your mailbox with pointless messages insinuating that they were perfect for you? That’s a back-handed compliment, not an ego boost!”

I know the response was extreme and very highly exaggerated, but it came out of sheer frustration of the delusional view of a woman’s experience on a dating site… What are guys imagining when they think we get all this attention?… that we go on there with the main goal of looking for attention, that we feel like princesses for the loads of messages we get, giggle at our success, and then go look in the mirror to admire what all these guys are seeing? This is what really happens…

First, Women read through a tons of messages, “just in case” and hopeful that there is one message that is from someone who gives you the feeling that she should probably write back. But, often she has to check the photos and profile too, because physicality and general personality are important factors in getting a more well-rounded view of the person. So, by the end of all that, the woman feels EXHAUSTED, and probably doesn’t have the time or energy to do searches of her own.

Second, who do guys think are writing to women? Check out some guys profiles. Sure, there are all kinds of guys on there, but how many ”well-educated supermodel millionaires with great personalities” do you think there are on any random dating site? (As he was insinuating these messagers are such men.) That day, I certainly didn’t get 200 messages from “charismatic male super-models with great personalities”… It would have been a stretch to say that even 5% of the messages were even interesting messages from fit, attractive men. In general, majority of messages that any woman will receive on online dating sites are typically going to be from guys that have absolutely none of the qualities she is looking for: not looks, not personality, not career, not physique–not anything. They might be “nice guys”, and they might be perfect for someone else, but they are nowhere near similar to the type of guy she is looking for or even the kind of guy she is used to dating. There are even articles on one particular dating site, noting how almost all “men write exclusively to women way out of their league” [this is determined by ratings, meaning, for example, men who are rated 5 or 6/10 are writing only to women who are 8 or 9/10]. On the flip-side, this means that most women are receiving messages from men way below their league. So, although women stay on dating sites because they know there are men on there that really are right for them, messages from the right kind of guy for her are few and far between. So, the woman may feel DISAPPOINTED or FRUSTRATED because she is getting too much attention from men she is not at all interested in and doesn’t have enough time or energy to search for men she would be interested in.

Third, when women are on dating sites for real reasons, they are looking for quality, not quantity. Many people like the ease of online dating, but don’t need their time wasted. They’re serious. Women don’t want their time used up by guys who are delusional about what they have to offer a woman (a.k.a guys who have ‘pornitis’ and mistakenly learned that attractive girls like men much less attractive than themselves). It’s disrespectful to the woman. If he doesn’t have as much to offer her as she has to offer him, he shouldn’t write her… sure it’s okay for him to write a brief, polite message complimenting her or her profile if he feels inclined, but also note that he respects that he is probably not going to get a message back, but that he just wanted to send her a positive message. Men who write long-winded messages insinuating that they are right for her and expect a message in return are just wasting her time. So, she can also feel RESENTFUL.

Fourth, there are many creepers on dating sites. No need to elaborate. There are a whole lot of messed up men out there, truly messed up. Sometimes even just getting a message from a profile without a picture, might give her a red flag. So, she might feel WORRIED. She might even feel SCARED if she happens to get the wrong message from the wrong guy, or worse, gets involved in a conversation (or more) with one.

Fifth, men have a tendency to “cross the line” digitally. They say the most inappropriate things without fear online, things that they would probably never say in real life. Some things are just sexual. Other messages are from hateful, spiteful, immature men with a chip on their shoulder because of some incident in their past that they can’t let go of, when some random woman hurt them and they want to take it out on all women online, perhaps because it’s easy. So, women might feel OFFENDED and ATTACKED.

Sixth, many guys on dating sites are just there to play games. They are married and/or “just looking” for attention so they can still feel attractive or feel good about themselves. Or, they are just looking to play around online, maybe try trick a girl into sending nude photos or videos, or even just her phone number so he can have a sex-text buddy, that he never intends on meeting. He might even be there to try to trick her into no-strings-attached sex, whether or not he is involved with or married to someone else. So, a woman can feel CHEATED when she realizes what his intentions are, especially if she has already invested any time in messages to him or reading his profile, trying to genuinely get to know him.

Seventh, some guys are too self-involved and take everything too personally. They seem like they imagine they are the only guy on the site writing to the woman or for whatever reason, they deserve a reply for having made the effort to write. They will write over and over again, until she has no choice but to block him. Or, he will verbally attack her for not having written back, sometimes leaving her with no choice but to report him. Some men get blocked by women, and then open new accounts just to verbally attack her. So, the woman can feel ANNOYED or ANGRY.

Eighth, some men do write nice messages. But, the woman doesn’t write back because she knows that she can’t even return a thank-you note without it being misinterpreted as romantic interest or an invitation. So, she can feel GUILTY for not writing back to someone she knows deserves a response, for having written a genuinely kind or interesting message.

*Sigh*… and men wonder why women keep deleting their accounts…. It’s because it just ends up being too negative an experience… and they give up hope that Mr Right can be found online. So, you might even find her, one day, feeling HOPELESS and giving up.

So, at the end of the day, is she feeling an Ego Boost from online dating sites? That only comes when the kinds of guys she’s actually looking for romantically all start writing her one after another, out of the blue–that only happens once upon a time in fairytale land… Things she’s probably feeling, at one point or another, are: exhausted, disappointed, frustrated, resentful, worried, scared, offended, attacked, cheated, annoyed, angry, guilty, and hopeless.

Next time you think a girl is having a great time ‘getting all that attention’ on an online dating site, think again about exactly what kind of attention she’s getting and how she probably really feels about it. Of course there are great men on dating sites, even the free ones- it’s just too easy to lose site of that with such a negative experience as a whole. If a girl is lucky, then she might still have a tiny glimmer of hope left that she might just meet someone special online that would make this whole negative experience worthwhile. I guess that’s why when those few men who write positive messages saying something like the following, it gives hope about men and their understanding of a woman’s experience:

“I’m not writing because I think I’m right for you,
but I did want to write to say that I read through
your lovely profile and pictures. I thoroughly
enjoyed everything and it’s clear that you are a
very special and rare girl. You deserve the best
and I know you will find who you are looking for.”

I am grateful for that message; it alleviates some frustration. And, it’s nice to be reminded that there are good guys out there, even if they don’t happen to be Mr Right either. I didn’t write him back because he wasn’t right for me, but if he ever reads this, he’ll know that I thoroughly appreciated the positive message and I’m sending good karma back his way. 🙂