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Online Dating: Why Haven’t They Responded to My Text Message?

By Andrea McGinty January 29, 2024 Dating

So, you’ve been browsing this dating site and found someone that you liked. You sent a lovely and uniquely crafted message a few days ago, but it feels like it fell into a black hole. Where is he and why hasn’t he responded?

This question comes up daily; as a dating coach I sometimes receive it 5-6 times per day when I am online with a client on a dating site.

Now, the first thing you need to remember is to avoid negative thoughts. Yes, it feels like a personal slight. But really, think about this: Is every man going to respond with a message to you? Are YOU going to respond to every man?

Second, don’t get defensive and send another angst-driven message. Yes, I have seen that. How would you feel if you were on the receiving end of a second message that asks, “Why haven’t you messaged me back?” Personally, I’d think stalker material (perhaps with anger issues) and hit Block.

Third, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. From looking at one man online and texting him, you cannot possibly know that he’s the “one.” Spread the love – there are plenty of men who fall in the realm of what you are looking for so text them too.

But, how do you improve your odds of getting that response, and ultimately, that date?

You Send a Short, Specific and Quirky Message

You have no idea how many template-ready messages I have seen. Please don’t do that.

Craft a message of no more than 3 sentences. Be specific, use information you’ve read in the person’s profile or seen in their photos. And make sure to include something quirky about yourself – I don’t mean weird, but unique. When I am working with clients online, they often ask me, “Are we really sending this message you just typed… isn’t it too strange/bold (insert your word)?” and I say, “You bet we are!”

Try Using a New Photo

If you never get replies, there’s an issue, right? The first place I’d look is your primary photo – the first photo he sees. Change it! Sometimes this is all it takes to get an explosion of messages!

Analyze Your Profile

Put your profile through spell check, especially if English isn’t your strong suit or not your native language). Get rid of any “u” for “you” or any other 20-something-year-old’s texting style. Yes, you may use those again when you are in a relationship – but initially, you want to put your best foot (and grammar) forward.

Dry Texting

Did you just say “huh”? Dry texting refers to people who reply with one word – you sent a message and closed with a question. They answered only “yes.” They are not carrying their side of the conversation and it’s frustrating.

So, I’d suggest approaching this person one more time – with humor: “Thanks for the yes! Ok, my next question is much more carefully crafted to get at least two words from you – hopefully, a full sentence as I am interested in you!!!” Then ask the question.

If he responds with an appropriate message, game on. If he does not, move on!

You Go on an Online Quorum and Ask What’s Wrong with Your Messages

No, no, no – please do not do this! When I was researching this article for hard-core stats, of course, I bumped into these. While I had some good laughs, don’t ask strange people about your messages. Ask a pro.

You Are on the Wrong Site

Here’s the thing – if you simply google “the best dating sites for a 60-year-old woman,” you know what you get? Thinly disguised sites like Dating Consumer Reports or something similar which offer a list of 3-5 best sites for you. If you go all the way to the bottom, you’ll notice it was written by one of the dating site groups like or Don’t get me wrong. I like some of their sites, but they have no idea where you live (even if you put it in google), what you are looking for, and the demographic you’d like to meet.

Some of My Examples

So, let me share what my clients, who have high response rates, have in common.

Jemma, 63, New Jersey

Her messages to people are so off the cuff and funny. Not a formal bone in her body! She messages men as if they are already friends. And I think that makes all sorts of men respond quickly – from the shy ones to extroverts. While funny, believe me, she is serious about finding a long-term relationship in NYC. Jemma’s been a member for almost one month and here are her stats: 7 first dates, 4 second dates, 2 third dates, and I don’t know what happened over this past weekend yet.

Elle, 69, Laguna Beach, Ca

She’s an ENT doc and a big surfer. Her messages tend to be directed toward men who paddleboard, kayak and surf. I get a kick out of reading her messages – she’ll talk about the waves, her favorite paddleboard, where she surfed over the weekend – she knows what she wants, and she is targeting the men with the right messaging. Her stats over 6 weeks: 9 first dates, 5 second dates, 3 third dates, and one fourth date with Greg, a scuba diver/businessman she likes. Fingers crossed.

So, Let’s Wrap Up

It’s important to have a strategy with messaging. Remember, this is not a quick, abrupt text to your BFF asking a simple question. Also, remember this is a message and they cannot see your facial expression! Make it light, fun and specific – and you’ll be meeting many new people quickly.

And if you need help, I’d love assist you in writing a great message!


Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you think the messages you send online are interesting? Be honest: How many new messages do you send out each week? Are you just sending hearts and likes without messages?

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The same thing happens to men. Most women never reply. It was so demoralizing that I gave up dating sites completely. If it happens, it will have to be in real life (IRL), or not at all!

The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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