I don’t understand why, when someone is looking for a partner they would take an interest in someone five states away! It doesn’t make any sense to me. I hate to outright say no to an IM request but also feel bad about just ignoring it, too. The same goes for someone who sends me an email from another state. How do I respond (or not)?
Dear Long Distance Diss,
I totally understand where you’re coming from. I remember being on JDate and receiving IMs from people in other countries! I mean, really? It’s enough of a compromise to decide to open your area range to neighboring cities 160 miles away, right? The international IMs I would always ignore. Not even worth a second look in my book. But IMs from people 5 states away? Fuggedaboutit! (But click to read their message because they might be preempting with an “I’m moving to your state next week!” message in which case it’s game on!) But IMs from people 2-4 hours away (i.e. within driving distance or a short, cheap flight) should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and treated just as if the person were in your city. Check their photos, profile, preferences, etc and make the determination then. You never know, it might end up being the best road trip ever! Good Luck!
Whenever I log in to JDate, I immediately go to see what girls in my area are online at the same time. At first, seeing six girls online at a time makes me excited. “I can just choose whomever I want to talk to and I don’t have to get off of this awesome couch!” This is likely something I would say out loud to either my roommate or my roommate’s cat. “That’s great!/Meow!” she would respond, respective of species.
In the early days (last week), I would just blitz the site and message every girl that was online. About one third of my messages were rejected. I know, for a fact, that they were rejected, and not ignored, because the IM box would say, “The current user has declined your instant message request.” That hurts. That hurts a lot. There are so many interesting things that I was going to tell you! We could have established a wonderful rapport! Another third of the girls I messaged simply didn’t respond. This is either because they didn’t want to chat but were too polite to click “Reject IM”, or because they just weren’t there. The last third of the girls responded. This is why, if there are less than three people online at any given time, it is not worth it to send out an instant message. This is a basic statistical tactic.
Of the girls that do respond to my IM, I end up having more than one conversation with about half of them. Of that half, I end up meeting about one third of them. Therefore, according to basic mathematics, I go on dates with one out of every eighteen girls I initiate conversations with. Hey, it beats zero.
There is an art to starting a conversation with someone online. With so many males and females saturating the JDate community, simply plowing into a conversation through some sort of generic, vague opening line or email probably isn’t going to get a response, or at least not one with much substance. This same theory applies to IM conversations, where simply saying “Hi” doesn’t really ensure a substantial response.
With so many people emailing and Instant Messaging each other every day, you have to put a little time and effort into how you open a conversation in order to increase your chances of getting a quality response, and progressing from there. If you are really looking to get to know someone, and potentially go out with them, then you have to a take a little time to read through their profile and look at what elements are attractive to you. You can then use what you’ve learned and include those items in an engaging email, or a clever opening line in an Instant Message.
Personally, I like to skim through women’s profiles and look for words or phrases that peak my interest, and then use them to formulate questions, where the responses will offer me more depth and insight into the other person. Additionally, I try to include a few things that we have in common, and then use those commonalities to interject pieces of information about myself which weren’t necessarily included in my profile. While everyone on JDate is looking for something different, and will respond uniquely to each person who approaches them, you can’t go wrong with a more personal approach.
I truly believe that people appreciate others who take a genuine interest in their lives, which usually helps them to lower their guard and open up about their own life and personality. Therefore, if you are like me, and are looking to send emails and Instant Messages with the intention of starting meaningful conversations, then please skip cranking out those same generic messages to every person who looks like they might loosely fit what you’re looking for and take a little extra time to read through their profiles and get to know something about them first.
I have been a long time on-again-off-again JDater®. I can’t figure out what I am doing wrong this time around. I obviously have not found true love but in the past, I have gotten to email, IM and meet lots of candidates. Now, I am constantly getting refusals to even IM?! Why don’t any of the guys want to IM? It’s not like I said something and they discontinue the conversation. They won’t even give me a chance?!?!? Any suggestions??
Dear I’m Hating IM,
I can’t even begin to tell you how many people think they are getting rejected by someone via Instant Messenger when in actuality they are IMing someone who either isn’t at their computer, doesn’t know IM exists or how IM works, may be at work, may not have the necessary Flash program downloaded on their computer, or may be logged on to JDate but not have the screen up and therefore do not hear or see that they have an IM waiting for them. In other words, don’t fret. Instead, utilize the other JDate tools to let someone know you’re interested or to make contact: repeatedly view profiles, Hot List, Flirt, Click! and send e-mails. Don’t stop trying to make contact via IM, but don’t become a stalker and continue trying to make contact with someone who isn’t responding just in case they are getting your IMs and simply aren’t interested. Good luck!
Dear Gems from Jen,
I’m new to JDate and feeling overwhelmed by the world of online dating. I’ve found that men are much more likely to contact me through IM than through email, but I don’t really feel comfortable giving out my phone number (or agreeing to meet someone) after one conversation, even if I think I may like them. How do I respond to those requests without making it sound like I’m just not interested in getting to know them?
Dear Too Fast,
I can understand why you are feeling overwhelmed. I agree with you, dating should be a natural progression, even in the online world. If someone IMs you and wants to meet after one conversation, you need to decide if this is someone you really do want to get to know. I know for me when things move too quickly I become uncomfortable and begin to question the motives behind the person who is rushing the process. I tend to wonder if the person is just merely excited, or if they are going to lose patience and/or attention too quickly. If you do decide to continue corresponding with these people be straightforward and speak the truth. Let each one know you are not yet comfortable giving out your number and would prefer to continue getting to know them through email. Do not do anything until you feel ready and comfortable. If the people on the other end do not understand or are no longer interested because you are not willing to rush things, move forward without looking backward.
Gems from Jen