Life Advice



Erika Ettin: Why am I not getting responses online?

By Erika Ettin, Tribune News Service on

Published in Dating Advice

You've joined an online dating site or app during the pandemic... since it's now pretty much the only way to meet new people. That's a great first step! But, as you've heard time and time again (probably from yours truly), it's not enough to simply sign up; you have to be proactive.

Being proactive means searching for people, or swiping, and sending a message, and I recommend that both men and women make the first move.

Many women think that initiating contact might make them "lose the upper hand" at the get-go or seem less feminine. That couldn't be more wrong. We need to go for what we want in life, and it starts here. If you don't send the first message, that perfect match you've noticed may never find you. Plus, who wouldn't be flattered? (And on Bumble, women have to make the first move anyway!)

As for what to include in the message on a "traditional" dating site, like or eHarmony (one where you can log in on either the computer or the app, and the profiles are somewhat longer), it's actually fairly simple:

1. Something about the other person's profile that caught your attention;

2. Something about you and how it relates to that person; and


3. A question to end the message.

A few sentences are more than enough to get the ball rolling. It's also very clear when people copy and paste the same message from person to person. That's a surefire way not to get responses. Finally, humor and proper grammar go a long way.

Now that we know the rules, let's look at a couple sample messages:

First of all, congrats on finishing your MBA. I'm sure you're happy not to have to study on weekends anymore, huh? Now, about that tennis match ... we obviously need to stoke that friendly rivalry. - David


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(c)2020 Erika Ettin, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.