Life Advice



Responding To Unwanted Messages On Dating Sites

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a single lesbian woman in my early 30s. Because I don't intend to stay single, I registered on a Christian dating site that allows LGBTQ people to join. My profile page lists my sexual orientation and I clearly state that I am looking for a woman.

I get quite a lot of responses. Unfortunately, most of them are from men. The men who send me messages fall into three categories:

First, there are the men who clearly didn't read my profile page.

Second is the group I call the preachers. Their messages can be summarized as, Repent, sinner, for the Kingdom of God is not for people like you who give in to their sinful homosexual urges -- often accompanied by a couple of verses from scripture. Some leave it at that, while some offer themselves as a date so that they can save my immortal soul by letting me date someone of the opposite sex.

The third group consists of men who respond to I'm a lesbian with Challenge accepted. I have been told that I don't look lesbian; I've been asked whether I'm a real lesbian (as opposed to what?); and I've been asked how I would know that I'm not attracted to men. Two men flat-out wrote that I just hadn't been with someone like them (which almost made me throw up).

As a rule, I respond to all personal messages, because I believe that to be the right and polite thing to do. But these men make me question that rule.


What is Miss Manners' opinion in the matter? Is one obliged to answer a message from someone who clearly didn't take the effort to read even the most basic information on a profile page?

And how does one respond in a proper way to men who wish to convert a lesbian to dating them?

GENTLE READER: No, it is not necessary to respond. But if you feel you must, Miss Manners suggests: Thank you, but as I stated in my profile, I am only interested in dating women. My preferences are as unlikely to change as your own.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: After dinner one evening, a guest was unable to dislodge a bit of food in his teeth. He asked me for a toothpick, showing some disappointment when I couldn't find one.


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