How Do I Survive The Frustration Of Online Dating?

Hi Evan, I’m a big fan of the blog. I’ve been excited to start meeting guys in my new city (LA – same as you!) but I’ve already started feeling disappointed. I signed up for and okcupid. It seems there are plenty of men looking on these sites but hardly any saying hello! And if they do say hello, the emails are boring – “Hey, I’m thinking of getting some sun this weekend. How about you?” Or they make me think these guys have me on a pedestal – “If you don’t mind me saying, I think you are beautiful, and your profile seems so genuine. I hope you write back!”


I’ve taken your advice and posted pics of me looking fun, cute and active: wedding guest/bridesmaid pics, vacation pics, a fun sibling shot (labeled “with my bro and sis.”) So what is the deal? I’m 29. I’m pretty and fun. In my bio, I basically state I am a “retired jetsetter who still wants to have fun, but do it on a local level.” I’ve read a bunch of profiles and tried to reach out to men who were my equals, both in lifestyle and dating goals, but these guys haven’t responded. I’m thinking, “We are SO alike, why aren’t you responding?”

Granted, I’m just starting out, but it’s already frustrating! How am I supposed to take these emails that I’m getting? I find them so mass-market, like I bet they copied and pasted and sent to 30 girls without reading about me at all. How do I get to the next step? Should I *wink* first? Are sending messages a bit too much? –Angie


There are two entirely separate issues being discussed here: one is your frustration with online dating overall, the other is with the nuances of how it’s done. Let’s deal with them separately.

First of all, I want you to consider all the other places that you could meet thirtysomething men in Los Angeles. Thru events from LA Weekly, thu email lists like Thrillist, thru random happenstance at the gym, at Ralphs, on Sunset Blvd, at the UCB Theater, thru, thru friends’ house parties, thru work friends, and business networking, thru set ups, thru matchmakers, thru singles organizations, church or temple. And yet, despite all of those options for young people here in LA, it’s tough.

It’s very easy to live in a huge city and never meet any men.

Online, you’re ALWAYS meeting men.

That’s why I believe in online dating. Not because it’s perfect. But because “real life” doesn’t always provide enough opportunity on a week by week basis. And unless you get lucky at the Grilled Cheese Invitational or First Fridays on Abbot Kinney, it’s very easy to live in a huge city and never meet any men. Online, you’re ALWAYS meeting men. Your ad is live for 24 hours a day for men to approach you, and if you log on for 20-30 minutes each day to reply and reach out to one new guy, your social life will instantly pop.

None of this changes the quality of men, the quality of how they market themselves, and the quality of their interaction – all of which is, frankly, abysmal.

But one thing I know from 7 years of doing this job is this: a great profile and witty email doesn’t necessarily equal a great guy. And generic profiles and emails often mask amazing personalities. As a result, you really can’t tell anything from online dating – you just have to make the best with what you’ve got.

This is what I discovered as a customer service rep at JDate in 2001, and it’s the very thing in which I coach private clients every day: writing a unique, confident, specific, self-aware, witty profile that attracts more men and higher quality men; coming up with a one-of-a-kind username that instantly brands you and demands recognition, filtering through the wrong men, funneling the right men from email to the phone to the real life date, keeping a healthy attitude about guys and maintaining an open mind about why they do what they do. It’s a lot of stuff, but it’s finite and it can be conquered. Soon, everything will open up for you.

Your job is not to stop the “wrong” men from writing to you.

So instead of complaining: “The wrong men always write to me!” you will soon remember, “Aha! Most men are the wrong men. In fact, 90% of guys I would never even consider dating. Which means that I can’t get upset when I don’t like 90% of the emails I receive. And I must be patient because I’m only open to 10% of the population. The higher your standards, the longer you will likely have to date online.” Simple shifts in perspective like this are life-saving, and allow you to persevere where you’d ordinarily quit.

Your job is not to stop the “wrong” men from writing to you. If you’re 29 and cute, they’re going to be coming out of the woodwork – 55 year old men from 100 miles away, telling you that you’re beautiful. Don’t sweat those guys. Men copy and paste emails because such a low percentage of women write back to them. It’s a bad strategy on their part, but you have to understand that they’re FAILURES and be a little more sympathetic to them.

If you want a better online dating experience, you have to learn three things: how to write a better profile, how to flirt with men and keep them interested, and how to initiate contact with the men YOU want in a funny, confident way.

Click here to learn more about how to do it.


My way far more effective than anything you’ve done before and it beats the hell out of more trial and error and frustration. Literally, my 64-year-old mother just went through all the Finding the One Online material and found a boyfriend in 1 month.

What do you think a 29-year-old could do if you learned how to do it right instead of complaining about how everything is wrong?

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  1. 61

    oh wow, I m surprised some people actually respond to EVERY email they receive. If I had to do it it would be my full time job. also my experience of me responding and politely rejecting them was not good either. Nasty offensive insults – was the most common reaction. So stopped responding … emailing back only those I am interested …

  2. 62

    “If you’re 29 and cute, they’re going to be coming out of the woodwork – 55 year old men from 100 miles away, telling you that you’re beautiful”.

    LOL! I bust out laughing reading this because it was unfortunately true for me. I changed up my profile like Evan stated and I was getting good results.

  3. 63

    My experience with has been mildly negative (but my renewal time has not arrive,  I will not be renewing, and that is reported to be a big headache.)  The problem is the service itself, and to a lesser extend the women. The site sends out attractive pictures of members whose accounts have expired. They are used to get the email opened which then tells you the profile is not available but other ones are. 100% of them are unavailable. Then there are a lot of winks, likes and “favorites” from barely legal women from thousands of miles away. Women that age in real life don’t notice me, and they shouldn’t as I am older. But all that adds up to a lot of garbage in the email box.  Re the profiles that I assume are real:  I have emailed numerous women and there are four or five who seem quite choice, the kind that makes a man sit up and say “I would like to meet her.” But according to the site’s feedback they don’t bother to open the messages, and, they aren’t on for months at a time. It is sending “Hi” into the abyss. The most I get is about one comment a month, and then it is, as someone else here said, a few words. And I don’t know if the longest comment I’ve gotten was a compliment or an insult. “Is your arm long enough to give yourself a pat on the back?” That came from an obese old woman which reminds me the filters do not work well. After several months and reading hundreds of profiles and sending out many messages and comments on photos I have not received even a half a dozen replies, no actual contacts, and an in box flooded with fakes.  (I would add I am polite, have a nice essay, and 20 up-to-date photos and I’m not old, over the hill or needy.)  Matching folks online seems like a good idea but without participation it is pointless.

  4. 64

    Bottomline men and women. Understand that not every single man or woman is going to like you on dating sites. I have met people on and off dating sites ok. I’m just gonna say people. Because of the level of sensitive feelings that people tend to have. First you or no one else is entitled to anything, not even me. I have dated online everything from the endless sea of liars who make themselves out to be people who they are not. The split mind beauty is a really attractive lady. But is a complete train wreck and emotionally unstable.  The hung upper, this one cant let go of the past. Your date is filled with you as the next contestant of “you better not be like my last ex or else”. Definitely too soon for the dating pool. The dory this person cant remeber what you said a few seconds after you said something to the whole night is filled with repeat. The smart device, self explanatory. You are actually 3rd wheel for this date and the smart phone is the only one getting a kiss goodnight. Too perfect, this one is the ultimate bs’er. They paint you a grand picture. Meet you wine and dine you. Only a few weeks later you find out they are actually married.

    This is just an example of people I have encountered and yes the level of mental help is amazing. Ladies and guys dont be mad when someone on a dating site turns their nose up at your likes or emails. You can not please everyone and surely dont attempt to. Dating sites are alot like the grocery store. Only the customers here often times are living in lala land with unrealistic expectations or a plethora of emoutional issues that only a heavy dose of psycho therapy meetings and medication could cure but has failed.

    Don’t get your worries about no emails or no responses. People suck. Finding somone who is high quality is difficult.

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