Do You Rely on People to Write to You Online?

woman using laptop for online dating

Do you rely on people to write to you online?

Or are you more pro-active about making contact?

Do you have greater success by making the first contact or by waiting for potential matches to make the first contact?

What do you think of winks and icebreakers?   Do you ever use them or do you prefer an email as the initial communication?

To find out my thoughts on making the initial contact when online dating, click here.

Join our conversation (22 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    Most of the time, yes, I do [rely on people to write to me].

    I haven’t written to enough men to gauge which way I have greater success.

    Winks will be ignored by me, and so will the “hi” messages in instant messaging on the dating site.

  2. 2

    The first time I tried online dating I had a tendency not to want to approach men first but I’ve adjusted that now. I’ll write to a man I’m interested in, but it’ll be more of an open-ended comment on his profile, not a solicitation for a date. So far i’ve probably reached out to 5 guys and have received a response from all but 1.

    I prefer email for first communication and never send (and rarely respond to) winks and flirts.

  3. 3

    Well, there is all of this info out there about men being the hunters so let them hunt. And, them sending an email first is a nominal indication of confidence–which is a preferred asset in my world. But, every now and then, I will send out a few emails and happily, I have had a good rate of return.

    What I no not like is when I get a fairly informative email, respond with one that is also informative and then do not hear a word. I don’t do that to anyone who writes to me.

    I do not respond to winks and it says so in my profile but I still get more winks than emails. I also do not feel compelled to respond to emails of so few words they are barely above a wink. But taking the time to write a response to my profile? I’m there with an answer.

    Hard to say about the rate of success. I don’t know how to compare the two because one I initiate and the other I have no control over–so how is success in this context defined?

  4. 4

    I have done both, written and icebreakers. I have only received a couple responses to the written contacts. Those were only a type of “thanks, but no thanks.” I respond to all the contacts I get…even the icebreakers. It’s hard enough to reach out, I figure that they deserve a response. I myself use the icebreakers while I’m wondering whether I want to go with the expense of something isn’t working.

  5. 5

    Well if you go by the “Hunters don’t date Hunters” theory, if you’re the woman, I have had better luck from guys who initiated the contact with me. Although I do write men on occasion (usually when my mailbox is not full from incoming mail to me), and I have gone on a few dates where I initiated the conversation, none of them have really worked out. My contact to date ratio when I write the first email is probably about 20%.

    Winks and flirts- I absolutely hate them. I don’t respond to them at all. Some sites like True send automatic winks if you want them to or not, that is really annoying.

  6. 6

    In the different dating groups I have been in I usually write in my profile that a wink will not get my attention. If they write alittle something to me I usually write back. Sometimes what they write tells me how interested they really are.

  7. 7
    happy girl

    I like for men to contact me, but I am also pro-active so I will write to men with a short and witty email.

    I have contacted men who send me a flirt in the past. I now prefer not to do that anymore. Some men just keep on sending you flirts. I feel that is just not showing a genuine interest to me. It comes across as if you just click a flirt to any woman you think might email you back.

  8. 8

    Jane said: “What I no not like is when I get a fairly informative email, respond with one that is also informative and then do not hear a word. I don’t do that to anyone who writes to me.”

    Yes, that is so irritating! It happened to me three times, with high quality individuals, and each time I thought, “Well, I wish you told me beforehand that you would not reply to my reply to your initial letter, because I spent 20 minutes here trying to write something interesting, when I could answer 10 less impressive men (but, perhaps, passable) in that time!”

  9. 9

    Depending on how inbox is rather empty and things aren’t crazy-busy in real life then I will write to guys whose profiles I find interesting. But I prefer to be contacted first, and like some of the responders above, find that the guys who contact me first tend to do better in the long run over guys I contact.

    As far as winks/icebreakers go, I prefer e-mail, but I won’t totally ignore them. If a guy’s profile seems interesting, I’ll wink or send an icebreaker back, and wait for him to e-mail me. If the profile’s a piece of junk or the guy doesn’t come close to being what I’m looking for, I just ignore the wink/icebreaker.

  10. 10

    I don’t believe I’ve read one woman writing that she liked winks. Now that I am getting them from foreign women seeking green cards or as another poster theorized, astroturfers looking to entice customers to stay I decided to write to Match to make the suggestion that they give their subscribers the ability to turn receiving winks off.

  11. 11

    I do not mind initiating, or the man can. I prefer the man shows his interest first, unfortunately, this amounts to a lot of winks mostly from men I would not consider (over ten years older, not attractive to me, completely different values/lifestyle or far, far away…with one of the aforementioned included.)

    I do get responses from men I e-mail, perhaps 80-90%. Usually I just write one or two sentences about something that struck me about their profile; nothing over the top. I’d say I have more success in connecting with like others this way.

    I enjoy all correspondence, including e-mail, not to the exclusion of meeting, of course. I like to see a man’s ability to be write, get his rhythm of corresponding and so on. Sadly I find that no matter the depth of the profile, men almost uniformly want me to call them right away, or give them my number so they can call me, and get all rapped up in that stage, even if we haven’t met and decided that we like each other. If meeting on this medium, I do like to swap a few e-mails, then meet, then if there’s mutual interest, give out my number and carry on from there. I seem to be alone in thinking things could go this way. Honestly, all my beaus (to date) have come from, “real life,” and yet I persist!

    Winks and icebreakers: whatever. On they’re not delivered to my personal e-mail so I only see them when I log on. I will browse their profile just to check for elements of compatibility. I used to send a courtesy reply, but lately I have not.


    I can relate to putting some time in on-line in writing and having that person vanish. I had e correspondence going with a guy in Colorado who I was going to meet when I moved back to Montana and he disappeared. That sucked. I would much rather get an e saying, “Hey, guess what? I met someone!” than wonder. He was going on a mountain biking trip alone and I sometimes even think: head injury. Because he was that consistent prior to. Likely never will know what happened there.

  12. 12

    Yes because I haven’t had the greatest success initiating first contact. I need to work on the initial email I think. I struggle writing those.

  13. 13
    happy girl

    Moonsical, I can totally related to having emailed pretty extensively with a few men and we seem to have a rapport and the emails were very interesting. We were going to meet and all of a sudden I don’t hear from them anymore. All I can think off is that they must have met someone else. But like you said why not send a brief line stating: “enjoyed emailing with you, however I have met someone”
    That does not seem to difficult to me.
    I try to do that as I keep in the back of my mind that I don’t want to be treated like that so I should make an afford not to treat others like that.

  14. 14
    Slim Pickens

    Since I’m only separated I’ve kept my profile unsearchable. That sounds bad, I know. But I don’t feel like explaining my situation over and over, and I don’t want to risk scaring off anyone prematurely who I might click with when I do finally get divorced. So I have to initiate things right now. And I assume I’ll always have to, as the Guy, even when I’m completely free.

    I did publish my profile for a couple of days, just for the hell of it. And I did get a wink from one person. She was out of my age range, actually younger by 6 years. And I think in that sort of situation, for the female, that it’s okay. I did send a nice reply back. I don’t know why a woman would ever reply to one of those though, and I’d never send one myself.

    I do have a related question though, as a newbie. I usually have the yahoo feature that let’s somebody know that I’ve viewed them off. When I see someone I’m interested in I turn it on briefly, then write an email right away. But a couple of times I forgot to turn it back off and viewed some more profiles. They viewed me. Then I viewed them again (I only visit the site about once a week, so I forgot who was doing what). And then they viewd me again. I didn’t know what to do. What should I have done? Beside turn of the damn feature quickly before I went off to lala land again.

  15. 15

    @happygirl & moonsicle.

    A few years ago when I was first on match I exchanged a few emails with a woman who I later decided was not a match for me. I sent her an email telling her so and got nasty gram back.

    I don’t think my experience was uncommon.

    I think people just drop people online because they can, and because they want to avoid an unpleasant exchange.

  16. 16

    Slim Pickens,

    that’s a non-issue. If you are interested in the person, write to them. If not, then not.

    There is nothing you *should* have done.

  17. 17

    Several people have commented about why people stop writing and just disappear. In my opinion it is just a man’s way to avoid conflict and hurt feelings to just stop responding. The very few men that have actually written to say we are not a fit or someone else has come into their life is rare. When ever I do get one of these I always respond with a thanks and good luck message back to them.

  18. 18

    Though I don’t do it often, I have done the fade from an e-mail correspondence. If the guy can’t carry his end of the online conversation, and it’s tedious trying to figure out something to write in reply even if his profile is well-written and he seems interesting…well, I’ll just fade away. Sometimes this will also happen even if the correspondence was good, but the momentum was lost (ie, instead of an e-mail every day or so it’s once a week). I don’t take a fade away personally, and hope it isn’t taken that way either. But then again, I’m not talking about weeks or months worth of e-mails here either. I like to get the ball rolling online with several exchanges, and then meet up in real life.

  19. 19
    Slim Pickens

    @juju: okay, thanks. I thought since they kept viewing my profile that they wanted me to contact them. I wasn’t interested, but I didn’t want to be rude either. I guess I’m being hypersensitive. And definitely probably a bit full of myself to boot. A few months of being truly active on one of these sites will probably take care of both issues, so I’ll shut up now! 😉

  20. 20
    Slim Pickens

    “definitely probably”, gack. I have no business calling anyone ‘borderline illiterate’!

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