I Have Tried Everything And Online Dating Is Still Not Working!

smiling beautiful lady

Hi Evan. I read what I purchased from you faithfully and followed everything you said. I am a 36-year-old East Indian woman living in New York City. I would say that less than 10% of the people I write to write back to me. No one is really writing to me. I did EVERYTHING you said.

This is incredibly frustrating, especially after I checked your blog and saw that in a question you asked about response rate, ALL these women said that they got at least 50-60% response rate. I write to all kinds of men who are both younger and older, of all races,single and divorced, etc, etc. and I’ve been very, very careful to use all of your tips, and I read your blog faithfully. Why can’t I even get a response? I feel like I’m the ONE outlier who can’t make your tips work for me.

That’s my feedback–it’s not working for me. Is it because I’m Indian? Is it because I’m 36? Is it because I’m in New York City? If you can help, I’d appreciate it. —Mellie


First of all, I want to give you credit. You’re doing something.

If you’re writing to men who state that they’re looking for women 24-32, you can’t be too surprised that they’re not writing back.

Unlike most of the lookie-loos who read free blogs and newsletters and don’t try anything different, you put your money where your mouth is and invested in Finding the One Online. And now you want to know when the payoff is going to come.

I hear ya. And I don’t blame you in the least.

However, there are a few variables that might be affecting your experience…and I’d just like to point them out to you.

Since I don’t know you at all, I’m just going to be objective and theorize why you might not be doing as well as you’d like.

1. You’re not as attractive as you think.

In this famous OkCupid blog post, OkCupid takes great pains to illustrate that while women think that 80% of men are BELOW AVERAGE in attractiveness, men actually have a fair appraisal of women’s attractiveness. And while they still write disproportionately to the best looking 33% of women, normal women still get plenty of attention online. I’m not saying you’re unattractive — I have no idea what you look like — but if you were expecting men to be knocking down your door, take a look at the most attractive women in New York City between the ages of 25-35. I think you’ll see why you’re not getting as much attention.

2. Your age and race do matter.

Not to only have one source, but OkCupid also did a post on race. And what they observed is that yes, in fact, the percentage response that Indian women get from white men is less than they’ll get from men of all other races. It’s not my place to judge, but everyone’s entitled to his/her preferences. Write to more Indian men and your response rate should go up by 15%.

As far as age goes, I think it goes without saying that men prefer younger women if they want to start families. Check out the preferences of the men you’re writing to online instead of just writing to the men you prefer. If you’re writing to men who state that they’re looking for women 24-32, you can’t be too surprised that they’re not writing back. No more than a man who is 55 should be too surprised that you’re not replying to his query.

3. You’re writing to the most attractive men.

According to the aforementioned blog post, the average woman will get a 30% response rate from the most attractive men. The least attractive women get less than a 10% response from the most attractive men. And it makes sense since the most attractive men get 11 times more email than the lower-rated guys.

In reality, failure is the default setting in dating.

The point is, Mellie, you’re dealing with men who are at the top of the dating totem pole — 35-40 year old cute, successful guys in New York City. It’s a seller’s market and they can afford to be choosy.

4. Your expectations are out of whack.

It’s not that you’re wrong for wishing that things came a little bit easier; it’s that you’re hoping for a different reality, which generally is not a good use of your time. In reality, failure is the default setting in dating. I don’t know where you pulled up that women get a 60% response rate — maybe one of my customer testimonials — but the reason I used it is because it’s unusual and impressive. You can’t judge yourself against the best, no more than I judge my writing on this blog against Philip Roth. Give yourself a break, okay?

And if you think YOU’VE got it bad, go check out the numbers for men who are writing to women. It’s pretty much the same, but worse, because the most attractive women receive TWENTY EIGHT times more email than the least attractive women. Talk about fierce competition.

Take a deep breath and realize that this is a process and that all you can do is make the best of it. But that doesn’t mean you’re done yet.

5. Your profile and first emails aren’t as good as you think.

Just because I got a personal trainer at the gym doesn’t mean I’m going to be on the cover of Men’s Health. Just because I get guitar lessons doesn’t mean I’m going to be performing like Clapton any time soon. And just because you bought Finding the One Online and rewrote your profile and tried my email technique doesn’t necessarily mean that you nailed it. The best way to figure out if you nailed it are your results. If you’re not happy with the results, it sounds to me like there’s more tweaking to do. Try E-Cyrano or my One-on-One Coaching. Just do something different, because right now, you’re too close to the process to be objective about it.

I just listed a few things you can’t change — your age, your looks, your race — but there are many other things you can probably do better.

Please let me know how I can help.

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  1. 81

    [email protected]: Agree with you on that. A lot of white people do know lots about India’s history and culture, so they wouldn’t speak like that. And I don’t know   anyone who would talk the way Raina describes–except for people who are not very aware in general. Who’d want to go out with a guy like that? Ew. So no need to manipulate him into a relationship just to let him know what a rube he is. Hard to imagine that that would work out very well for either person.

  2. 82

    [email protected]: What is the Red Pill? I don’t think my boyfriend takes that. Maybe he should? Please advise. 🙂

  3. 83


    I was wondering the same thing about the Red Pill– I’m guessing it’s not a reference to Communism

    1. 83.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I might not be the best to describe it, but the Red Pill is a metaphorical term for Truth. Telling women what you NEED to hear about what men think, rather than what you WANT to hear. Just like there’s a big feminist movement speaking for women out there, there’s a smaller movement of men who have started blogging about being men.

      And let’s just say that the folks on feminist blogs would not get along with the Red Pill guys of the Manosphere, no more than they get along with me for writing things like “men prefer women who make men feel good”. Men know this to be an unassailable truth. Yet certain women prefer to think they can connect with men by “being themselves” (i.e. emasculating them).

      Put another way, if you frequently find yourself arguing with me on this blog, you definitely don’t want to read the blogs on the Manosphere, which are like reading my stuff without any sense of diplomacy or the deep desire to help women.

  4. 84

    Google is your friend, ladies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_pill_and_blue_pill Also, if you haven’t seen The Matrix, you should. Would make a great movie date!
    @ Evan: now I’m curious about the Manosphere. Are there any blogs you can recommend? If not for me, then maybe for my male & female friends that are out there dating, or maybe for my sons when they’re old enough (they’re in HS and college). Thanks!

  5. 85

    Is the suggestion that women prefer men who make them feel bad about themselves? If that isn’t the suggestion, then the  true statement would be that all people prefer people who make them feel good. No need to make this a gender thing.

    Don’t need a pill to figure that out!!! 🙂

    1. 85.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No, Ann. Almost all of my advice is about women understanding what men think. Those who resist usually come back with some form of “But MEN…” What men do is irrelevant to a discussion about how women can improve their own relationships. And far too many women see fit to criticize men instead of being supportive of them. This is not to say that men don’t do the same thing; it’s just a different discussion for a different blog.

  6. 86

    I still say that all people want to be around people who make them feel good about themselves–it’s sort of the golden rule of all relationships.

  7. 87

    @ Ann, I agree with the general idea. The point of this blog and some other dating blogs, as I see it, is to get the message across that it takes different types of actions to make men and women feel good. We do things for men that we think will make them feel good, and they either don’t notice or freak out. The opposite is also sometimes true.
    This is actually the first thing I learned when I moved to college and started living on campus with roommates (I’ve shared a room with a total of ten girls over seven years, 2-5 people living in the same room at a time) – Golden rule does not work. We do unto others as we want others to do unto us, but those others are not us, they’re different. They don’t think the same as we do, do not like the same things as we do, and do not necessarily want to be done unto as we would them do unto us. And that was all women. With men, it takes even more adjustment to figure out what makes them feel good. I’ve raised two sons, was in a relationship/marriage for 22 years total, and I still haven’t figured all of it out.

  8. 88

    [email protected]: Oh. I thought we were talking about general do-unto-others behavior like being respectful of people’s work, acknowledging what they do well, tolerating quirks, not criticizing, being sensitive to what they like/don’t like, etc. The guys I like to be around don’t fall into  any “typical guy” category, so I’m lucky in that regard. Don’t have to treat the guys any differently than I treat the gals. We’re all just individuals. (I find people who fit the gender stereotypes too neatly a little phony, actually. Like they’re in drag, only not of the opposite gender.)

  9. 89

    Ann #89
    I still say that all people want to be around people who make them feel good about themselves…
    I agree.

  10. 90

    When one lives by the golden rule they are not doing so with any expectations of others.   Whether others like it how you treat them or treat you the same way is irrelevant.     Nothing wrong with treating others with kindness and respect that goes for dating, work etc.

  11. 91

    @ Teresa #93: “Whether others like it how you treat them … is irrelevant.”
    Um, this kinda defeats the purpose of the Golden Rule 😉
    @Ann: I agree about everyone being an individual, but, at least as the dating game goes, I find there’s a grain of truth to the gender stereotypes. Men tend to play this game differently from the way women do. I’m actually reading a book on evolutionary psychology right now that explains pretty logically why this is happening.

  12. 92
    Saint Stephen

    Goldie Said:
    Um, this kinda defeats the purpose of the Golden Rule.
    Aha! It’s like you read my mind – Just what i wanted to say. 🙂  

  13. 93


    Little tidbit- I went to send a guy a message on OKCupid– nice looking guy with a masters in computers but nothing extraordinary about his profile. Age 34.  

    Anyways, when I hit ‘send’ it ended up his mailbox is full and he can’t receive messages!!!! And it’s not as though he’s this brilliant humorous Brad Pitt.    And I don’t know any woman his’equal (going by the above) who’s ever had a full mailbox. Even the ones who get regular emails.  

    It does seem that women have to do more work than the guy just to ATTRACT a guy. We’ve become the pursuers.

    You have now entered the Twilight Zone…  

  14. 94
    Saint Stephen

    Sayanta Said:
    It does seem that women have to do more work than the guy just to ATTRACT a guy. We’ve become the pursuers.
    That depends on the guy u’re looking to attract. Cute guys aren’t many and they are massively pursued by so many other women.    

  15. 95
    ofw dating

    its good that you’re trying. you may feel you’re one of a failure at this but no. all of the effort you’re doing will eventually pay off. there’s always hope ya know.

  16. 96

    Finally Goldie #94!!   Shout the book out to all who will listen…if men and women better understood ourselves and our equal opposites at our reptilian brain level, things might not be so contentious.   Hard to get mad at someone for something they can’t control, and that tends to be the things we get irritated with (mostly women).

  17. 97

    @Sayanta #96
    In OKCupid world “Sent” messages are counted toward your total quota. Like the majority of men he might have sent out a lot of messages.   I would save him as a favorite and check back in a few days.

  18. 98

    Sorry–I’ve read a lot of evolutionary psychology and I think it’s bogus science. Also, the top folks in that field are always contradicting each other–because it’s pretty easy to poke holes in those theories. Which is all they are. Can’t be proved or disproved.  But if those beliefs make you happy, more power to ya. I’ll stick with the  Golden Rule rule. Stands the test of time.

  19. 99

    I would bet my life that she only sends messeges to men with incomes larger than her own. She probably rejects men with smaller incomes left-and-right, and then complains when men reject her. Oh, the irony. Hurts, huh? Remember that when you delete the next 100 messeges you receive from men who might be one social class beneath you.

    Sorry, but I have no sympathy for women who cannot find love on dating websites. It’s not our fault that you set the bar  so high. Here are some common requirements  from women: Must be taller; have an equal or greater income; equal or greater education; must be in shape; must be old fashion (only when it comes to dating courtship).

    Ladies, you did this to yourselves. Date like a man and watch the problems disappear. Step 1) Date down the socioeconomic ladder. Step 2) Date men shorter than yourself. Step 3) Date high school educated people. Step 4) Ask men out. Step 5) Be truly independent and pay for your half of the dinner bill.

  20. 100

    @Mark I have little sympathy for men like you who feel like women should lower themselves to date you. Here’s a hint maybe you shouldn’t be looking for a 10 who is 3 inches taller than you and willing to pay her own way to be graced in your short, less educated company. When its put that way, can’t you see how its not terribly appealing?

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