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


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.

Join our conversation (183 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 121

    Hello there,
    Dating sites are money makers …no reason to trust them
    Let see if I think I am not attractive ,at least I can see
    Guess what…I pretended to be a guy made a fake profile and so my rivals …oh god …
    No need for a dating site like match.com I can get a guy with out them..
    I am educated and nice please ……they need to leave you hanging there forever…
    Please do not make fake profiles or brainwash people to polish their profiles sooner or later the truth come to the surface …take care!!

  2. 122

    There is a spin or ‘gear’ to the game that allows more flexibility for females. More to the point, to the original post, dating often entails what sociologists call ‘homogamy’, which is entertaining relationships with people whom are perceived to be similar. If you are outside of established social groups in your area, then you may encounter a variety of accepted prejudices in your dating experience, as others around you gauge you as dissimilar. They may be non-prejudiced in every way, except when it comes to dating and relationships.

    Online dating tends to draw individuals who are especially ‘homogamous’. Someone like the OP would not fit in, including online dating in NYC. Her experience would be different from, for example, a Caucasian woman with otherwise identical characteristics.

    Therefore, my suggestion to the OP would be to meet individuals out-and-about, especially in relation to interests, affinities, and hobbies.

    You don’t want to date people who don’t want to date you. Online dating is a bad venue for some people. Dating coaches who fit a local cultural majority are generally blind to homogamy. No offense or even reference to our forum host, who seems like an enlightened guy.

    Be glad you are in a big city like NYC and not in Boston….

  3. 123

    To the OP –

    Try getting offline and try being extroverted and openly sweet. Here’s my story :
    I had little response as a pretty (I’ve been told) black woman who is fit/thin,and with an hour glass shape. I have long hair. I have those femininity “markers’ but it didn’t matter. My strike against me was being black and being in my late 30s …though honestly I also got scant attention when I was on okcupid 7 years ago.

    I was almost relieved when I saw that study come out that showed black women get less messages on okcupid. I had already suspected.

    I was not picky in terms of income, height, race, etc. I had a fun profile, great pictures, full body shots.
    So, I got offline.

    I decided to be more extroverted when Im out and about if it killed me – look men in the eye and smile. Be myself, which is naturally warm – and try not to be too serious, just flirt.
    I’ve been doing this two months now, and men HAVE been flirting w/me. Younger guys, older guys, my age guys, and all races. Pretty sure I’ll have a bf soon 🙂

    Change your attitude – Smile at men! That’s almost the bottom line. Then smile again if you get the chance. Come up with a question to ask or something to say, anything! It’s what I have been doing.

    Online, so much is what is going on in peoples’ heads. I think online encourages men to be pickier and racist. There is a preconceived idea that white women are “the best”. But when men meet real women in real life -real life takes over. In real life, different kinds of men will like you if you are simply outgoing and nice.

  4. 124

    I know a lot of women who I think look perfectly fine they go online and get about a few messages a week. Men are just fussy, they have a lot of choice online. Also if you see the most popular women on any dating site they are almost invariably stunning. Even me an very average women with a nice figure (men have followed me when they see me figure but have left after seeing my face-they don’t think that I’ve noticed them checking me out. Women tell me they would die for my figure) has huge trouble attracting men online.  

  5. 125

    I have been told that I have very little style and that men generally like women who wear at least a little makeup (it provides the face with contrast and thus makes it look women more feminine maybe this is where I am going wrong).  

  6. 126

    I think her profile picc probably suck. Men are visual and see with their penis on online dating. You could have such a well written profile that Socrates would be asking you for tips but if you look like Jobba the Hutt in your photos it’s going to be a hell no. You need to place on your profile the very best pictures (current of course) you possibly can. And you must have one that shows your body shape. Most women can do things to look attractive and they should avail themselves of them. Not just to get interest from online dudes but as a loving act towards herself.  

  7. 127

    I would also like to bring up another one of Evan’s suggestions I read a short time ago on his blog…that is to pay more attention to the men who like you.
    Like you, I felt like I was getting 10% responses back or less. I’m 47, in relatively good shape, and somewhat attractive; but all the attention I was getting was from the wrong men. I purchased and read all of Evan’s materials…and I actually put them to work for me, but I was frustrated as you are.
    When I read Evan’s advice to pay more attention to the men who liked me, I was disheartened. I did not feel attracted to any of their pictures. But one guy stood out, not because of his pictures, but because of what he wrote to me. I began exchanged emails, then texts, and we ended up going out on an amazing date. The thing that impressed me the most was that he was willing to drive 2 hours to see me.
    The first time I saw him, I was happy to see that he was much better looking in person than in his photos. We had an awesome date and we’ve been seeing each other for almost 4 weeks. He took down his profile after 2 weeks and we are enjoying dating exclusively.
    Don’t give up. Keep doing what you’re doing and tweaking your profile/emails. You are not too old. The man for you is out there you just haven’t found him yet.

  8. 128

    Online dating is useless. I am actually a good looking male. I go out and get hit on by women all the time. Online dating… I have yet to find some one. In fact, one out of 40 will actually talk back.

  9. 129

    It’s because you are an Indian and all men are racists. No let me tell you what I think is going on: 90% of the profiles are fake by the dating websites. It’s as if the Internet dating commerce thing hasn’t caught on in terms of dating, but I might be wrong….I don’t know myself what is going on! Your experiences is my experiences as a man.

  10. 130

    You think its hard when your in your 20’s and 30’s – try starting over after age 65 and see where that gets you. I get one time responses from men who say, “Wow your profile and photo were amazing. I’d like to get to know   you better.”   Then I respond with a similar kind of encouragement and invitation to continue the conversation, and never hear from them again.   Or I get a lot of views and no responses. What’s that all about?   How serious is a person who only looks but never moves farther?   The clock is ticking here guys.

    1. 130.1


      The view’s no better from the male side of   your age group (with the possible exception of fewer profile views and fewer email responses). Women (sometimes even some who initiate contact) do the same thing; one email exchange, and they vanish. Lots of “window shoppers”, of both genders, it appears. Could be there are a lot of very insecure people in our age group; then again, there are a lot of widows and widowers, who may have spent almost an entire adult lifetime married, and   never developed any real social   or dating skills. Case in point- I met one woman (widowed, mid-sixties) who married her high-school sweetheart at 18; her late husband was quite literally the only man she had ever dated. That has to be incredibly difficult. They test the waters, actually meet someone online, and then are petrified at the thought of a real-world “date”; I have to believe a lot of them simply bail at that point (it would explain a lot). It’s hard not to sympathize with their situation, but that doesn’t help the rest of us, does it?

  11. 131

    Online dating does work but it’s not always easy and not without frustration.

    Sometimes in response to an email, I get blocked.   Sometimes I get a response and a first meet.   Sometimes they look 10 years older than their pictures.   Sometimes they act like freaks.   Sometimes they expect to be wined and dined (and that pisses me off to no end).   And if I get laid, I’ll feel like my membership dues were worth it.

    But occasionally it does work and I  meet someone really neat and a relationship springs from it.   But to expect that most emails will get favorable responses and the person you want will also want you is far fetched.   This stuff take work, time, effort, and managing your expectations and emotions.   There are many hazards involved.   Everybody wants instant gratification.   Nobody said that dating in mid-life is going to be easy.   (it’s easy to say this because I’m 1 month into a new relationship but before I met her, I was just as pissed off and jaded as many of you.)

  12. 132

    My friend is a regular dude from Pittsburgh. If you ask him, it turns out his parents are from Estonia and his ancestry is Estonia plus a few things. But he’s just a regular dude and that works for him.

    I’m an “Indian” guy, and a regular dude. I’m not from Pittsburgh but I’m otherwise very similar to my friend. Pretty much everyone sees me as a regular dude…except (frequently) East Coast intelligencia types and Indian women from the US. Those two group will not expect my buddy from PA to know a ton about Estonia. But, for whatever reason, I am expected to be culturally Indian.

    To be fair, US born Indian are more closely aligned to India than US born Europeans. I am not an “Indian hater” as the OP describes, but I don’t know a lot about Indian culture. My parents were not part of an US “Indian Community”. They dont do “Indian stuff”.

    I went on a date with a US born Indian girl once. It was awkward… She would say, “You know how when [insert Indian cultural tradition].” My response was to listen and ask questions out of interest. But, to her disappointment (or puzzlement), I couldn’t personally relate.

    Some US Indian women (my older sister included) have zero problem dating because they are ultra Americanized. Other US born Indian women I know do have problems online. They present as focused on their career and accomplishments in a way that can be off-putting, and there is not a lot of an ‘easygoing’ feel.

    All that said… As an Indian male, online dating is a waste of time. I’m not at all successful online. Dating coaches are white and have no experience of the problems that you or me face. I’ve live all over the country, including Philly, NYC, and Boston. Boston and Philly were the worst for dating—especially Boston which is ultimately a race-centric city. (I didn’t say racist, but it is especially race-centric.)   Dating in general was hard for me in Boston. NYC was easier but surprisingly no cake walk. California (where I am now) IS a lot easier. CA is a cake walk. So was Seattle.


    I’d suggest you move away from the northeast.

  13. 133

    How funny to read an article about a women complaining that she doesn’t get that much attention as she would wanted to from men. Because it’s usually the other way around. Women get far more attention than men do in the online dating thing. I even dare to say that an average looking girl gets more messages and attention than the an attractive guy does. Period. Girls in the online dating community have it way much easier than guys do. They can pretty much pick and choose who ever they want to date, since they a ton of messages from different guys who are desperate to get to meet her in person. Guys are the ones who put up the hard work when it comes to searching for a girl to date. I am not making this thing up at all, as I have try in several online dating sites this whole thing. Honestly, I don’t think I am that bad looking at all. I mean, I am 6’3″ in height and I usually go to workout my body at the gym. Also, some people have told me that I am actually a good looking guy. Yet, after I try setting up my profile with decent pictures of me, and a good description about me and what I want from that special someone, I received barely no messages from girls, nor replies from a ton of girls that I message to. So far three girls have message me, supposedly interested in initiating a conversation with me, but when I replied back, they don’t replied back to my messages and all of sudden disappear out of the blue. Response rate for me, is really bad to. I usually send a bunch of messages to different girls who I am interested to meet and I can safely say that on average about 30 girls who I message to, only 6 or 7 will replied back to me, with a simple “hi”. Like implying that I am not much worth of their time. And no, I am not just sending messages to really attractive girls, but also to average go looking girls who are a bit fat…. I am not looking for a super model when I do my search online. The thing about online dating for guys is that is just a simple waist of our time, as you are not going to get a date a girl if you do not meet all of their insanely and absurd criterias about who they want to meet. In other words, if you don’t look like a Hollywood movie actor, make more than 100k a year, and don’t drive a ferrari, than don’t waist your time sending a message to this self absorbed online girls as they are not going to respond back to you.

  14. 134

    Hi.   My best friend is also East Indian, and she is attractive, she dresses well, puts lots of effort into her looks, takes good care of herself.   She’s well educated, great job. She’s in decent shape.   She is 37 but was doing the whole online thing when she was 36 so I can effectively comment on this. We live in DC so a similar dating area to NYC, lots more women than men, but a diverse culture of people.      She’s a lawyer,   her pictures are great, and she has a very well written profile.  She gets maybe one man emailing her every few weeks.   She sends out   20 or more emails a month and gets no response.   I see the men she is emailing she is not being too picky or emailing only the top men.   She would like an educated man but beyond that she is not picky.   She does not have a height requirement, she likes nerdy men and is open to men of all races.   I am on the other hand, as I have commented before am 38 5’2, white with long blond hair, petite frame and big boobs. I am also a lawyer. My pictures are average. I dress well and put effort into my looks too. I could probably stand to lose about 10 pounds, I go to the gym on occasion.    I had to get off of online dating other than tinder because my inbox was so full I could not keep up with it. Forget emailing men, so many men emailed me ! Now much of it was men I would never consider dating, but it was still like 30 emails a day, and lots of nasty why won’t you respond emails.   I would email one or two men a month, most responded but if they did not I did not mind because I forgot I even emailed them.   My friend is a wonderful beautiful girl and she is NOT choosing out of her league.   I put little effort into my profile to be honest.   She spent days on hers.      I filled out the basics and must haves of course, but my two line description paled in comparison to hers.   Most of the men that did respond to her were of   East Indian descent but she is open to dating men of all races. She would date them, but they would end up   choosing someone else because they had so many other options.    Part of me wonders is it because non East Indian men are not attracted to East Indian women and East Indian men they make up a small population of online dating?   Whereas as a white woman, men of most races are attracted to me, including East Indian men?  So East Indian Women are competing with women or all races for the very small sector of online dating that is attracted to them?  Does that make sense?   Is it a racial thing?   Many East Indian men may   also attach a stigma to online dating, or they marry young as part of their culture so come age 36 they are coupled up.      I know this is really sad but from a woman’s perspective I think men just look at pictures and a little bit of profile.   I can assure you that 90% of the men never read my profile because if they did they would have never emailed me.    They were not what I was looking for, even in the sense of my basic must haves, wanting a committed relationship,   not smoking, living near me, and not being 20 years older or ten years younger.   I know Evan touts online dating, and I do believe it works for many, but for some it just does not.

  15. 135

    Hi Sayanta,

    Feel your pain. In 6 months of posting had almost no responses from online dating and no dates. Don’t know what Evan’s talking about with a seller’s market for guys at all.

    I didn’t think it would be this way as I am a tall (6’3″) guy who is fit, no obvious defects (scratch and you will find them though), from an exotic place (Alaska – we have a whole magazine called Alaska Men extolling our supposed virtues), successful (lucky in business, unlucky in love), well travelled, socially committed and reasonably eloquent. The downside I suppose is being in my upper 40s but otherwise enjoying all the demographic privileges. Work too much.

    Any response from women? – not a chance. If you want to come to Perth, Western Australia would be happy to shout you a date. Lol. Love Indian women as spent much time there on pilgrimage and as Director of an Indian company.

  16. 136

    What Lisa said.

    I think that it is not ‘evil people’, but it’s going to be tougher (way) if you are not of Caucasian European descent. I had a dating coach (as a male), and she tried to convince me of the normal-ness of ‘racial’ dating by pointing out that she herself would not take Indian people seriously as a date. She said this to console me. (By the way, she knows Evan. I don’t know Evan, but he seems to be an enlightened guy.) Anyway, I fired her. Without mincing words, she is provincial-minded and not worth my time.

    Back 100 years ago, at Ellis Island, you can’t date between Polish and Italian. That’s been resolved. But not for other races in the mix.

    I’m a good looking guy, but being Indian-looking my reception is several orders or magnitude lower than what Evan would expect of a typical male.  People are NOT prejudiced, except when it comes to dating.

    As a male, most of Evan’s advice makes sense, but for me it will not generate the same level of response. Plus, now, politically, people who look like me are from “bad” countries I know nothing about; but psychologically, in people’s eyes, there is a big hurdle for people like me. And you, OP.

    The strategy is to look for enlightened, normal people. Find places where they congregate. I’m a regular guy with a great job, I don’t do political rallies and stuff. I’m not an activist, or anything like that. I just want to hang and talk about the holidays.  Aim for the right crowds.

    Evan, please eventually comment.



  17. 137

    Suppose to be fair my profile has always said I am not looking for a long term relationship but not opposed to the idea. Female friends have told me that is a toxic thing to say as women will assume I am a player. My response is that after a 25 year relationship that ended in divorce that I am in no hurry. Being honest is important to me that way and besides, don’t you have to play to be a player? If I was a player I would tell all the women with vulnerable sounding profiles that I was looking for my one true love. In the end have had some (not a lot) of dating success through Meetup where you can actually talk to people right there and then about shared interests.

    1. 137.1
      Karl S

      Suppose to be fair my profile has always said I am not looking for a long term relationship but not opposed to the idea. Female friends have told me that is a toxic thing to say as women will assume I am a player.

      I’m similar to you in my style as a result of burning through so many relationships in the past. My expectations have grown small and my willingness to dive into something with full blown commitment has diminished. Lots of women would run away from that that, but it doesn’t make me a player.

      Fortunately I met a woman in the same emotional place from Tinder of all things. What started as a hookup evolved into a deeper relationship and what made it work was that she was endlessness patient with my needs (I wasn’t ready to call it a relationship for almost 6 months). I gradually realized she was the best person I could have found, but that wouldn’t have happened if she’d put pressure on me or judged me for being where I was emotionally. In fact, she admired my honesty. I guess at the same time I was showing her I cared by making dates often, responding to texts and acting like a boyfriend in potentia even though I couldn’t say it definitively.

      I think, when it comes to love, you can only be honest about who you are and just keep rolling the dice.

      1. 137.1.1

        Hi Karl,

        Something similar actually started to happen to me, although I’m still of two minds. My experience with a very long marriage is that is a constant struggle that got worse and worse, despite a lot of effort, until both of us couldn’t face each other anymore.   When I look back at being in a marriage, or even think of being in a long term marriage, it makes me shiver.

        This doesn’t mean I don’t want, or can’t give, love. And certainly the biological imperative makes it hard to stay away from all that.

        When I was married at 24 I jumped right into things and committed with hardly a second thought. But now, with 2 kids I am responsible for, the feelings would need to be very mutually compelling and what we wanted in life to be very much in alignment for me to consider committing myself to one person again.

        Then  again  there is the problem of biology which often keeps me up at night. Wish I could be a player – it might be more healthy.   Still have a huge monogamy value system despite all this, but for my mental health it might be better to have a few girlfriends   on the go so wouldn’t tend to get so emotionally invested in any particular one.

  18. 138
    Mike Roybal

    Hello thanks for posting your help with This young lady. Anyway I am a 55 year old Spanish mix male and I also am having a hard time with on line dating, women that even are not that attractive turn me down and I now figured its better to meet someone the old fashion way in person. Thanks again I can see you are great at helping people with finding a mate

  19. 139

    I’ve tried everything from getting a makeover straight down to letting my bestfriend who happens to be female make my profile for me and for 6 years now I have not received any messages or replies to messages I sent out. Worst part is got less views on my online profiles when I had pictures up.

    So now I’ve decided on a new approach to dating. Not dating and learning to love being single and trying not to feel lonely.
    I have read or been told advice on my problem and listened to the advice, still nothing works.

    1. 139.1

      Google “YouTube Sandman”    It will make you feel better about being single.

  20. 140

    So if it is that a woman is not as attractive as she thinks she is or that race or age is a defect… Why should she subject herself to the brutal reality of on-line dating?   If a person can or change their inherent appearance, race, age, then what’s to be gained from the constant rejection?   Acceptance of inadequacy? Antidepressants?   I think on-line dating just isn’t the answer for everyone. It stopped working for me because of my age.   I had most of the same pics and profile that I did at 38, but the interest level went from 75% to 5%.      I was initially unhappy but I know I’m amazing. Somethings wrong with this new dating system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *