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

a woman suffering from an intense headache

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. 141

    There are just so many factors, it’s impossible to pinpoint any single issue. In my case, I’m a SBF, pretty, highly educated, size 4. I was raised in a very conservative, upper middle class home, so I prefer Christian, conservative, successful men, which primarily means white. I am not skinny and get a lot of messages, but rarely from my target demographic.

  2. 142

    #37 – thanks for this. For as much as people seem to bag on overweight and unattractive women in the online dating world, i see many of these women IRL that are married or in serious relationships. #40 – surgery is only for those that can afford the procedures and then maintaintenance/ upkeep. To say that option is open to all women is ridiculous. Not to mention that many don’t want to have their faces sliced up like a turkey.

  3. 143
    Jerusha Walker

    If 80% of women assessed the men put up by OkCupid as varying levels of attractive, then maybe it’s the 80% of women who are correct not the men who selected those 5 profiles?

    Anyway it didn’t suggest normal women get plenty of attention. It said that 33% of women get 66% of male attention. Not much for the rest to share! (And do we know those women selected for rating were a fair representation?)


    As for dating online I agree race and age, unfortunately present a barrier. As a 36 year old, barely average black woman I had to stop online dating. Maybe the woman in the OP can find better options out there too?

  4. 144

    Well since most single women are very picky now when it comes to finding love which many of these women nowadays expect their knight in shinning armor to come and sweep them off their feet.   Most women just can’t settle for a plain ordinary good single man anymore since most of these women do want the very best of all and will never settle for less either since they’re without a doubt very greedy, selfish, spoiled, and very money hungry as well unfortunately.   I will certainly guess that many of the women now are looking for a doctor, lawyer,   or a man that really has his own business that makes mega bucks altogether since it is all about the money now for the women of today which makes them very sad and pathetic now more than ever.   And the women of years ago were certainly nothing at all like today which made it very easy for the men in those days that were really looking for love since they really had no trouble at all either finding it.   It is very obvious why many of us men today can’t find love at all these days, especially with the kind of women that are out there now which tells the whole true story right there.

  5. 145

    We can’t really judge, we’ve not seen her profile. If she has photos where she’s not smiling that will lower the response rate as will professional photos as it will make men suspicious.

  6. 146

    Sounds familiar to me. I’ve been doing online dating for nearly 5 years and it still hasn’t worked out. It seems the older you get, the harder it becomes.

    After turning 30, I noticed that the number of men wanting to contact me online has shrunk by nearly half.

    Seems like men in late 30s and 40s prefer women who are 25 or younger.

  7. 147

    I tried online dating in my early 30s and was never hurting for responses from any site I used. I’m petite and pretty (and could pass for 14, which helps :D).

    One problem that is relevant here is that many people who believe themselves to want something serious have a long list of irrelevant criteria, and online dating facilitates their unreasonable expectations. This is not directed at the OP, but at many dating website users in general (not counting the people who troll for sex of course, which make up a large portion of dating website users by my experiences).

    Dating website users need to be realistic. Be open to dating an older person or someone who has children. Be open to shorter men or heavier women. You’re not on a dating website because you’re a “hot chick” or super handsome: If you were, then you’d have no problem attracting people in person. (As an attractive woman, I can attest to this, which is why I got off the websites. Didn’t need them after all; just needed to get out more.) Contrary to some comments here, I’m not buying that there’s too much competition from “hot chicks.” Baloney. It’s hyper-pickiness.

    Also, the OP may have a poor attitude towards dating or men that shows in her profile. However, again based on my experiences, I’m placing more stock in the pickiness that online dating encourages.

  8. 148

    I’m a South Asian girl as well in my thirties not single anymore, but engaged to a man I love.   I’m fairly tall (5’7″) and thin (110 lbs).   In my single days, I lived in Columbus and Nashville for a bit and was on okcupid for a stint.   I got messages left and right from EVERY race of men, attractive and unattractive, educated, and uneducated..   Many were interested in forming serious relationships with me.    In fact I received more messages than my white girlfriends who were on okcupid.

    I was briefly in New York for work for a bit and switched my okcupid location to see what’s up… NOTHING..   Ladies, let’s get real. New York has a gender crisis and a vanity on crack crisis (amongst a bunch of other crises)… You’re competing in a location with limited men and many attractive women (model types)..   You’re also competing for crap men who either want a trophy wife, or they are so hipster and cucked to the point of no return that they dismiss all traditions including relationships with women..

    Location matters, so do aesthetics.    Believe it or not, liberal American cities don’t have much to offer for women who seek relationships… Liberal males (especially white liberal males since they’re the majority) aren’t interested in healthy monogamous relationships.    It’s the traditional males that seek a committed relationship.

    For the record, I’m a 34 year old South Asian female with a MBA now engaged to a 35 year old Russian male who also holds a MBA and is a VP of a small tech firm.   We met in Nashville in a book festival.   We are respectful towards each other, have realistic expectations, and are aware of the social environment we’re in.   It worked out amazingly.   

    Best of luck with your search




    Problem with most American born Indian women who live in cities like New York is they’re vehemently against men with tradition.   They dismiss them as “misogynistic”…..

  9. 149


    Help me out. If a lady that is a 1 or 2 is rejecting me. What do you think the problem is?

    1. 149.1


      Help me out. If a lady that is a 1 or 2 is rejecting me. What do you think the problem is?”

      Lol. The problem might be that you’re a 0.5 shooting out of your league;)

      1. 149.1.1

        Nice, Shaukat.

        R, another possibility is that they’re picking up on you thinking of them as ‘1s or 2s’ and don’t want to be some guy’s ugly-girl booty call.

    2. 149.2

      Maybe she thinks your are out of her league and that you are just “dating down” for “easy booty”.

  10. 150

    Nice, Shaukat.

    R, another possibility is that they’re picking up on you thinking of them as ‘1s or 2s’ and don’t want to be some guy’s ugly-girl booty call.

  11. 151

    I am 22 year old male … I am attractive and have an ok personality. I tried online dating with match and tinder and probably sent out 5-10 messages per day for 2-3 months and got 0 replies. I have never been on a date before I suck at meeting people for some reason. Online dating just does not seem to work out for most people. At least it has not worked out for me. I deleted match and tinder and downloaded some other dating apps and will see if they work out I guess.

  12. 152

    I remember being 22, and thinking that having a girlfriend was the single most important thing in the world. I remember all the wasted time, and money I spent on that endeavor. But, the reality is, there are much more important things to do. Find interesting hobbies. YES! That is the most important thing to do right now.

    Some of these you may have already done, but if not, give serious consideration to it.

    Learn to play the guitar, or another musical instrument. Join a band after a few years, or start your own.

    Develop a hobby that gets you out into nature. It clears your mind, and settles you in ways you can’t imagine. Hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, rock/mountain climbing, etc…

    Skydiving, scuba diving, etc…

    Fixing up old hotrods and racing them at the local drag strip.

    Develop skills through more education.

    Find things that you enjoy, and can be good at. This gives many benefits. It occupies your time, for one thing. It also, naturally enlarges your circle of friends as you develop new friends with the same interests. And, as a side benefit, it makes you more attractive to women. They see many men around them. What makes any one of them stand out? What talents do you have that make you stand out to them? Do they see you as a loner, or somebody with a healthy circle of friends? Most women aren’t interested in hermits and loners.

    This develops your personality more, as it will give you a natural sense of confidence that isn’t faked..and you may not even be aware of it as it develops. It will just be there. As you noted yourself…you have an OK personality. Sounds like the place to start. But these things take time. Find areas in your life that are taking up time, but not adding value to your life, and replace them with things that do.

    Eventually, you will find a woman who is a good match for you. Find one who has a pleasant personality. One that is calm, and sweet. Stay away from the drama queens. Don’t let desperation drive you into the arms of a woman who is a wreck…and most are She will make a wreck of your life, and you will regret meeting her.

  13. 153

    Even the fat girl wants to marry the prince. That is a lot of what the whole body positivity movement is about. Being “good enough” even while being obese. While we should all agree that people should not be treated unkindly, or belittled for being overweight or obese, it is unreasonable to think that the top percentages of men…men who are in shape, should ignore it when a woman is not. Men and women are no different…they both want to find the best they can get.

    The reality is that those girls who are 1s and 2s, are likely to end up old cat ladies, if they continue to reject their peers. The top 30% of men aren’t going to marry them.

    Women are more confused about who their peers are, than at any other time in history, and this is 100% due to the sexual revolution, and the fact that men will sleep down..way down…and even shack up with women well below them.

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