Why playing mean won’t keep ‘em keen


Treat em mean

We conducted some independent research amongst members and found that the vast majority of people want matches to be upfront, honest and available. If they sense that their approach to a match isn’t welcome or the interest isn’t mutual, most members will move onto someone else rather than wait around.

It wasn’t long ago that people used to advise women to wait three days before returning contact, but those three days could cost you the person’s interest. With the majority of people now having daily access to emails, it’s natural to assume that you’ve been giving the brush-off if you don’t hear from someone for three days.

Sensitivity of online dating

Online dating is different to dating in other walks of life. When you meet someone in person you can rely on non-verbal clues to tell you whether they’re interested, whereas online – you only have the written word.

People will read between the lines to look for signs that the other person is interested before they proceed. No-one likes to be rejected, so all contact is scrutinised for evidence of mutual interest. eHarmony’s relationship expert, Jenni Trent Hughes, says “Go for the person you like who likes you back in equal measure. Anything else is a colossal waste of time.” Equal measure is shown through returned calls, messages that are similar in tone and length to yours, and a willingness to meet up.

More choice and less time

People are busy. One of the reasons someone may be online dating is that they don’t have time to meet and engage with people who aren’t seriously interested in having a relationship. The popularity of online dating is continually growing, with an estimated two billion people worldwide having tried it. Its popularity means that there are far more potential matches for everyone so for your best chance of success, you need to be upfront and clear about your interest in someone. If you aren’t, someone else might be and you could lose out on good potential partners because you didn’t give the impression you were really interested.

Online dating isn’t a game and therefore doesn’t need strategies or manoeuvres. The majority of members are sincere in their attempts to find a new relationship and they’re looking for someone who feels the same, not a game player.

Scaring them away

Some people are afraid of scaring someone away by telling them too soon that they enjoy their company or are attracted to them. This is a myth and one worth letting go of. Yes it’s important not to come on too strong (save the ‘L’ word until you have really formed a strong connection), but there’s nothing wrong with telling someone you like them and would like to see them again. It may make you feel vulnerable as you open yourself to possible rejection, but it’s better than holding back and later regretting it. Everyone appreciates validation. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel. A perceived lack of interest is more likely to scare a match away.


When we are dating we are exposing the vulnerable, emotional part of ourselves. If you have been hurt in the past it is perfectly natural to want to protect yourself from being hurt again. The antidote isn’t to hold back but to build some resilience. Try to accept that rejection is an inevitable part of the process and be grateful for the opportunity to try new skills, even with matches who seem less than perfect. You might have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince or princess, but the more you do it the more confident you’ll get, and clearer you’ll be about what you really want in a partner.

If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try eharmony today!

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