If you’ve been dating online for any length of time, you will have come across a few people that are too eager, or too persistent, or even over familiar. It’s not about restraining your eagerness, or not pursuing someone, or avoiding building a rapport.
It is about striving for a balance because the reality is that, if you don’t keep certain things in check, somebody, somewhere, may be describing you as a pest, desperado, or even stalker. Here are three actions that are likely to rub someone up the wrong way or have you marked in the pest category.
1. Sending a flurry of winks and emails based on seeing a profile (no response yet)
I’m delighted for you – you’ve found a profile that excites you and you want to stake your claim before someone else does, so you send a flurry of emails and winks to bring yourself to their attention.
The trouble is that regardless of whatever wonderful qualities you claim to have and the wondrous message that may be contained within those emails, they may never get opened because you seem a little desperate, over eager, and are actually behaving a little disproportionately to what has actually happened.
You have seen a profile! Send an email with a great catchy title or something and do the job of fifteen emails with one!
2. Sending terse emails after not getting a response to an initial email
I know it’s annoying not to get a response but I want to bring you back to reality with a bump. You saw a profile, you liked it, you got in touch. Don’t assume that by sending an email that you are entitled to a response. If you’ve been building sandcastles in the sky and fantasizing about a fairy tale ending with the recipient, you’ve set yourself up for a fall because so far, this whole thing is in your head!
Sometimes people are busy but intend to respond. Sometimes people are so overwhelmed with responses that they don’t even get a chance to reply. In an ideal world, people would respond to every message but it’s a bit like sending rejection emails for job applications, and to be honest, isn’t a rejection email a bit unnecessary?
Slow your roll. If you get a response, great. If you don’t, move on! Unless you’re on a teeny tiny dating site, there are other people! Don’t bank on one horse until you know there is a horse!
3. Making a flurry of communication after exchanging emails
Great, you’ve actually made contact with someone, exchanged email addresses and mobile numbers. The worst thing you could do right now is to send text after text, or emails trying to downplay your eagerness and desperation but actually seeming even MORE desperate! You know the emails I’m talking about:
“I know I’ve sent you several emails already but I’m not being a pest and I don’t want you thinking I’m desperate. It’s just that I sent you a couple of emails but I haven’t heard from you. There’s no pressure for you to respond….”
For a start, just because YOU decide you’re not a pest doesn’t mean you aren’t. Just because YOU decide your actions aren’t desperate does not mean that they aren’t!
Sending several emails and texts, or even leaving voice mail messages when you’ve had no response yet from someone you hardly know is borderline, if not full on pest behavior. What if they are out? What if they are nursing their sick grandmother on their death bed? What if, they see all of these emails, texts, and voice mails and feel a bit scared that they have unleashed a bit of a psycho?
Always remember the 3 P’s of avoiding being an online dating pest:
Patience, Proportion, and Persistence Control.
It doesn’t kill you to wait for a response to your initial contact – whatever you do, don’t send more than one email until you have a had a response.
Don’t get this online dating lark twisted. There are potentially thousands, if not millions of people on these websites and whilst I appreciate that you want to get a date, you need to keep things in perspective and proportion.
Don’t inflate the fact that you got in touch with someone into more than what it is because nobody ‘owes’ you a reply and if you get carried away every time you make contact with someone, you won’t get very far!
And whilst I admire some people’s very thick skin that’s comparable to hide of a rhino, there is persistence in terms of staying the course with online dating even with some negative experiences, and then there is persistence in the form of not knowing when to back off, or refusing to take silence for answer.