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They are interested. Why don't they respond?
September 28, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Someone "chose" me (rated 4 or 5 stars) on OKCupid. What should be my next move?

I'm a relatively experienced OKCupid user. I've been on it for a while now, and have exchanged plenty of messages - some resulting in dates, some not, with the dates never turning into a relationship. I'm pretty good with "first messages" (e.g. saying something interesting and different in a first contact message that may pique the other person's interest and get a response).

However, I'm not sure what to do after someone "chooses" me - rates me as 4 or 5 stars. I always just look at their profile, and if I like it, send the same sort of "first contact" message I would send as if I didn't know they "chose" me (i.e. I do not say anything like "Hey, saw you "chose" me! I like you too! Haha!).

My thought is that it should be EASIER to get someone to respond after they "choose" you, since it shows they are already interested in you, but I don't think anyone has ever responded to my message after they "chose" me. Weird!

So, this girl with a really awesome profile just "chose" me. What should I do?? "Choose" her back? Reference the choosing in a message?

(Side question: Why do people "choose" people? Why not just message them? Maybe answering this question is key to answering the first question...)
posted by 3FLryan to Human Relations (26 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Hey, looks like you have good taste in guys! I think you're cute too. What's up?"
posted by meadowlark lime at 11:14 AM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


In the time it took you to speculate as to the motives of this person, consider website etiquette and type up and post this question, you could've messaged her with "hey, so I noticed you like books, I like books too" and made yourself a late lunch.
posted by griphus at 11:15 AM on September 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Side answer: Well, "cowardice" is too strong a word, though it was my original answer. But "fear of rejection/putting it out there but not making the commitment of a 'real message' to protect ego" is probably pretty close.

That said, as harsh as it may sound, does not mean I think you shouldn't contact this person. A lot of great people were equally cowardly when they were doing the online dating thing. *raises hand sheepishly*
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:15 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Choose her back, and then send a message. Bam. That is how my boyfriend and I met!
posted by quadrilaterals at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't think it really matters exactly what you write unless you say something particularly egregious in your message.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:17 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the reason that people don't respond is because 'choosing' is actually a lower-risk first contact than messaging, so it's not necessarily the same as sending a message and actually getting rejected. So if you message and you turn out not to be what they were imagining, they don't feel the need to respond. That was my theory when I used it.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 11:18 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


OKC asks users to rate people. Not always, but there are times when I've looked at the site and gotten the "look at this user! rate their profile!" message and sometimes in the right(?) frame of mind you can browse and rate several profiles before you realize you've killed half an hour already.

It rarely results in any further connection and I wonder if OKC just does that to collect data on the types of profiles that people rate high or low. But if someone rates me highly, and I like their profile, I'll shoot them a note. Doesn't hurt.
posted by bunderful at 11:22 AM on September 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Side question: Why do people "choose" people? Why not just message them? Maybe answering this question is key to answering the first question...)

Quickmatch. You know the Quickmatch feature? It shows you profiles one by one and has you rate them with the star ratings. It is easy to mindlessly rate dozens and dozens of people in one sitting, with no more thought given to each individual profile than to the quiz questions. These girls may or may not even remember rating you. All you know is that, at a glance, they liked you more than the average dude on the site.

What should I do??

Stop freaking out. OKCupid is the lowest-stakes form of dating imaginable. Just keep messaging people you like and don't worry one single bit about the people who don't respond.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:23 AM on September 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


Oh, honey, you are SO overthinking this.

I'm not sure what to do after someone "chooses" me - rates me as 4 or 5 stars. I always just look at their profile, and if I like it, send the same sort of "first contact" message I would send as if I didn't know they "chose" me (i.e. I do not say anything like "Hey, saw you "chose" me! I like you too! Haha!).

I don't see any reason why you need to change the game plan here.

Why do people "choose" people? Why not just message them?

They're shy? They didn't think you'd notice? They meant to write and forgot? Seriously, there are a ton of reasons, none of which should impact what you think of their profile (think about it - would you be putting ANYWHERE near this much mental energy into figuring out "whaddoIdo" if you didn't like her profile?).

Do whatever you want. Respond or don't. Whatever you like.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:34 AM on September 28, 2012


Oh believe me, I am far from freaking out, and I can't imagine a scenario for which "high stakes dating" is an apt descriptor - I just thought there might be a social more to being "chosen" of which I wasn't aware. Plus, I like to be expressive when I write :)

Just to be clear, this was a question about an unexpected pattern, not a single instance, which is why I thought I might be doing something "wrong".

Looks like I will just carry on as usual. Thanks everyone.
posted by 3FLryan at 11:36 AM on September 28, 2012


Also, with Quickmatch they tell you that one of 9 guys rated you highly -- and if you rate him a 4 or 5, they'll let you both know. So you may be in the Quickmatch rotation of girls who are rating everyone decent a 4 or 5 so they can find out who picked them.
(presumably works with the genders switched up as well, but for the sake of convenience etc.)
posted by katemonster at 11:43 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would consider sending a message that only said I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU but I am admittedly pretty crap at normal human interaction.
posted by elizardbits at 11:46 AM on September 28, 2012 [31 favorites]


Choosing people is something you do casually as a way of flicking through profiles. It's meaningless, and it doesn't mean they're choosing you, it mostly just means they don't hate your profile.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:53 AM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would consider sending a message that only said I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU but I am admittedly pretty crap at normal human interaction.

That would make me snort and respond.

---

Nthing Choose her and send her a message. Got nothing to lose. Good luck!
posted by PlutoniumX at 12:05 PM on September 28, 2012


(Side question: Why do people "choose" people? Why not just message them? Maybe answering this question is key to answering the first question...)

Quickmatch. You know the Quickmatch feature? It shows you profiles one by one and has you rate them with the star ratings. It is easy to mindlessly rate dozens and dozens of people in one sitting, with no more thought given to each individual profile than to the quiz questions. These girls may or may not even remember rating you. All you know is that, at a glance, they liked you more than the average dude on the site.


Yes, this is completely because of Quickmatch.
posted by sweetkid at 12:13 PM on September 28, 2012


Here's how the dance usually works for me. A gets a message that B chose him/her. A looks at B's profile and decides whether or not they are interested. If yes, then A can also give B 4/5 stars, so that B then receives the "I choose you' message in return. Then A and B dance around messaging each other (if they both actually want to) for a day or three, to seem coy/aloof whatever, then someone breaks down and messages the other. I would say that in the experience of my female friends and myself we do the star-choose thing for one of two reasons: 1) as mentioned above, we were bored and felt like rating dudes after a few drinks late at night. or 2) We are interested, want the fella to know that we are interested, and are following heteronormative gender roles in which we wait to be pursued (i.e. wait for a message).
So, star her back, then send her a message the next day. If she responds, then it was action #2 for her. If she doesn't respond, it was action #1 for her. Good luck!
posted by greta simone at 12:14 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anecdata, I met my partner of a half dozen plus years online - still makes people incredulous when they hear it. Just keep being friendly, not too engaged in the first message, and sincere! Good luck. Personally I wouldn't mention the choosing stuff either.
posted by arnicae at 1:23 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It either means she is interested or she rated you highly for some other reason, such as initially thinking you were cute without carefully examining your profile. You sort of just have to proceed as normal.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:36 PM on September 28, 2012


Online dating is a numbers game. Every rejection or non-response brings you one step closer to an actual date. Try not to read too much into these site features. Send this one a brief but clever intro. If it doesn't kick off a conversation, move on.
posted by Hylas at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you both rate each other highly, you'll both get a message from OKcupid to that effect, saying hey - you guys should message.

So thinking about it in that light, maybe rate her highly and then send your message. That way, OKcupid reminds her that she liked something in you, so she's more likely to take a look at your message/profile than if you don't rate her and and she doesn't get a note from OKcupid and your message can look like any other unsolicited message coming in.
posted by anonymisc at 3:30 PM on September 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dont chose her back, write to her!
posted by pakora1 at 5:14 PM on September 28, 2012


If you want to increase your chances of getting a reply, lead off with a question about something in their profile you find interesting. This, as I have determined through a lot of data gathering, does not often lead to a date, but at the very least it demonstrates that you're interested in something about them. Also if they happen to be awkward or shy it gives them a preset conversation topic to fall back on. Best of luck!
posted by mcrandello at 6:00 PM on September 28, 2012


I actually used to use the ratings system as a way of saving users whose profiles I wanted to come back and look at later. This was before OKC allowed a user to "favorite" another user without notifying that user. Four stars meant "take a look at this profile again;" five stars meant "start mentally composing a message to this user."

Point being that OKCupid is software, and everyone uses software differently. Remember how long it took for a decent etiquette around Facebook's "like" button to arise? And still, people "like" a thing on Facebook for baffling reasons (like those people who "like" bad news statuses, for instance.)
posted by eustacescrubb at 9:10 PM on September 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got a couple of these when I used OKCupid back in the ancient times, and they never went anywhere. I expect most of them don't, it's the only equivalent of a passing "how YOU doin?"

I did once receive a "burn" notification, which I laughed off and ignored. The other person, however, who by necessity also gave me a 1 or 2 star rating, got REALLY angry and sent me a long embarrassing email telling me what a jerk I was. So I guess "don't do that" would be my advice.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:24 AM on September 29, 2012


I met Mr. Sal and Richard on OKC. Katemonster described it perfectly above. OKC would send me a "hey, one of these 9 rated you 4 or 5 stars. I'd then rate everyone on the list 4 or 5 to see who picked me. Sometimes they or I would write and start a conversation, and other times I'd say "ick." If you like her profile drop her a note and don't mention the rating.
posted by Sal and Richard at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2012


with Quickmatch they tell you that one of 9 guys rated you highly

I'm pretty sure they changed this recently and now send an email telling you that one specific user gave you 4 or 5 stars.


BTW, with those old emails, there was a way to game the system and figure out who it was. I can't remember the exact details, but somehow different people showed up when I read the email on my phone vs. on my laptop, and the one that showed up in both was obviously the one who'd rated me highly.
posted by needs more cowbell at 6:25 PM on September 29, 2012


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