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Specific issues

Hello … Goodbye

You get a nice contact request, but don’t want to rush your answer … and a couple of days later, before you’ve had a chance to respond, the member in question takes you off their list. This happened several times to Anita (35). Is there a case for slowing down the online dating process?

Hello … Goodbye

“Dear PARSHIP

It’s happened to me several times that members have made contact with me and, before I know it, they’ve taken me off their list. People should realise that if they don’t get an answer straight away it could be because the other person is under a lot of pressure at work. There’s no need to press the ‘delete’ button - whether on impulse or because you’ve got the hump about having to wait for a response. The other day I took two-and-a-half days to reply to someone – not an excessive amount of time - and, just as I was sitting down to write to him properly, I found out he’d deleted me from his list …” Anita (35), teacher

Dear Anita

Things move fast on the Internet, and that can lead people to impatience and unrealistic expectations. Some people start to think it’s better to bring things to an end rather than possibly receive a rejection or simply wait. It’s actually very easy to break off contact. (What’s harder is to maintain it!) But people who rush to click on the ‘say goodbye’ button, are compromising their chances.

Mistaken assumptions

Some members seem to think they can see what’s going on in front of other people’s computers …”He’s logged in and hasn’t even read my contact request.” Well, PARSHIP might tell you when the other has logged in, but the service doesn’t tell you whether your contact request has already been read. (If, however, you are sending messages to each other via your PARSHIP mailbox, you will know when one of your messages has been read.) If the other member last logged in after you sent your contact request, the chances are that he or she has read it; you might be disappointed not to see him or her on the list of visitors to your profile, but remember that it is possible to make unrecorded visits - so don’t jump to conclusions about that either.

Looking for an answer

There are all kinds of reasons why someone doesn’t react straight away … they might be away on holiday, or sick - or maybe they took a quick look at a message at work and would prefer to wait till the weekend to answer it. Maybe they have lots of contact requests - that frequently happens to new members in particular - and it is taking time to go through them. Perhaps they are so excited about one message in particular that they don’t quite trust themselves to respond.

Whatever the case, don’t resort to guesswork - you will just create tension and pressure. There are, of course, people who simply don’t answer and who will delete you sooner or later because they prefer to keep their list on the short side. But wait for at least a week - ideally longer - before you write off an unanswered contact request, and don’t feel that the lack of a response is any negative reflection on you. Remember too that something could still come of it.

As for Anita, she should remind herself that if men don’t get back to her, it’s their problem. If they’re struggling with a 10-day backlog of messages, they really need to get themselves sorted! It can be hard to juggle lots of correspondence, but it’s still worth sending a quick message to acknowledge receipt of a contact request.

No PARSHIP member should feel under pressure to make a quick decision either. After all, if you went to a party, you wouldn’t talk to just one person, and there’s so much more you can find out about any of your recommended partners - even if you have already seen their full PARSHIP profile. It’s worth having several mailboxes on the go - you could be pleasantly surprised by what develops.

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