Waste of Time: To Reply or Not to Reply?

You know, I can understand someone not being interested in talking to me. There are plenty of people with whom I have no interest in talking and it's not because I think there's anything wrong with them, necessarily. It's that I think we're incompatible in some way. Since that's how I feel, I don't take it personally when someone doesn't reply to my ice-breaker message on a chat app. I just move on. Hell, most of the time, I've forgotten that I even messaged them. Admittedly, I message a lot of guys and only a small fraction of them ever reply. Those who reply get my attention. Those who don't, don't.

A Conversation in Scruff

What I may never understand are the guys who reply to my messages but clearly have no interest in talking to me. They give the bare minimum of a reply and do nothing to move the conversation along. Now, I may only start off with "How's it going?" but I'm not about to go into a lengthy monologue for an initial message to someone. For one, that seems weird to me when someone writes a full paragraph on a hookup app. If they do that on OkCupid, that's cool. I like that. If they do it on Grindr or Tinder, or some similar app, I assume it's copied and pasted to every guy they're interested in. Why? Because Grindr, at least, gives you nothing to go on in order to write a personalized message most of the time. You have maybe a sentence or two in their About section to go on, and that's rarely enough. But really, I simply don't want to waste my time sending a lengthy message to someone when the odds are most likely that I will not get a reply at all.

You could argue that it's because I don't write lengthy initial messages that I don't get replies. To respond to that, I'd refer you to the many guys who do just that and get very few replies. Some of us on these apps are the pursuers, and the rest are the pursued. The pursued get flooded with messages and simply ignore those messages from people they aren't interested in. The pursuers oftentimes have to flood the market of potential mates in order to get a reply. It's just the way it is.

But, as I was saying, the thing that I don't understand is when someone will reply to a message when it's obvious that they have no interest in talking to me. They'll give one-word responses and make no effort to move the conversation along. Why reply at all? Why not just say, "Sorry, I'm not interested"?

I think some of these guys reply because they feel it's rude not to. But then they'll often just stop talking to you after a few messages are exchanged, which is just deferring the rudeness, if you want to call a lack of reply "rude." Personally, I think it's more rude to be replied to once or twice and then be ignored.

If the problem is that they don't like the small talk which is the typical beginning to a conversation, well, then they should probably learn how human interaction usually works. Very few times will someone walk up to you and launch into a monologue about their opinions on life, etc. No, what people do is start with small talk: How are you? What are you up to? Hello.

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If I send you one of those greetings and you reply, you're giving a hint that you might be interested. So, if you're not interested, why are you replying? If I ask you, "How's it going?" and your reply is "It's going" and nothing else, I'm bored by you, which I imagine is your intention anyway. With that less-than-engaging response, you're indicating you're bored with me. Fine. I don't care that you're bored by me. What I care about is the fact that my phone gave me a notification of a message. I stopped what I was doing to open the app, wait for it to load, then wait for your message to load, only to see "It's going." You've fucking wasted my time.

This is when I get passive-aggressive. I'd apologize for my immature behavior of being passive-aggressive, but I don't give a flying fuck. I'll usually just reply with some snarky remark which kind of points out the fact that I'm aware that they're not even trying, without explicitly pointing it out. Oddly enough, though, this has managed to draw the guy out of their shell on more than one occasion, and resulted in an actual conversation. Most of the time, though, the conversation just dies. Quite frankly, though, the conversation should have been aborted long before that point.

Here's what you should do when you get a message from someone you're not interested in. And these are the only acceptable actions, in my opinion:

  1. Ignore the message. Just don't fucking reply.
  2. Reply to the person, thanking them for their message, but politely let them know that you're not interested.
  3. Block the person.

No other actions are acceptable. None. Don't be a rude prick and tell the person to fuck off, unless they've said "Hi" to you 47 times in a row. That person not meeting your standards or being your type doesn't make them worthy of your derision. And don't reply with boring-ass conversation killers. Man-up... or woman-up, and be a fucking adult. Be engaging, for fuck's sake. In the beginning of the conversation, reply to all questions with an answer and a question of your own. This is how you quickly start to gauge each other's personalities and interest. This is how you have a conversation. Learn this skill. It's important in life. You can't go through life grunting like a Neanderthal when someone is talking to you. Use your words!