, Salem, MA


March 12, 2013

Dear Abby: Readers offer advice for those discouraged by online dating


:Settled Down in Illinois

:Dear Abby: How long does one have to wait before determining the person isn’t interested or just hasn’t had the chance to respond? Many sites offer a simple button push that sends a message saying you are not interested. It appears that people are simply taking the easy way out without any concern for others. And unfortunately, this doesn’t happen only in online dating.

:David in St. Louis

:Dear Abby: I’d like to suggest that “Dateless” consider that many people don’t check their dating site often — or ever. I signed up on a site in August and stopped looking at it in October. Then I forgot my password and could never look again.

:Over it in Tampa

:Dear Abby: Sadly for “Dateless,” many of us women who are also attempting online dating have learned the hard way that any response can quickly encourage a stalker who emails us or sends instant messages relentlessly.

I consider myself to be a courteous person with Midwestern values, and I tried (initially) to politely respond to everyone one way or the other. It became exhausting because many of the men I sent a polite “no, thank you” to began demanding explanations, taking my reply as a “maybe” or insulting me for being stuck-up (and the communication quickly grew uglier from there).

So please tell “Dateless” that it’s nothing personal — we’re just trying to avoid drama.

:Pam in Phoenix


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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