Q&A: Do Girls Expect Guys to Do the Work Online?

Hamish asks:

You said "I decided to NEVER email any guys." Does this strategy work? Is it good? Do girls generally expect the guys to do the contacting on dating sites?

During my second go-around on OkCupid, it's true I don't email men**. Never in my two years on the site before did I get positive responses from men that I messaged first. 

My theory is that despite it being modern times and all, old fashioned courtship rules still apply. Men like to chase women. As a result, they do have to send out many more messages while the women get to pick and choose. It's nature played out virtually. Sorry, dudes, we get to choose. 

Truth be told, women get many more messages than men but mostly from creepy older men, hot younger men saying lewd things, or plain boring men who we don't find attractive or some bad combination of these. It isn't a picnic for us either.

All of my guy friends have said that they get about a 10% return rate on messages. That means men need to send out ten messages for every one response they receive. Considering OkCupid is free you have nothing to lose so email away with wild abandon.

Keep the messages short but always mention something in the woman's profile that you liked or have in common. Don't just say "Thought you were cute." We already understand that because you wouldn't be emailing us if you thought we were hideous.  

Don't cut and paste a generic first message. WE CAN TELL!  We won't feel special and we definitely will not reply. Be honest, be genuine and be prepared for a lot of unreturned messages.

But in the end you don't need a million responses, you just need one or two to set up some dates. So, Hamish, go forth and online date! And please keep us updated on how it's going.

**Before I wrote this I sent two messages to men as a test. Two weeks later - never heard back. See?