Online Dating Response Rates from a Guy's Perspective

Online Dating Response Rates from a Guy's Perspective

I did a little online dating experiment to see what response rate I would get. In this take I'll share my experiment and the results.


-Online dating is bullshit.


-If less than 10% of women respond then online dating is crap.

-If more than 10% of women respond then online dating may not be crap.


-Before starting, create and update my profile as best as I can but then do not change it throughout the experiment.

-Website used:

-Location used: Ontario, Canada (i.e. only messaged girls in this area)

-Message 100 different women with a short message such as “hello” and use the same message for each girl. (Footnote: had to vary the messages slightly as pof would not let me do too many repeat, copy&paste style messages)

-Wait one week and then count how many women responded.

Further Research:

-For those that do respond, see if they would carry on a conversation and for how long they would carry on a conversation.


-To avoid messaging the same person twice I had to record usernames, but I won't share that here. I had a chart of usernames, day that I messaged them, and whether or not they responded.

Online Dating Response Rates from a Guy's Perspective


Over the course of two days I messaged 100 girls. My overall response rate was 9%, which by my parameters would mean that online dating is bullshit.

Interestingly, the response rate from the first 50 was 6% but for the second 50 it was 12%. To message more people, and meet my target of 100, I had to lower my standards - which means that as you lower your standards your response rate will increase.

For those that did respond, the highest number of responses I got from a single girl was 4 - still not much of a conversation. For the first half my average number of responses (from 3 people) was 1.33. For the second half my average number of responses (from 6 people) was 2.17. So while my initial response rate increased upon lowering my standards, the extent of conversation did not increase substantially.


-In my experiment I should have also included response latency. Maybe next time I'll do that, if I make another experiment out of it.

-Do you think that a response rate of 9% is high or low for a guy?

-Is it worth lowering your standards to get a higher response rate?

-Were there any flaws to my methodology? If yes, then how would you do the experiment differently?

-What are your experiences with online dating?

Online Dating Response Rates from a Guy's Perspective
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Most Helpful Girl

  • WillowTree
    First off, PoF is Plenty of Shit in the first place. Not the best site if you're looking for quality. It's ideal for hookups though... not that I'd... know anything about that...

    Um, anyway. Any online dating blog will tell you that women do not like responding to short, one word messages. Things like "Hi" or "hello" or "how you doing" just don't attract us. Simple messages go relatively ignored. It's boring. I often delete one word salutations because I think he's either a bot or just browsing with no intention to meet or just going to bug me for more pictures. Aka, waste of time.

    Now I know you're going to say "what! That's absurd! He could be nice! You might be passing up the man of your dreams!" But there's a lot more competition going on in the background than you're aware of. First messages are a lot like first impressions. You said "hello" but three other guys said hello, commented on my profile, compared an interest we have, complimented me and basically opened a dialogue for discussion. Am I going to respond to the ten guys that just messaged me "hello" or am I going to talk to one of the three guys that made himself sound interesting enough for me to want to get to know more?

    Some guys will be blunt (and rude) about their reluctance to "write a novel" just to have it go ignored. What you don't know is that you've increased your chances at actually getting a response by making yourself more interesting than the twelve guys in her inbox that said "hi." You might be one of the profiles she's considering responding to. You never know. But only send one because sending repeated messages will just get you ignored.

    If that first guy I started talking to turns out to be a dud well then hey! That other guy looked pretty good!

    My point is, bait the hook better and you'll catch more fish.
    Like 7 People
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    • Anonymous

      Plenty of Fish for hook-ups? I thought that was what Tinder was for? Anyways, what sites (if any) would you recommend?

      Thanks the the detailed response by the way. This was only an experiment but if try it again for real I'll take your advice into account.

    • Ticxel

      Awesome answer and exactly how I feel, even though I'm not a dating pro, just a lady in an open (to men only) marriage with a bi husband.
      I used to have a rule that I would respond to everyone, at least once, but it resulted in me having well over 1200 people in my kik conversation list, acquired just since last summer. If anyone is interested, I have them broken down by letter their supposed first name starts with. You can see which names were more popular, which got ignored and for heavens sake, please don't name your baby boys "Michael." It's a perfectly fine name, it's just that it's EVERYWHERE. SOO many Michaels. So much vodka.

    • WillowTree

      @Ticxel Yeah, I don't think guys realize how difficult it is to respond to EVERYONE who messages us. We could very well have hundreds of guys trying to contact us at once and it's unrealistic to expect us to have a conversation with them all. We speak to the ones who put in the most effort and sound the most interesting and go from there.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Fathoms77
    I remember doing this and it just drove me nuts.

    I was stupid enough to think that all this "only guys approach" stuff is outdated and hence, the "new equality" would be reflected in online dating. If anything, it's exactly the opposite: Girls sit on their hands and wait for responses to roll in, while guys desperately search through reams of profiles. I'm firmly convinced that most girls never even bother searching; they just wait to see what shows up in their inbox.

    I will say this, however: Even if you messaged 1,000 people and only 1 responded, if that person ends up being the love of your life until you die, would that not nullify the "online dating is crap" hypothesis? ;)
    Like 4 People
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • burlen
    I like your attempt to use empiricism to evaluate the usefulness of online dating. I recently carried one to gauge my response rate from two groups of women, including whites and ethnic minority groups.

    I messaged 200 girls in June and July, including I messaged 100 whites and 100 non-whites women on OkCupid. All messages had a similar style except for two personal tweaks (e. g. username or girl name if mentioned on profile, and question asked). All women received and read my messages. All 200 women had at least 80% match score with my profile.

    Of the 50 white women I messaged in June, I got zero response compared with 16 responses I received from non-white women. In July, of the 50 whites women I messaged I got only 1 response compared to 12 responses from ethnic minority women.

    70% of the total responses were from women of the same ethnic group as mine. Of the 70%, only 2% of the women I'd consider my type.

    With regards to your study, couple of issues that could improve the validity of the findings:

    1. The hypothesis could be formulated better. The term "bullshit" is a fluid construct.

    2. Why is 10% an acceptable threshold, and not 30%, 50%, or 90%?

    3. Sample selection. Did you check whether the profiles were active or bot accounts? Did you check whether the women received and read your message? Also, some demographic info (e. g. age, ethnicity, etc.) would provide better insight into your findings.

    As for my online experience of online dating. I have dated or slept with three women I met online; I have been to more than 20 dates; I have ghosted many of them. Most women that message me first tend to be less attractive, too fat, single mums, or hookers.

    However, online dating has its upsides and downsides but can never be a substitute of offline dating, involving face-to-face initiation of courtship.
    Like 2 People
  • brain5000
    Yes, your methodology was totally flawed. You have to *read their profile* and your initial message *has to reference it.* For example, if she writes "I love Star Trek," you could write and say "I wrote to you because I, too, am a Star Trek fan. Have you seen 'Beyond' yet?"
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • Anonymous

      That can prove troublesome if their profile is generic and lacking details.
      Provided they have a decent profile description, this is good advice to follow.

    • brain5000

      If it's generic and it especially lacks details, it might also be fake. Dating sites have been known to post fake profiles with photos of attractive people to draw members in. There have been some profiles I have seen in the past where the same photos and people were in different cities.

      You should also check to see when the last login was, if that information is available. Perhaps the person is no longer actively looking.

    • Jamesol1

      I did that shit man like 10-15 times... not one reply... fuck those online dating bitches man most of them aren't even that attractive.

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  • Dragonstarterplus
    Surprised you got 9% just saying hello. You should try this same experiment again but using a random non-white guy and compare the results
    Like 3 People
  • JenSCDC
    Given the lack of investment you seemed to use, I'd say 9% is pretty darn good.

    I think a much more interesting -albeit time consuming- experiment would be to send out messages with varying numbers of "talking points". Examples of talking points would be asking about something in her profile, mentioning that the two of you have something in common, etc.
    Like 1 Person
    • AzzaBlue

      That's assuming she wrote something or anything in her profile to begin with. Most women on those sites will write very little to nothing in their profiles. My gut feeling is that women on these sites think that the mere fact that they possess a vagina justifies them writing lazy profiles as they believe that they will get lots of attention. And they may be right, but laziness is laziness and they won't be getting any attention or time from this black duck.

  • TheWaterBear
    "Message 100 different women with a short message such as “hello” and use the same message for each girl."

    That was your problem right there.

    I certainly don't respond to women who message me only with "Hello" or some variation of that. You actually have to read their profile, find something that interests you, and talk about that. Give them something to have a real conversation about.
    Like 2 People
  • AzzaBlue
    Personally I believe that online dating is shit, most women are shallow and of low quality who are just after attention or to inflate their all ready sizeable egos. And most men are probably thirsty simps who crave female validation to justify their pathetic existence. This is what non simps are up against. I currently have an online profile on POF, and I've put much effort into it and even got my photos taken by a professional. Now I am just playing the waiting game. I refuse to chase these low value women and inflate their egos. I also refuse to compete with the simps. For an average bloke like me, I know that it is very unlikely that a half decent lady will contact me, but I feel that this strategy has the greatest chance. Maybe 0.05%, which is still better than 0% LOL.
  • Anonymous
    I have had some luck with online dating. One relationship lasted only 6 months, then numerous girls I had only one or two dates with.

    I am now seeing someone that is just as, if not more excited about talking to me on the phone and seeing me.

    What I have found out is that most of the time, men initiate the contact, and if every man is contacting 10 women, that's a lot of messages for a woman, so something has to catch their eye, a brief "hello" does very little, I say that to women all the time in public, it has little effect.

    The one I'm seeing now and I have so much in common it's hard to believe, but it took time for us to meet, if things work out, in my opinion, it's not bullshit, it just isn't exactly easy.
    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous
    I was on that site for years. And out of the 40-50 women I messaged didn't get any replies. So to me 9% is pretty good but I've finally deleted my profile and have totaly given up on onlne dating sites to me they're a complete waste of Time.
    Like 3 People
  • Anonymous
    I'm surprised you even got 9% considering the initial message you sent out. Not exactly one to reel people in is it really.
    Like 3 People
    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I thought about that afterwards, so perhaps it's relatively higher than I should have got. However, I didn't factor in the timing of messages which could influence the results. For example, if I message someone on the weekend then someone who's drunk may be more likely to respond.

      It would make for an interesting experiment to test how the timing of messages influence the response rate, but there are too many variables to determine anything from this.

    • Anonymous

      That's true. Evenings would probably get more responses too. Relaxed and at home just chilling in a good mood, they're more likely to respond than in the morning or while at work quickly checking their messages.