Let’s face it, we’ve all at some point clicked on an incoming message, sighed with disappointment that it wasn’t from ‘the one’, and swiped delete before carrying on our daily lives with hopeful nonchalance. But have you ever wondered, that by denying the sender even the most sparingly courteous of responses, you might be reducing your chances of ever finding true love online?

Super charge your social skills

Now, I’m not saying you have to spend night after night emailing ‘Gerald the farmer’ from Aberdeen (though I’ve heard he’s a very nice chap) when you have no intention of ever travelling to Scotland. Let’s also be clear, this isn’t just about trying out one-liners to see which ones fly and which ones flop.

“You might unexpectedly open the door to an actual friendship!

By engaging in a conversation with someone who, at first glance, you might not have picked out of the Match shuffle, could lead to some serious advantages. It might throw up interesting topics or experiences that you could take to future first date conversations, and make you see dating in a whole different way. You might even, woe betide, unexpectedly open the door to an actual friendship!

Conversation stoppers

I have to admit, it took a bit of wrangling with my inner conscience before I started to send my own polite, but nevertheless, unmistakeable conversation-stoppers – until then, hitting the delete button had just been too easy.

“You should see responding as taking a step further to finding your ideal date

For me, it was all about karma. I’d put the notable silence stemming from my own Mr Right – who I had messaged just a couple of days earlier following these guidelines – down to the fact that I had two unanswered messages sitting in my own inbox. For those unconvinced by karma (although it will get you eventually, you mark my words!), think of it as treating others as you’d like to be treated. Showing a little respect for the person who has taken the time and effort to write to you and has already done far more than the hundreds of others who’ve read your profile then moved swiftly on in their search for someone else.

You should see responding as taking a step further to finding your ideal date, rather than simply putting your potential suitor out of their misery as they wait expectantly for your response. How about seeing it as a chance to put into practice the very skills you’ll need to impress ‘the one’ when they finally do respond to you? For more tips, see this article on how to respond to your first message.

For more advice head back to our dating section, or read more of our dating blogs.