Whatever type of response you get, it’s important not to take things too personally, even though it may be a little tough to get over what might feel like constant rejection. This post examines some of the reasons why online rejection happens.
1. Dating Sites Are a Different Environment
In a face-to-face environment, we generally look for some verbal or nonverbal signals or indications of interest from someone before approaching them. In an online dating environment, such indicators are absent; all we have is maybe a couple of photos and some basic facts about the person we intend to approach. There is no way to assess whether potential dates are interested other than to message them.
People behave in a far less inhibited way online than in face-to-face environments (Suler, 2004). This is known as the online disinhibition effect, and one reason it might occur is the feeling of relative anonymity online. Indeed the effect may be more prevalent in an online dating environment, where people have not met the person with whom they are communicating, compared to social media, where it is likely that people are already known to each other.
3. Online Etiquette
Ghosting, or breaking off communication with another person without notice, warning, or reason, is increasingly seen as quite normal. Following a brief exchange in online dating, a person may choose to just not reply to a message. While such behavior may initially appear rude or disrespectful, it now seems commonplace in online communication. Some possible reasons for ghosting may include the relative anonymity of people on dating sites and the fleeting, short-term nature of the hook-up culture, which ultimately results in a lack of empathy or concern for others.
4. Decision-Making Differences
In terms of mate choice, error management theory (Haselton & Buss, 2000) suggests that the inherent long-term consequences to females of making an error in mate choice is greater than the cost of making an error to a male. Consequently, females have evolved a tendency to perceive male interest cautiously (an under-perception bias), while males have evolved a tendency to perceive female interest as greater than is actually the case (a sexual over-perception bias).
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