Dear Matchmaker Rabbi:

I sometimes wonder what it is that men want. Just when I am reading a profile that seems to mirror me and the man’s profile is actually listing the qualities and interests that I have, I send an email, I get looked at, and then, no response. I think I look pretty good — very youthful and attractive for someone who is 61 and a grandmother. I receive compliments and kudos on a daily basis and that builds my confidence. Then I put a profile on JDate and … nothing. My profile is short and sweet, and I posted pix that were only a week old. Honesty is there; what else is missing?

— Bewildered

Dear Bewildered:

I hear your pain. I went through the same thing for much of my seven years of online dating, and I was half your age, so I don’t think your age, or your attributes, have anything to do with it. My theory is that, despite what guys say and like to think about themselves, a great many men just don’t warm to the idea of a woman making the first move.

Is it ridiculous? Of course. It is maddening and counterproductive in a dating platform whose sole purpose is to help people find their love match? Absolutely. But how else can you explain the fact that for every 10 men I wrote online, I was lucky if one wrote me back too? (And I, like you, had no shortage of compliments and kudos by people who knew me.) Unfortunately, I imagine this kind of old-fashioned thinking is even more prevalent among men in your age group than it was in mine.

This probably isn’t much consolation, but try not to take it personally. Dating is a numbers game, and all you need is the one guy who will not be intimidated to write you back. Also try to think of it as a screening device; would you really want to enter a relationship, anyway, with a man who is too insecure to appreciate a confident and forthright woman?

That said, it is always a good idea to have a few girlfriends (or guy friends) read your profile and just double-check your tone and how you come across. Online profiles are like resumes — we are never the best person to evaluate our own.

— The Matchmaker Rabbi

To ask The Matchmaker Rabbi a question, please email

Joysa Winter, aka The Matchmaker Rabbi, knows all about how hard it is to find lasting love. It took her 17 years to find Mr. Not Wrong! In that time, she tried just about every singles site, dating club and Matzah Ball known to humanity. Now in her fourth year of rabbinical school and the mother of 1.5 kids, nothing brings her greater joy than officiating a wedding. She is finishing a book on her dating adventures called Chasing Cupid, Tales of Dating Disaster in Jewish Suburbia. You can follow her on Twitter at @wanderinghebrew.

  1. Skip the girlfiends do you have any male friends or a sibling you can consult? If them ask them to review your profile and make comments on tone, content and whether the profile really refelects who you are.

    Also, don’t be afraid to ask your audience for what you want. Many (but not all) the womens profiles that I read seen a bit vague to my male brain. There is a big difference in circular speaking and being direct. Men prefer direct. An ending comment that reads…..if I sound like what you are seeking, do not pass go, do not collect $200, come and get me….makes it abundantly clear.

  2. This is pure nonsense.
    It has nothing to do with men being intimidated by women who make the first move.
    Women do not answer men either.
    It is very impersonal.
    It is that we live in a disposable society and if there is no interest, then generally you will get no response. Manners and curtisy have gone by the wayside.
    It is that simple.

  3. Well, I wrote playful messages to six women that matched my profile quite well, and I heard back from none of them, so obviously the failure to respond is not limited to men. You don’t know why they don’t write back, but you do know they aren’t interested.

    I think it’s time someone in this game shed some light on one thing: The way a woman looks is very important to a man who is looking to date. It by no means guarantees success in a relationship, but if the point of a profile is to get interest, your picture speaks a thousand words. Freud said basically, men want sex and he didn’t know what women want.

    Get a bunch of different outfits and get some professional photos done, that show you as energetic, exciting, and sexy. Take the photos outside and ask complete strangers for a moment of their time. Ask which of the photos they find most attractive, then post them to your profile.

  4. I thought I was the only one not getting responses. In my profile I mourn the passing of common courtesy and I think the non-response syndrome is part of that trend.

    Many of us (gender notwithstanding) find it difficult to make that first contact. I know it sounds strange to be shy about sending an e-mail but it can and does happen. Folks of my generation (Boomers) sometimes still harbor memories of rejection in face to face attempts at meeting people and, speaking just for myself, a non-response is just another form of that rejection.

    I’m one of those guys with the terrific sense of humour that women are supposedly looking for. Not so much I guess. I usually will end my message with something like, “If you’re not interested, a simple “no thanks” would really be appreciated and I won’t bother you again.” Does it help? Not really…..

  5. I need to interject here and say my piece on this… I am a female who gets a lot of emails every day on dating sites, and I really just don’t know how to say “not interested” other than not responding… maybe this is juvenile or inconsiderate, but that’s what it comes down to. In fact I’ve gotten some nasty messages from men whose IM’s I declined saying “you must think you’re too good for me” etc etc. Do you (readers of this) really prefer a message saying “not interested” over no reply??

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