An Open Letter to People Who Don't Message You Back on Tinder

A person swiping on Tinder

Dear Person Who Didn't Message Me Back On Tinder,

So there I was, swiping away on a Thursday night, when I came across your profile. You were cute, you said you were down for drinks and you didn't have any pictures with guns and dead animals. So I swiped right and shortly afterward, we matched. My heart skipped a beat. You truly did seem like the ideal match. 

I racked my brain for a good opening message that showed I'm both adorable and witty. Eventually, I settled on a classic: "Hey :) What's going on?" OK, so it wasn't exactly the most original message, but hey, there was a smiley face, so it was all good. 

I waited a few hours for you to respond, then a few days. It took an embarrassingly long time to realize that I wouldn't be hearing from you at all. 

You were the ultimate missed connection — a Tinder match that doesn't message you back. And I'm here to tell you that what you're doing is not OK. 


When Tinder came onto the scene in 2012, it seemed like it would be a game changer. "An app that let you chat only with people who were genuinely interested in you? Sounds great!," we naively thought. "No longer will we have to randomly message people in the hope that they would answer in time for us to invite them to our family Christmas parties. No longer did we have to do a cold open on a dating website, unsure if the person we were messaging would be interested."

So. We. Thought.

People like you, who just rapidly swipe right to see how many people you can match with, have ruined Tinder for all of us. Sometimes, you just swipe right on everyone without planning to actually talk to your matches, later weeding out the ones you don't like by un-matching. Other times, you match with someone but refuse to send the first message, leaving both parties wondering who will make contact first. 

The real kick in the teeth is knowing that you could just as easily unmatch us. You could follow through with the option provided by the Tinder gods that signals you no longer want to talk to us. It's as simple as a tap and the line of communication is no longer there. 

But no. That would be too easy. 


Sadly, you are not alone. Plenty of men are guilty of such callous behavior, if this Reddit thread is any indication. 

"Some guys just do it for the self-esteem boost, some do it because they want to fuck, some are actually looking for something meaningful, and others have no idea what they are doing," one user wrote on the thread.

In an article for Glamour, Jeff Wisler 'fessed up to swiping right on everyone on Tinder, giving seven reasons why men don't respond to the women they match with. He called this behavior "being a Tinder-tease." 

"My behavior makes no sense. It's dumb. It's rude," he wrote. Not messaging back someone you've matched with, he added, is "the equivalent of making heavy eye contact at a bar, approaching the woman, standing next to her...and then just awkwardly standing in silence." 

You are one of thousands of Jeffs out there in this world who swipe right, only to ignore your messages. You don't deserve to own a smartphone and you should be treated like the villain that you are. 

"You don't deserve to own a smartphone."

So if you've ever been a Jeff and you're guilty of rapidly swiping right without any intention of actually messaging your matches, let me paint you a word picture of how it feels for the person on the other side of the app. 

We sit there, palms sweaty, wondering if you ever got our message. "Maybe there's a glitch in the app," we tell ourselves. "You know what? They're not really online, even though it says they are." Dozens of excuses come up as we sit and wait for your message, waiting to hear back. You swipe right and laugh. We awkwardly follow up with something lame, like, "What's going on? :)" or "Hey, you there?" It's a sick, sick game. 

Well, let me tell you something, Jeff: If I match with you, I'm going to message you. There's no reason for me to swipe right otherwise. The only reason people go online is to connect with other people in the hope of landing a date, or even just for some sex. Either way, the goal is to connect. Not messaging people you match with is a big "eff you" to the system. 

The rules are simple, people: Swipe left if not even tequila would make it happen and swipe right if the photos give you pants feelings. If you don't like playing by the rules, then get out of the sandbox. This is not a game. This is online dating in 2016 and if you're going to swipe right, you better follow through.


Your Tinder Match