Why Some Men You Meet In Online Dating Are All Text And No Action

How to avoid this dating app pitfall.

dealing with men who only text and direct message in online dating getty

Not every man on a dating site is actually open to meeting someone in person. Some are married or in a relationship, but they are online because they want a backup plan, just in case. Some are men who want female attention but who don’t want to get involved with anyone.

There are a small, but a significant number of men on online dating sites who are con artists seeking to win your heart and scam you out of your money.


Most legitimately single, available men who are interested in a woman will want to meet her in person without having long, drawn-out text or email conversations beforehand.

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One of the problems with direct messaging (DMs) and texting conversations is that the immediate feedback can give you the impression that you’re in a relationship with someone, even though you’ve never met.


Receiving a text often feels like real affection and attention because text messages trigger dopamine, which is a feel-good neurotransmitter. Dopamine causes pleasure-seeking behavior, including cravings, curiosity, and addictions. It’s one of the chemicals that provides you with the feeling of "falling in love".

However, the thrill of a romantic text message has nothing to do with an authentic relationship. After all, creating a text only takes a minute. Copying and pasting it to a number takes even less. This process makes it easy to stay connected to someone you may never meet.

It's basically intermittent reinforcement, which is an effective training technique. At first, it consistently rewards a dolphin or dog (or, in this case, a woman) for reacting to a stimulus. Once the animal (or woman) is trained to respond, the reward (in this case the romantic text message) becomes less predictable. 

Pretty soon the trainer (or the man) gets the reaction (feelings of romance) without needing to provide the reward.


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I've seen quite a few women strung along by romantic daily text messages.

One discovered, after consulting with me after several months of an increasingly confusing relationship, that her guy was involved with several other women, simultaneously.


Here are 4 ways on how to get closer to men who only text and direct message you in online dating:

  1. Create boundaries around texting.
  2. Turn off instant messaging on your dating apps and use email instead. Share your phone number only after you’ve agreed to meet. Most men who are just looking for instant text gratification will fade away.
  3. Don’t immediately reply to your text messages unless something urgent comes up or you’re making plans to meet.
  4. If a man continues to text for several days but doesn’t ask you out, send him a message saying, "I’m having fun texting…but I’m looking for someone who wants to connect in real life." If he doesn’t respond with a request to meet, he’s unlikely to be single or available.

Although texting with a man you meet online can feel romantic and fun, it can be a waste of time if it doesn’t evolve into an in-person meeting within a week.

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Annie Gleason is a Dating Coach whose strategic dating advice has provided lasting love to hundreds of women. If you're serious about finding love, don't leave it to chance To get more free dating advice, visit her website.