Can You Tell Someone Their Email Sucks?

Kind sir, you are a shitty emailer.

It’s never happened to me because, well, I write amazing emails. Or rather, I write one amazing email, change it a bit, then send it to a ton of different people. But apparently there is a new trend of vigilantism going on out there, a campaign of women trying to stop all the shitty email writing. How do I know? Because the men have come crying to me about it.


I sent a girl this email that I send all the time, and all she wrote back was “I pity the 100 other girls you sent that message to, because it blows.” What the fuckkkkk??!!

I don’t know, I think that’s a pretty good line. She sounds like my kinda lady. But there’s a lot more where this came from.

Woman just wrote me, said I need to go back to school and learn how to write before I try and date. You ever heard that?

I have not heard that, but again, in this case, it doesn’t sound like a totally unreasonable proposition.

Mr. B. I think if a woman is allowed to write a terrible profile, then I am allowed to write her a terrible email, right? Well she doesn’t seem to agree. Because one just wrote me back right away and said “No one will ever write back to that. Do better!” But joke is on her, because ha ha, she actually did write back.

I’m not sure I’m really needed in that one. It seems like that dude is having a perfectly good time without me. But this didn’t used to happen. A year ago, two years ago, I didn’t get these emails. No guys ever wrote me to complain about the treatment they were receiving at the hands of you cruel, merciless women. In fact, all I really got back then were messages from women, decrying the wretched emails us dudes were sending. So I guess you’ve finally taken things into your hands, ladies. Good for you, I suppose? But I gotta ask…is this really necessary?

My response to your email, in photographic form.

I mean, isn’t not responding rejection enough? Do you really have to follow up with “I didn’t respond because what you wrote me was pathetic”? That would be like getting someone’s wedding invitation, then declining, and explaining exactly what you’re doing that’s more fun. “I’d love to come, but I have plans to hang out with friends I like more that weekend. Also, the font you chose for your invite sucks.” Guys notice when you don’t write back, they really do. You don’t need to rub their faces in their own mediocrity.

That’s my feeling, anyway. Because I know that if a woman took the time to point out everything lame about my (hypothetically) lame message, that I would feel like a real asshole. But then there’s the issue of temporary insanity. Couldn’t you argue, as many of my lady readers would, that if you get enough terrible messages that it could make you insane to point where you were not accountable for your actions? Because believe me, they’re going insane. How many “Hey, what up sexy?” messages does it take before you crack? 50? 75? How many times can you be told, “Yo, send me some pics of that sweet ass!” before you have to get aggressive? I don’t know. No one has ever requested some pics of my sweet ass. But I’m sure there’s a breaking point. In the case of one reader, it was this…

Honestly, use of the phrase “pro” instead of profile is enough to send me over the edge. But yes, a fine, upstanding female reader of this site got that message, and she had had enough. Not only was it obviously a form letter, but it was obnoxious. As well as somehow being simultaneously both arrogant and insecure. And did I mention he says “pro” instead of profile? So here’s her response, and I gotta say, even though I think it’s a little cruel, it’s also great.

I mean, how can you not love a girl who gets in a plug for the website?!!! Dear readers, when in doubt, just send ’em to It’s Not a Match. They might not learn anything, but hey, at least it’ll help my hit count! Now, as you might expect, the gentlemen in question responded angrily, saying it was all a joke, which doesn’t seem like much of a defense for something that is obviously not funny. He told her, in more polite words, to fuck off, and she replied with the same. And that’s when my opinion on the bad email vigilantes changed. I mean, she’s having fun. He seems to be having fun, and I sure as hell had fun reading it. Plus, I got a plug! So what’s not to like?

But what do you think? Should a person be chastised for being a bad emailer?





This entry was posted in Advice, Horror Stories, Internet Dating is Weird, Your Awful Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Can You Tell Someone Their Email Sucks?

  1. MC Kali says:

    The thing about this blog is that your posts get smarter and sharper each time. Yowsa!!!

    There is a time for chastising bad emailers, it’s when it’s convenient and entertaining to do so because it is one’s current creative project. Otherwise, there is no time for it in my life. And I’m SO glad that gal actually referred the dude to your site!!! I’d actually thought of that before, but restrained myself, lol.

    Yes, when in doubt, send ’em to It’ indeed. Because B is the medicine man for the online dating-illness.

  2. M says:

    Hey B. Thanks for another spot on commentary. The emails I get fom guys tend to be of the garden variety, “love your pics, great profile, where have you been all my life?” Type. I’ve had few crude and rude comments but I totally just ignore/delete them. I cant believe those guys really expect a response anyway, but if they do…that’s just sad. Anyway, I personally wouldn’t waste my time chastising anyone for a poorly written email. It’s tough enough out here, why make it worse? We all were not born with a pen in our hand like you were. :) (Unless of course both people are having fun bantering back and forth with the use of poor grammar and misspelled words….) in that case, have at it! To each his/her own.

    • Mark says:

      My question for you specifically, M, is: do you reply to those “love your pics, great profile, where have you been all my life?” emails? That gives most of us garden variety types some hope if so…

      I think this email criticism thing isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it’s not too mean-spirited; it is constructive criticism after all. I would always appreciate at least some form of reply from women most of the time. My emails are always friendly, light, and generally short and sweet, I just don’t send very many. But always, ALWAYS, the women just stop emailing one or two emails in, or just never reply in the first place. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong since I never get any helpful responses.. so I guess I would welcome criticism.

      I can be a great conversationalist, but I do hate writing everything via email. Plus I don’t always get the chance to write back *immediately*, which seems to be important. I guess I just hate having to play the game. I want to go back to meeting people in person but it’s so damn awkward and hard to pull off. FML.

  3. M says:

    Yes. I do reply to any email that appears genuine and respectful. I appreciate someone who takes the time to write. I do not, however respond to “winks” or “favorites” without a follow up email. I am always honest, and right away I let them know if I’m not interested. It’s too bad you’ve been sucked into writing emails to have someone disappear. It’s happened to me, I hate the feeling so I don’t do it to other people. I realize time is precious, but a little common courtesy goes a long way….even in cyberspace. And Keep sending emails. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  4. Amused says:

    I love how people get preachy in their messages and profiles regarding lame messages, especially if it’s from someone that they don’t want to talk to, or to someone who doesn’t want to talk to them.

    And by “love”, I mean the complete opposite. And by people, I mean both dudes and women.

    It’s like they think that they’re the only person on the internet that this happens to. Women, just ignore the guys that are sending lame messages and block if they start becoming aggressive. Dudes, don’t stalk and harass women that didn’t respond to your messages. Yeesh.

    • Amused says:

      ….because as a dude who has received lame messages from women, I can personally attest that telling them their messages suck is a complete waste of energy every single time I’ve done so.

  5. Paula says:

    I agree with Amused. People don’t change because they’re criticized; they only double down and become more horrible. When I first started online dating I thought I should reply politely to all men who sent me messages, but I quickly abandoned that idea. If I said no thanks, I was often pestered for a reason. If I gave a “nice” reason (I’d never give a mean one), such as distance, they’d try to argue me out of it. Then I’d want to scream: I lied, you’re gross, and you can’t spell!

  6. S says:

    Once again, B, your topic is timely as well as relevant. I’ve been noticing this trend increasing lately myself, with more and more of the replies becoming nastier and nastier. Haven’t quite figured it out; I don’t write form letters, I don’t write long spiels, “hey, liked what you wrote, you seem cool and interesting, like to get to know you,” etc, in and out.

    Used to just laugh and block, but I got one the other day that was just… this woman was *venomous* in her reply. Pure viper. Actually sat back, mouth agape, at the vitriol. So, of course, I felt the need to reply. And that reply?

    “Wow. When I first saw your profile, I wondered why someone as impressive as you seem to be was single. Then I read your reply. I don’t wonder any more. Take care, and–with all sincerity–good luck.”

    In hindsight, it wasn’t the most mature response, but damn. Only so much a guy can take, you know? On the bright side, getting responses like this, while a bit soul-deadening, sure is a time- and money-saver.

  7. D. says:

    I don’t respond to bad emails, and I get PLENTY. Guys get the “Hey” “How r u?” “How was your weekend?” etc. messages from women, too. I’ve never felt compelled to write back and say “Seriously? How the hell am I supposed to respond to that? Just write you back with another ‘Hey’ or ‘Good, u?'”

    My own profile is…long. Very long, actually, as profiles go. It’s got a lot of info in it, and a fair bit of specific stuff, too. Like, the kind of specific stuff that someone could comment on in an email as a conversation-starter. So, I certainly understand the frustration when it seems that someone isn’t even making enough effort to qualify for “half-assed” status. We’re talking, like, 1/8 of an ass here. Maybe.

    But I don’t write them back because (A) no good will come of that, and (B) it’s self-indulgent venting. When I’ve written people back to tell them I’m not interested, only in a handful of instances has it been appreciated, and usually that was because I was complimenting them while saying “But I’m not interested.” Nobody’s ever responded positively to a polite “thanks, but sorry” style response. Most of the time, you get more of a “WELL FUCK YOU TOO!!!” style response.

    Even if I wanted to just mess with someone, I still probably wouldn’t bother because that’d lose its charm after they write back something nasty in response to my nasty email to them. That’ll just get tedious.

  8. Sapphire says:

    Since I’m older than most of the commenters, maybe it’s being raised with the concept of thank you notes? I literally had to break myself of the “Thanks but no thanks” responses. Angry, passive-agressive or rude e-mails get a no response block. E-mails that clearly show the guy read my profile get responses.

  9. Jessica says:

    I have literally started getting emails that are ONLY emoticons. Just :) or ;).

    How, I ask you, am I supposed to respond to THAT? I considered writing back to one of them with just: ????????

  10. Philip says:

    I joined a popular (free) OD site about 3 days ago. Its taking me about that long to realize the key is just short to the point messages, essentially: “You seem interesting, your very attractive, bs aside, id like to meet up for a quick drink to see if we get along face to face, let me know if your up for it and ill send you my number so we can arrange”. Sometimes a bit more blurb about, 10 mins after meeting we will know if its worth continuing etc etc. This works well and I have no profile, bar, “Im new, I will fill out properly if i decide to stay, supported by a couple of pics”.

    That said its not the golden key, its not foolproof by any means! I’m sure there are better routes to go, but I cant be doing with time consuming back and forth’s, and although I haven’t gone on any ‘dates yet’, I will likely go on 5 or 6 next week, I have got numbers and continued some talks via text, so its adequate for now. Anyway i lost focus there…my point for commenting was a venomous or perhaps I should say shitty response, i received to one of my less polite and arrogant emails (and ive sent a few of these, some golden in my jaded opinion ;) she obvious got the hump pretty quick, but it is perfectly in line with your why bother responding thoughts…here is the thread:

    Me: “You sound nice, just not certain if I find you attractive or not, pictures go from sexy to ok, think I’d like to meet and explore though, let me know your availability ASAP.”

    Her: “you have an amazing sense of humour…I looked at your pictures and burst out laughing!!
    Was this a post Halloween joke!!

    Me: “Touched a nerve I guess huh…sorry not looking to piss you off or be rude…to be fair your probably better off just not replying in this instance, but I like your ‘fuck you’ spirit!

    I should of course take my own advice here though and not reply myself….live and learn.

    Try not to take messages you receive via online dating sites to heart or too literally…


    I took her response as funny, but at the same time, it was clearly mean spirited, and some may get truly insulted by such a rebuttle.

  11. I have some weird red patches in my yard, not sure whether or not it is a bug or some sort of
    disease. Would it be really worth bringing in someone to give it a look?

  12. Skye says:

    So, what DO you say to someone who emails you and asks you to dinner/coffee and you can already just tell they’re not what you want? This was after a very short reply to a specific question they’d asked me, the second email was an invite out. This person has not one common interest listed or described at all in their profile. If I’m going to be doing my favorite activities alone all the time, I don’t need to date or be in a relationship at all. So, part of me is all, dinner is JUST dinner not marriage, but really, I’m on that site to meet a future relationship. I can take myself out to dinner…
    Ugh, I’d like to be honest but not rude about it!

    • B says:

      I usually go with a short but clear, “Hey, thanks very much! You seem great, but I don’t think we’re a match. Best of luck out there!” Nice, but very clear. A rare moment where excessive exclamation points are acceptable.

      But also, after two emails, you can very easily just not respond at all. It’s not like he’s put a ton of time or thought into this himself.

  13. Kerry says:

    I recently experienced this when I decided to try again after a year if being single. I had a free trial and very quickly realized that I would not be paying for a membership. I would also like to clarify that I have a French fuck buddy because I have needs.

    Anyway, I specifically stated in my profile that I am not just looking for someone to “make out” or have sex with. This is what I recieved:

    How are u beautiful

    I didn’t respond. So he sends me another email:

    Mmmm i wanna spank u

    Pissed off, here was my response:

    I was going to do the polite thing and just not respond to your first email. Now that you’ve insulted me with this little romantic gem, I felt a response was necessary, no matter how brutal it may seem.

    Do you not know how to read? What part of “I am not looking for someone to just ‘make out’ or have sex with” do you not understand? I have a French guy that satisfies that part of my life and he’s probably a hell of a lot better than you even dream to be.

    So quit wasting both our time and find someone more suited to fit your needs. Good luck.

  14. Cyndy says:

    Sorry for the reply on an old post but I just found your hilarious website (AFTER reading your book, thank you very much). Anyway, when I was online dating, I only sent back a snotty response when someone emailed a second time and asked why I hadn’t replied to begin with. Usually in a “you women on here are all alike” ragey way. And then I unleashed all of my online dating frustrations on them (and you can imagine, there were many). I would pick apart their profile, email, or both, Grammar, spelling, whatever caught my eye. I felt like they had asked for it.

  15. Mean says:

    I believe part of sending the message IS to be mean and make the person feel bad.
    I guess it feels like 95% of guys are just looking for something warm to stick it in so they’ll send out the same copy paste drivel that they send every girl. And if you feel like you’ve been given a manufactured email or a few strung together sentences to get laid it can leave you feeling pretty steamed. So while you might think you’re the nice guy sending her a thoughtful email, she’s probably reading something she’s heard a million times from guys with worse intentions than you might have.

    • “I guess it feels like 95% of guys are just looking for something warm to stick it in” Wow, that’s a bit harsh.

      • Nauseated By The Lies says:

        You mean we’re not?

        Ok, I’M not, but as described elsewhere, take a ride on the other side for a few and it’ll become clear where that statement came from. Generically speaking, we’re pigs.

  16. DD says:

    This is what I can not wrap my head around. Women are constantly demanding double standards.

    If you are going to sit back and never initiate anything, and create that “one way street” atmosphere in dating… well ladies, you’re going to get some bad emails.

Leave a Reply to B Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s