Handling Rejection
For Men

Handling Rejection On Dating Apps: 4 Ways to Stay Confident

April 6, 2024
▪ 10 mins read

It's tough to feel like you’re facing constant rejection on dating apps: To look at your profile, day after day, swipe after swipe and be getting next to no quality matches no matter how much effort you put in. 

I’m dating coach Hayley Quinn, with over 15 years experience coaching men and women to improve their results with dating. I'm also the resident dating expert at Match UK. Here are 4 mindset shifts that will help you handle rejection and see it as an opportunity for growth in your dating life: 

  • Are people really rejecting you on dating apps? (Hold on - your lack of matches may not mean what you think it means) 
  • Even if they are -  how can you accept rejection on dating apps? 
  • What can you do to change your results on dating apps? 
  • Are dating apps really the best strategy for you to meet people? 

1. Ask yourself if they are really rejecting ‘you’?

Just because you’re not getting responses to your carefully crafted first messages you actually might not be getting “rejected” on dating apps. 


If you put a ton of effort into the first message you send someone on a dating app, when it isn’t met with a response, you will automatically think it’s because they didn’t like you, or weren’t attracted to you. 

In fact that may not be happening at all. 

If you’re struggling with rejection on dating apps, before you jump to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with “you”, first consider all the other reasons why someone may not respond to you, unrelated to your attractiveness.

There might be another reason why someone may not respond to your message on a dating app, such as: 

There aren't enough women on the app

It has been widely reported that dating app users are on average 67% male. So if you’re a guy looking to meet a woman this skews the odds against you. Just imagine if you turned up at a speed dating event and there were 2-3 men for every woman in there! If a dating app’s user base is around two thirds male that means that there’s 2 men competing for every woman’s interest. Yikes! 

Some women's accounts are inactive (without you knowing)

There’s also rumours that some dating apps don’t remove dormant profiles swiftly. This is because they may not have enough women in their network, so inactive profiles will still be available for you to swipe on. The real world equivalent of this is going on what you think is a date with a woman, then she mentions halfway through that she has a boyfriend. What looked like a good opportunity, didn’t really exist all along! 

A man who is feeling rejected on a dating app
An epic Star Wars binge for sure, but Tom still couldn't fathom Vader was Luke's father

Users are simply fed up of dating apps

As a dating coach who has worked with thousands of singles, I can tell you that even if people are single, and want to meet someone, often they do not use dating apps consistently enough to get results. People get tired of dating apps, they get in a bad headspace around them, they just say NO to everyone. If someone isn’t in the right zone to date, this isn’t a reflection on you. 

So please don’t assume that everyone who doesn’t reply to your message is a “good” option that you’ve just messed up. A lot of perceived rejection on dating apps may come down to how other users are engaging with the dating app, and not be a reflection on you. 

2. Accept that you can’t please everyone

Accepting rejection on dating apps is “part of the process” can be hard. However, it helps if you can get into a mindset where you actually don’t want to match with everyone on a dating app. 

Now before you think I’m crazy for telling you that less matches isn’t always a bad thing, let me give you a real life dating analogy. 

If you walked into a bar in real life, you may see some people you’re attracted to, but not all of them would be good candidates for you to date, the same is true on dating apps. 

In fact, some users on dating apps will always be unavailable for the following reasons: 

Not Motivated 🤷

Not everyone is going to be actively looking for a date, some users on dating apps will just be passively scrolling and enjoying the attention. This may not be a conscious decision they’ve made; in their mind they are open to dating. However, in practice when push comes to shove whilst they might be happy to chat for a bit, they simply don’t make time to meet up with people they match with. This could be for a huge variety of reasons ranging from dating being low on their priority list, to them feeling social anxiety about going on dates. If you’ve ever had a long conversation with someone on a dating app, that’s never translated into a real world date you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about! This is the person who you meet in the bar that chats to you all night, swaps numbers with you, then after a flakey messaging exchange disappears forever more. There’s a big gap between matching and actually showing up on a date. 

Not Truthful 🤥

Some users on dating apps with have an ulterior motive for being there. Some people you match with may not be single, but are enjoying “microcheating” with you. Others may nefariously be trying to clock up followers on their linked social media accounts. There will even be a small proportion of users who are simply trying to extort money from other users: Hello Tinder Swindler! Or solicit new customers for sexual services. 

Not Human 🤖

Finally, not everyone on a dating app is even a real human with 1.9% of US adults admitting that they’ve used AI to help create their profiles or with messaging!! 

The five stages of working with a dating coach
Click to learn more

Although that might sound like a pretty depressing summation of online dating, remember these users will remain in the minority. However, you have to connect with the mindset that it’s important for you to filter people out based on their behaviour. 

Realising that you are filtering people based on how engaged they are on dating apps can help it feel a little easier to let go of rejection on dating apps. 

Even if their profile looks great, if their actions don’t line up with that, next! Taking a deep breath and simply accepting, “they seemed great on paper, but I need someone who makes an effort for me,” can be a great mindset to get into. 

You also need someone who is as interested in you, as you are in them, otherwise right from the get-go trying to develop a connection with them will feel misbalanced. If you’ve fallen into the trap of overcompensating for another person who isn’t making an effort before, then accept that you don’t need, or even want, everyone to like you on a dating app. There’s a big gap between someone having effective “marketing” i.e. a good dating app profile, and being a good match for you. 

3. Take feedback & make your profile stronger 

Feedback is hard to take. Especially if you’ve put a lot of effort into something. However, as they say feedback is the breakfast of champions! So if you’re experiencing a lot of rejection on dating apps then buried in all that frustration is some good news. 

Often when I’m coaching people I try to draw their attention to how much they can change. If there’s lots you can do to improve, this isn’t a bad thing. That means you have lots of different levers to pull to try and get better results… but yes you’re going to have to dig deep and try harder. That’s the tough bit. 

I also get that it’s easy to complain about finding constant rejection on dating apps, but will the “I’m doomed” mindset actually help you?

Hmm exactly. Instead channel that frustration about being overlooked into making your profile and your messages on dating apps stronger. 

Links to other resources for handling rejection on dating apps: 

  1. If you’re a woman who never seems to meet anyone you like on dating apps, read this blog. 
  2. If you’re a man who is being rejected on dating apps and wants to improve your profile read this blog
  3. If you’re a man who’s looking for some tips on what messages to send on dating apps this blog is for you, you’ll also like this YouTube video I made. 
  4. Finally this is a neat guide on 3 messages to send to her if she’s got no bio on a dating app. 

4. Explore other ways to find love

What if you’re still experiencing rejection on dating apps even after you’ve worked hard to improve your photos, bio and messaging strategy? Now, I wouldn’t be a dating coach that specialises in teaching men and women how to meet one another in real life if I didn’t point out that there are other channels to meeting people outside of online dating. 

A man looks upset and in deep thought after rejection
Ah, the stealth nose-pick. Genius.

For those of you who don’t know about me, I coach men and women on how to approach attractive strangers and turn chance meetings into dates and relationships. Really. 

The hard truth is, whilst plenty of people do find relationships using dating apps, they simply work better for some people than others. Dating apps are exceedingly aesthetically driven, and by design, filter people out who don’t match other people’s requirements. The irony is, of course, that people can be much more flexible on what they want, if they meet and become attracted to someone in real life. 

Being on a dating app can start to feel bleak when you feel like it’s your only chance to meet someone. You will feel better about rejection on dating apps, once you successfully exit this scarcity mindset around dating and embrace all the other ways you could potentially meet someone. 

Dating successfully requires tenacity, and if you’ve found yourself becoming mentally worn down by rejection on dating apps, look around you and start realising opportunities to meet people in real life. 

Handling Rejection On Dating Apps | FAQs

Is it common to get rejected on dating apps?

Yes it’s very common to get rejected on dating apps. In fact, whilst it’s very painful, rejection is part and parcel of the process to finding a great relationship. Whilst the occasional person may meet their partner early on in life, or its the first person they match with, the vast majority of people experience rejection on their way to finding a partner. That rejection may be subtle (i.e. someone choosing not to respond to your message on a dating app) or overt (i.e. someone telling you that they’re not interested in having a relationship with you.) Realising that rejection is part of the journey to finding a partner, and is a very common experience, may help you to take it less personally. 

How do you respond to rejection on the dating app?

If someone hasn’t responded to you on a dating app, whilst you might want to send a message to that person to gain clarity, it’s often wiser to simply let that interaction go. It’s common for people on dating apps to simply stop responding, either because they’re not focused on dating right now, have met someone else, or decided that they don’t want to continue getting to know you. In modern dating etiquette a lack of response, or very disengaged responses to your messages is a sign that the other person doesn’t want to continue getting to know you. Before you send them a message to enquire as to their reasons why, consider how you’ll feel if they still don’t respond. It may be easier simply to recognise that they’re not invested in the process of getting to know you and let it go. If someone has told you clearly that they’re not interested, whilst this rejection may hurt in the moment, recognise that their intention here is (usually) to show you respect by being clear about their intentions (or lack of them). Try responding simply in kind with a message like, “Thanks for being upfront. Much better than being ghosted.” Or “Thanks for being upfront, I was feeling the same, so I’m glad you had the courage to acknowledge that!” 

Is no response a rejection?

No response on a dating app after more than one message, or after a reasonable period of time (3-7 days) is likely to be a rejection. If the person isn’t actively rejecting you, by not responding to you, they’re showing you that they’re disengaged with dating altogether, and this in itself is a sign that your prospects of forming a relationship with them are slim. The only exceptions to this, are if it’s been a short period of time since they last messaged: People can pop back up after a day or two of simply being busy with their everyday life. So avoid sending a follow up message less than 48 hours after you sent your last message. In modern dating etiquette, no response to a message is often perceived as a gentle way of signalling to you that the other person is no longer interested. 

How to stop taking rejection on dating apps so personally 

There are many reasons why someone may stop responding to you on a dating app that has nothing to do with you, so it’s important to stop taking rejection on dating apps so personally. The other person may be preoccupied with another area of their life, not that focused on dating, unwell, or already in a relationship! Even if someone has clearly said that they’re not interested in you, also remember they haven’t responded to you in your entirety, they don’t really know you! It’s also important for you to focus your dating efforts on people who are equally invested in getting to know you. If someone doesn’t feel the same, rest assured there will be someone else who will be.

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