How to Deal with Unwelcome Messages on Online Dating Apps
Getting messages on an online dating app can be incredibly exciting.
A message could be the great start to a conversation with a person who is very interested in you and interesting to you.
Or, an online dating app message could be the exact opposite.
It’s an unfortunate reality of online dating that we sometimes get messages that are inappropriate, or maybe even just downright dull.
We might definitely hope that the frequency of this type of thing would be a lot lower when it comes to Catholic dating.
But the Catholic dating world isn’t altogether free of even the sexually inappropriate messages from others. Catholic dating includes the dull variety of unwanted messages, too.
What should you do if you keep getting messages that sexually inappropriate on your online dating app?
How should you handle it if your messages consist largely of things like, “Hi there” or “Hey”?
Here are three things to remember as you navigate an unfortunate message situation of any kind.
1. Discern if a message is clueless or malicious
It sounds harsh to say, but the reality is that there are some people who are just not well-versed in certain behavioral norms.
While messages of the inappropriate variety might be from someone who is actually malicious, it’s possible that those of a more subtle inappropriateness are from someone who just didn’t double-check their message to see if actually sounded okay or not.
There are a couple different ways to handle matters if you suspect your unwelcome message-sender is one of these people who is a bit clueless on how to communicate online.
For one, you could completely ignore them if you decide that they won’t be worth your time or effort in the long-run.
But if you do suspect them to be more clueless than malicious, you might consider exercising charity and pointing out gently how they’re message skills are lacking.
Most likely, this route won’t lead to a future relationship with them.
After all, you’re unimpressed and they will probably feel embarrassed. But you might be doing them (and other people they’ll message in the future) a favor.
2. Don’t be afraid to report someone if necessary
In a perfect world, you could completely escape the possibility of coming across some kind of perv if you’re using a Catholic dating app.
Hopefully, you won’t come across these types of app users nearly as often on a Catholic dating app as you would on a secular one.
But the possibility is still there. Generally, no one is shouting out that they intend to be sexually inappropriate as they sign up for an account. It’s definitely possible that they’ll sneak their way onto a Catholic dating site.
If you’re getting messages of a sexually inappropriate nature that are obviously not some fumbled wording that came out wrong, don’t engage. Also, don’t hesitate to report the sender.
On Catholic Singles, you can report another user by clicking the flag icon on their profile page. Reporting is anonymous. You can also give a reason and it will be investigated.
These days, we get more than enough bombardment of sexual content from the media and basically every corner of secular society.
There’s certainly no reason to tolerate something like this in a Catholic dating app.
By reporting the problem, you’ll help make the experience cleaner, less stressful, and more conducive to chastity for other users as well.
3. Even on a Catholic dating app, you can always ignore a message
Sometimes as Catholics, we tend toward scrupulosity or feelings of guilt over anything that could offend someone.
We might feel as if it’s rude to ignore someone who has messaged us. It’s tempting to feel like we’re being a better Catholic if make it a point to respond to anyone who has taken the time to reach out.
But it’s not wrong to ignore a message.
If you yourself have sent some messages on a dating app, you probably know that you don’t always get a response.
Sure, it’s not pleasant to be ignored. But it’s certainly not that out of the ordinary for a message on an online dating app to be ignored.
So you’re not going to be that one super rude Catholic who didn’t respond if you choose to ignore a message.
Ignoring a message might be a necessary measure to preserve your sanity.
If it seems like your message-sender has some possibility of being an interesting person to get to know, that’s a different story.
But if they’ve shown you nothing that makes you interested in talking with them more, then don’t hesitate to release yourself of all obligation to message back, and just move on.
Receiving messages on an online dating app should be exciting.
It shouldn’t be dull, confusing, annoying, or downright stressful.
So look for the messages that excite you and give you something to look forward to.
Maybe those messages will turn into a beautiful relationship with the special person you’ve been searching for!
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.