So many people on dating apps are ‘too busy’

What's your love/dating/marriage/crush problem these days? Send a letter here, please.

A question on etiquette for online dating. To give you some background, I'm 64 and have been online dating for some time with some success. I’ve had a lot of dates a few long-term relationships. But I never quite know how to respond to this kind of message: "I really like your profile, I'd love to continue this conversation, but life is busy right now and I'll get back to you in a few weeks when things slow down."

Of course, it's not hard to see that they aren't busy enough to be constantly online. Usually I just send a note back saying, "Sure, send a note when things slow down," then shrug my shoulders, remind myself that at this point they are just a picture and a profile, and keep sending notes looking for someone who is more available.

But in the back of my mind I'm thinking to myself, how busy can you be? My life is busy too but it just takes a few minutes to send a note. I mean, the whole point of online dating is to meet someone. I sometimes wonder if my response should be, "Sure, send a note when you are ready, but to be honest, if someone more serious comes around, I'm going to make them a priority, so I can't promise I'll be available." That's really the truth. I'm not going to shut things down for them to maybe respond at some point. I just don't know if it's a truth I want to convey to them.

– Busy

I love the truth, especially on apps, but this is more about how much information is relevant, and how much time you need to spend on someone who is so busy.

The most honest message might be, "Sure, reach out if things calm down, but ... isn't it weird that despite your packed schedule you're on here right now? Is it possible you've lost interest and don't have the courage to tell me because it's easier to be vague?"

What a message that would be! But it won't do much for you in the long run. You might get one second of satisfaction after saying the thing you're thinking, but you’ll be left in the same spot. No progress.

If someone says they're too busy, you can say, "Sounds good," and then move on. No instructions. Thank you, next, etc.

You seek someone who has time, so read any "Wow, I'm so busy" messages as "I'm not what you're looking for." If that person happens to show up later, great. If not, you already knew they weren't right for you.

It sounds like you're experiencing dating fatigue, a chronic problem for many people who spend time on apps. Try to limit the number of hours (or half hours) you swipe and message. Good boundaries force you to move past small talk as soon as you can. You'll feel less exhausted if there are limits.

You wouldn't stay at a singes event for three hours every night of the week, right? With more breaks, there's less frustration and getting to the point, I think.

– Meredith

Readers? Is it worth confronting the busy people? How do you deal with that kind of message?