It feels different, because it feels more like I’m rejecting a person, well, personally, rather than saying they aren’t the right fit or we had more qualified applicants. I do indeed think the etiquette for rejection in different in these two situations: It’s much more acceptable not to reply to messages from would-be suitors on online dating sites than it is for employers not to reply to job applicants.
I also think I would get more pushback of the kind hiring managers sometimes get when we reject an applicant. Part of it is just a difference in conventions — the professional conventions for hiring are different than the conventions for online dating.
You might think it would be more likely with the dudes whose initial messages are already a little sketchy, but it’s not uncommon to also receive abusive responses to rejection from the guy whose first message was polite, unassuming and/or charming.
Given that, it’s just the smarter option for women who don’t want to field a bunch of hostile and insulting messages not to respond to people to say “thanks but I don’t think we’re the right match.” Now, it’s certainly true that some job applicants also respond to rejection with hostility, but (a) they’re far less numerous than in online dating, (b) the intensity of the hostility seems to be lower, and (c) it’s part of the job in that situation to deal with the occasional whacked out response to rejection.
Online Dating has become one of the easiest ways to connect with singles and meet new possible partners or even potential friends.