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Etiquette Check: follow-up to someone who doesn't respond


Feb 12, 2018
Someone puts up an RT, you send a PM, and ... silence.

Is it considered rude to send a follow-up? If it's not rude, how long should you wait before nudging?

Are there any other situational factors you should consider? Like, if they've connected to the site since you messaged vs not been by? If they've connected but haven't bumped their RT/posted on any threads?


Aug 30, 2014
I wouldn't mind a pm the day after, or you know what? Even NOW, if it makes you feel better :)


Cuteness Is Justice!
Sep 25, 2021
Inside your walls
If the initial message goes unanswered I personally wouldn't send a follow-up. Not necessarily because it's rude, but because I think that silence speaks for itself. If they are interested they'll get back to you when they have the time, and if they don't then that at least to me is a sign of them not being interested.

If I suspect that the person was so popular that they got swamped with PMs because of their RT and mine just flew under the radar I might send another polite inquiry a week after, but that's really only situation where I would personally send any kind of follow-up.

When I did poking I usually waited for at least a week to do so, so again personally I wouldn't poke anyone before a week has passed and would take in the factors such as if they have even been active on the site etc. before even thinking of doing the little nudge.


Wandering Vagrant
Dec 31, 2019
This is of course very different from person to person, but in my experience as the other side -- the person who put up the RT --, I normally try to answer every response, even if it's just to say I've already found someone to play with or I feel like our preferences are too different for us to set up an RP. The only exceptions are woefully low-effort messages that manage to make three typos in "hi do you want to rp".

If you put more than ten seconds into writing your response and they've recently bumped or posted another thread, I'd say it's fair to give them a poke to ask if they've seen your message. Otherwise I'd give it a week; they might be flooded with responses or just haven't had time to sit down and write up a proper response.

I personally try not to read into the "last seen" thing too much (or the "last read" thing in PMs, which I don't think is ever accurate anyway); it's a nice indicator to know if someone is still active on the site, but I don't like the idea that because I am logged in, I'm expected to be tending to my outstanding messages. I don't want my (potential) partners to have that idea either.


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Aug 29, 2020
Pizza Land
I personally give it anywhere from a few days to a week. Anymore than that and I'd feel like my interest for that prompt is essentially gone. Don't hold it against anyone, that's just how it is.

While the planning stage is something I'm willing to be patient on, I will start questioning whether or not someone even intends to start writing or basically wanted a chat buddy when we have exchanged several replies and they keep delaying the start of the RP itself week after week.

This does of course depend on whether or not a potential partner's given me a heads-up. I appreciate being let go of if things are not working out too well between us for some reason.

That said I do make an effort to at least respond to people who PM me coming from my RT, as it takes me relatively little time and effort plus lets them know my stance. I've ignored very few messages I think, and those were mostly one-liners.


Dec 14, 2018
I'd never read anything into the fact that someone has logged into the site. There's every chance that the person I've contacted might have had a chance to read my message, but might not be in a position to reply straight away. They could be at work, on the bus, on their phone around family and friends and so on, sneaking a quick peek. They might want to think a bit before responding, and perhaps see what else you've posted and read that, etc. There's also the timezone issue.

I think my instinct is never to chase anyone for responses - for RP enquiries or posts. I guess my view is that anyone I have to chase for a response probably isn't interested, or probably isn't interested enough to be a good prospect for a RP. Or too busy. I'd rather not prod someone into a token, polite response only for discussions to fizzle later. Having said that, I'm always open to people coming back to me later on, or resuming discussions after a gap. We're all busy.

The other thing I wonder about is whether things are different depending on how 'in demand' the RT author is, and how many responses they get. I probably get one response per three RT bumps, and they're almost always good quality in the sense of having read my RT and responding thoughtfully. We don't always end up matching, but that's another issue.

But I get the impression that other people get a lot more responses. Especially women playing female characters. From some of the stories I've heard from RP partners, I get the impression that some guys aren't good at taking rejection - even when it's phrased very carefully - and will continue to push and pester, and perhaps even get abusive. There's also presumably a reason why a lot of female RTs have some kind of code word/ Van Halen M&Ms thing to mention to prove you've read it - lots of low quality, poorly targeted, spammy responses.

In my decade plus RP experience (as a male playing male characters), I've only ever had one angry/abusive response to declining to RP with someone, and only one RP ending a bit huffily. That's it. I'd be amazed if that would have been the case if I were female playing female characters.

So... when I respond to RTs, I do so in the expectation that anyone I want to RP with is going to get a lot of high quality responses. That the RT poster won't know if I'm the kind of person who takes rejection well, without pestering, and may not feel comfortable engaging at all if the answer is no.

I probably get responses about half the time, of which half-to-two-thirds of those fizzle quickly. So I think my strategy is not to invest too much in initial responses to RTs. A link to mine, a paragraph or two about what I liked about their RT, how/why I think we might be compatible, any reasons why we might not be, something about deliberately keeping my opening message short because they're probably swamped.
Nov 27, 2015
if there's no response, movin' on. if i have to chase down someone's attention, then i didn't grab it in the first place.


Jun 16, 2021
United States
As someone who gets very little play (when I'm actively searching), I give it a good few days before I move on. I'm of the opinion that if the other party was interested, they'd say something at least within that time. Now if I was actively writing with someone and there's not a lot of back and forth OOC? I usually nudge after about a week of radio silence. If I don't hear anything after another couple days/a week after that, I move on as well. I keep my doors open though so if something occurred that resulted in them not being able to be around, they can still contact me and such!

Doctor Manhattan

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Staff member
Me, personally, I have only once messaged a user a second time primarily because I forgot to include something in the first PM, many months after my first inquiry, and I did note it to her as well. Still was ignored.

I've come to realize most people, sorry to say, are not nearly as invested in their RPs as we would hope or like to believe. That's true even before starting one. So if you do hit someone up and get no response, at most I'd say poke a week later - as it could be they got busy and life prevented them from looking at their PMs here - but that's about it. No one owes anyone else their time.


known larrikin
Oct 16, 2022
On an initial outbound enquiry? You should not ever send a follow-up. Doesn't matter if they've been online, doesn't matter how much you'd think you'd be great partners. You send the outbound enquiry and you're done until they choose to respond to you. That's the deal. Without this etiquette: harrassment. And if you've never been on the receiving end of an insecure/possessive/obsessive RP partner, thank your lucky stars.

A follow-up is only warranted if you've established a discussion and either has agreed to write an intro or create a character etc. - in which case a week is standard.


Jan 22, 2023
I don't think I would ever do a follow-up to a request thread PM. However, if you seem them post or bump again, I think I would give it another try, obviously with maybe a different message.


Money, Hoes, Bionicles
Aug 19, 2013
Eh not really my thing. I kinda go by a timing thing. I don't wait like one day and then flood their inboxes. But if it's been a month or two and I see they've bumped the thread or made a new one then sure i'll send in another (though don't make a 'hey i messaged you before). But generally if i've sent one or two responses and get nothing then hey time to move on and find someone else.


Jan 22, 2023
In an ideal world, I think this question would be unnecessary because folks would just reply back with a brief 'no thank you' or similar. Of course, that's unrealistic, as anybody who's been inundated with PMs knows. I recall once being in a similar discussion where someone said that they choose to ignore 'applicants', for want of a better word, because sending them a form letter to decline them is demeaning. I completely disagree! If I put a lot of effort into a PM, I'd at least like the recipient to acknowledge it happened. Of course, even sending a 'form letter' would be exhausting for what's really a hobby, so often it's simply most practical to... ignore them.

... Especially given, as genedream mentioned, some folks can be scary. It's not common, but I've had a couple of brushes with obsessive people online and it's not fun at all. I don't blame anybody for remaining guarded with their PMs if they don't have any interest in the other party.

Another complicating factor is - on the wider web - I'm all the time hearing folks talking about missing notifications, or chats or messages not working, or etc. etc. I never know if that's legit or bad actors being blocked / people claiming it happened to defer blame to the site, but I always worry if there's a 'missed connection' due to a cyber hiccup. Still, the best policy is probably just for outbound messages to give it their one shot, and then let the ball lie in the recipient's court until initial contact. Then it becomes a personal matter between participants.


Come, Rocinante!
Staff member
Apr 5, 2013
As someone who does try to PM people back if they PM me first, I will be honest and say if I don't hear back from someone in about a week after PM'ing them my interest, I drop it and move on. This can go by quicker if I see them actively bumping their thread the next day or the likes since I just assume my pitch or PM wasn't a hit with them. No offense taken, it just means time to move on.

It can be no fun to have an interesting RP idea rejected or declined, but there's always the next partner, and the next time.


Jan 24, 2023
followup after an initial interest? i wouldnโ€™t dare cโ€™: i usually give a few days to a week depending upon, otherwise iโ€™d just assume they met their quota for partners or just did not vibe. ofc it would be nice to be told either way, but so it goes sometimes.


Corporate Drone
Dec 29, 2011
They bump their RT, you send an opening PM expressing interest, you get nothing back, they bump their RT again...there's your answer. I wouldn't bother.

If you've been chatting for a bit and they stop, that's a bit different: I give a few days to a week or so, send one follow-up...and that's it. If I still get silence, that's the answer.


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Jan 10, 2019
As upsetting as it can be to be ignored, I see no answer as an answer in itself. I wouldn't bother poking them again, even in the future; clearly there's a mismatch or miscommunication somewhere, be it on my end or theirs, though if for whatever reason they wish to contact me down the line, the door's generally kept open.


A Season of Winter.
Jan 26, 2023
In A Tower.
I wouldn't send a follow up if I didn't get a response. I take it as if they wanted to write together, they would reply. Simple. I definitely wouldn't wait around in the hopes of a response either. I would move on and think nothing of it.

Now on the other side of this. I can see why someone would not respond initially. For example, if the person reaching out has made it very clear they have not read the request or want something completely outrageous. I've had that happen to me before. Outlined everything I'm looking for, likes/dislikes and the people responding to my request wanted to do things on my dislike list. Then they send other messages asking why I'm not interested. In that case, I feel it's fine to not bother. But those legitimately looking for a partner/expressing interest/enthusiasm, I will always respond even if it is to say no thank you.
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