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italki Language Partners feels like a dating site - how do you find a genuine language exchange partner? I'm brand new to being an active user on italki.  Since I scheduled my first trial lesson last night, I have been inundated with messages from community members wanting to practice English/Spanish.  I think this is an excellent resource, but I can't help but notice that all of the people who have messaged me (minus one) are men.  I honestly feel like I've just joined a dating site and am overwhelmed.  I've received five new messages now in the last 45 minutes!  Wondering if anyone else (especially women) have experienced this on italki.  I feel pretty uncomfortable giving out my WhatsApp or Skype ID to strangers online, even in this context.  How do you find genuine language-learning partners?  Should I just stick to my paid lessons with my teacher?  Any other advice would be appreciated.  Thank you!
May 14, 2019 7:11 PM
Comments · 24
You may want to adjust your “privacy” settings. First, you can remove yourself from the “language partners” search page — the default is that you’re included. Second, you may want to set it so that only “friends” can private message you. Non-premium members only get two friend requests per day, but unlimited PMs (so PMs are often sent in a spammy manner). If you’re interested in language partners, the best way is through public interaction in the community. If someone provides good corrections / answers / comments, you can follow up on it in a natural manner — as you would in the off-line world. One more thing — if you’re getting spammy messages from guys every 10 minutes, you are under no obligation to answer. Actually, you’re never under any obligation to answer.

May 14, 2019
I would have a look on their profiles and see whether they're are interesting or have the same interests as you. I mainly have men messaging me, but women also message me. I currently have two language partners on italki, who are both women. We get on well with each other and they have helped me improve my language skills. You can also see you you're first chat with them goes and decide whether to carry on or not. I think a number of women who use language exchange websites automatically assume every man messaging them is after some dating opportunity, when I don't think that's the case. Try a few out and see if you get on with them
May 14, 2019
Alexandra - I totally understand. I have mainly received messages from men. I have been lucky though that I have two nice men to speak with and they aren't creepy at all. I am ignoring a lot of the messages I receive. Once, I politely responded to a man and told him i appreciated the message. I then told him at this time I only was interested in speaking with native spanish speakers as this is the language I am learning. He sent a very angry response in return basically saying that all American women are selfish and wishing that I don't do well in my language learning!! I hope you are able to find some nice guys and nice women. Good advice by other posts on here. And frankly, you are attractive so maybe you can view that as some sort of compliment. Ha! Good luck on italki. Hang in there because it is worth it when you find a good language partner. My one friend is super patient and a good teacher. I also use a professional teacher. Just finished my lesson with her. She's awesome. 
May 14, 2019

Yeah, I think it's easy to feel some kind of harassment. But:

- Notice that, at this moment, most people that answered this message, we are men. Not sure if this is a problem.

- I have three active partners, all of them women, since more than three years ago. Not problem at all.

- You look young and beautiful. So, you are the perfect target for stupid men. Sorry, that's real. My advice is not to hide you. You have no reason to be afraid. Simply block all of them that are irrespectful. Ignore all message containing a simple "Hi" or "I want to be friends on Italki". Review their profiles and activity, and how long they had been on Italki. The score is a good way to know who is an old member, more or less active in the community.

I think the rules are here the same as in the real world: lots of empty-head males full of hormones, and a bunch of idiots. But you will find some valuable people which aim is genuine, willing to learn and help. Respectful people that can be good partners and friends. Don't give up, and enjoy the community.

May 14, 2019

A friend told me that she had the same problem. She had a really bad experience with a partner. He was always trying to flirt with her. 

I've never experienced something like that but I think it is because I'm a man. I didn't know about this problem until my friend told me. It's a shame.

I think that the best way to know if someone is trustworthy is see if the user has points for helping people and if he is premium.

May 14, 2019
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Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language