10 Tips for Online Dating Etiquette

Taking the time to practice dating etiquette can make the online dating experience pleasant for all involved.

  1. Treat people with respect, just as you would if you were talking to them face-to-face. Some people behave as if they are invisible online and likely wouldn’t behave that way if in person. Treat the other person like you would want to be treated.
  2. If someone messages you and you don’t want to talk, just tell them that. If they won’t take no for an answer, most systems allow you to block or report members who are being abusive or harassing you.
  3. If you’re instant messaging with someone talk to the other person as if you were out having coffee. Don’t offend. Its amazing what people will say online. The other person may not want to hear how your equipment works or that you’re horny, especially if you’re not on an adult themed site.
  4. If someone shows interest in you by sending you a smiles, carrot, or wink, its ok if you don’t respond. You can save both of you time and energy by not responding if you are not interested. By responding, you may give the person the impression that you are interested in them when you’re not. You may feel bad that you don’t respond, but smiles, etc. are a way of testing to see if someone is interested. If you’re interested in a person who expressed interest in you, or think you might be – send a smile, carrot or wink back to them. If you are not interested, its best not to respond.
  5. Often those with new profiles are inundated with messages when they first post their profile online. Some sites allow you to set up an automated message in which you can state (in your words) something like Thanks for your message. I’ve received many messages and may not get to all the messages Ive received. Check the site you are using for a feature like this.
  6. On sites where the person has used credits (or paid) to contact you, it seems only polite to respond as it usually doesn’t cost you anything. Even if you’re not interested, it only takes a 30 seconds to thank them for the message, tell them you don’t feel a connection or whatever the truth is for you, and wish them success in their search.
  7. If you’re corresponding with a handful of people from a dating site, it can be embarrassing when you get details mixed up. Keep a pad besides the computer to make notes. After a while, you’ll learn how many people you can converse with at once without becoming confused.
  8. Tell the truth. If you have kids or smoke, for example, say you do. Do you really want to get involved with someone only to find out he/she will not continue to see you later because you lied about whether you had kids?
  9. If a person suddenly stops conversing with you or is rude don’t take it personally. Actions speak louder than words. If you wish, you can write to them and ask what happened just so you have the peace of mind of knowing.
  10. If you’re taking a break from dating or going on a long vacation etc. – hide your profile. When you’re ready to get back into it, make it visible again.

You can choose whether you wish to adopt any or all of the above online dating etiquette tips. Do what feels right for you. Remember… it can be vulnerable putting yourself out into the online dating world. The simplest rule: Treat others as you’d want to be treated.