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What Is Online Dating Etiquette?

As much as we like to think of the internet as being like the old American West, full of rough and ready spills, where we can do what we like, the truth these days is somewhat different – especially where it comes to etiquette, manners and dating. At it’s most basic, the principals behind online dating when it comes to etiquette are much the same as they are for dating back in the real world. When you think about how you interact with other people, your watch words should be courtesy, manners and respect. If you can manage this, you’ll find other people far more inclined to do the same for you.

Time and again when we ask people what they think the most important things are that they look for in potential dates, we get told that manners rank extremely highly. When you look at Australians who are looking for a long term partner, that percentage rises significantly, putting it in the top five things that people look for.

What then do people mean when they talk about dating online then? Well at its heart we’re talking about communicating and acknowledging when people have shown an interest in you. Even if you are not interested in them, it’s good form to let them down gently. Just remember that you are not the only person looking for your perfect match. Just as you would prefer to hear, one way or the other, whether someone is interested, so would the people who contact you. Just remember that if you are respectful of their opinions you are contributing a general culture of respect here.

When someone has sent you an email, you should take even more time because of the extra time it has taken them to craft it, even if it only looks like they’ve done a fill in the numbers routine. A good way to think about it is as if they’ve bought you a drink while you’re out on the town. It’s rude not to acknowledge it in some way, even if you’re not interested. Be polite, and then either let them know that you don’t think it would work out, or that your circumstances have changed.

It’s the same principle at work where you should be gracious if someone tells you that they are not interested. Just as you would in real life, just move on and don’t make a scene – it never helps.

There are always going to be people who are rude online – but that’s no reason for you to join in.

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This post was written by Amelie

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