Online Dating Etiquette

Online dating is a puzzle to many people. You never seem to get replies or people just stop talking to you for no reason. While there are likely reasons on their end for each of these actions, there’s a chance it has something to do with your online etiquette as well. After all, dating online doesn’t void the idea that you have to be presentable and put your best foot forward. Yet, many people believe they don’t have to try as hard online. If you’re one of those people, that’s exactly why you’re having issues with online dating. It’s time to read up on the online dating etiquette and see if you’re making any of these common mistakes.

Mistake #1: False Advertising

One of the worst things you can do online is falsely advertising who you are and what you do. Selling yourself is fine and will likely make you more interesting, but you want to be honest about who you are. This goes for the physical representation of yourself, such as your photos. It also applies to the information you provide about your hobbies and interests and how you communicate. You want to be yourself, as natural as possible. The tone of your messages should be the same tone you’d speak with face-to-face. Your profile picture can be flattering, but not an edit.

Don’t talk about hobbies you don’t actually have to make connections with people who might be interested. They will feel like they wasted their time and so will you in the long run.

Mistake #2: Bad Communication

Some people are just bad at communicating. Some never learned proper communication and others have been dulled by society. Since everything is done online now and most words are abbreviated, communicating properly seems to be a thing of the past. The fact is, you don’t have to write full words to use them properly. That is what proper communication is. You need to send clear messages that don’t confuse the recipient. Ask questions that would invoke a response. Be fun and flirty in your messages, while also being respectful of the other person.

Sexting is a huge no and massive breach of online dating etiquette!  Even after you’ve made contact, avoid this, even if you’re asked, until you’re “dating” one another.

Mistake #3: Lack of Patience

It can be hard to sit around waiting for a response to a message or a text. It tends to build anxiety in most individuals. But if you’re sending one message after another, you’re going to send the wrong impression. Especially if you’re assuming the reason someone isn’t texting you back. The best way to end up ghosted is by writing “I guess you don’t like me” or “Where are you?”. Be patient. There are many legitimate reasons someone might not be able to respond right away. It could be work, family, or maybe they are driving somewhere. You don’t know what’s going on. Until you do, sit back and wait for a response.

Did you know if you send more than 1 message you decrease your chances of a response by 34%? Is it worth the risk? If you don’t hear back from someone within 24 hours, they aren’t interested in you. Don’t keep sending messages, just move on.

Mistake #4: The 24 Hour Rule

As mentioned above, The 24 Hour Rule is one of the unspoken rules of online dating. If you don’t reply to someone without 24 hours, it means you are not interested in them. If they don’t respond to you, they are not interested in you. This goes for the first contact message and any time gap that follows. This is the only time it is safe to “assume” that someone isn’t interested in you. Unless you know this individual is prone to sudden disappearances (maybe medical, maybe a crazy work schedule) and you’ve already been warned that it may happen. In that case, patience is the key.

Mistake #5: Rushing Things

It’s important that you get to know each other online before you try to meet each other in person. You should communicate back and forth many times before ever discussing meeting in person. You should ask each other questions and get to know more about the intention of the other person. Get to know what they like and don’t like. This helps you to determine if you’re even compatible before meeting in person. A good way to get to know each other is to connect through social media. Just remember you can’t believe everything you see on social media.

Mistake #6: Going Too Slow

Following the last mistake, you can go too slow as well as too fast. Another unspoken rule of online dating etiquette is if you haven’t met within 2 weeks of opening contact, you won’t be meeting in person at all. If you’re seriously interested in meeting someone, make sure you find room in your schedule to follow through. If they can’t seem to find the room to meet you, then it’s because they aren’t serious. Bail on each other more than twice and there’s a chance you’re both hiding something. Accept reality and cut the communication.

Mistake #7: Dishonesty

It’s hard to tell someone how you really feel. It’s easier to let them think you’re interested and just come up with excuses to not get more involved. Even when you’re called out, it’s easier to say you’re just busy than the other person is right. The last thing you want to do is string someone along. You wouldn’t want it done to you, right? That’s terrible online dating etiquette. If you’re not interested in someone, tell them. Some people take this type of message personally and will continue messaging you. It’s totally acceptable to block someone who won’t leave you alone. You may also ghost if you feel like telling someone the truth will hurt their feelings.

Mistake #8: Taking It Personally

No one likes feeling rejected. It can be easy to internalise and fret about what you did wrong. But the fact is, it’s not always you. Sometimes, people are looking for a specific type of person. Sometimes, people are just looking for a specific feeling. If someone doesn’t feel that spark with you, there’s nothing you can do to change the outcome. Accept the rejection and shrug it off as you weren’t right for each other. If you take it personally, it could end up stunting your dating experiences in the future.

If you would like some help making online dating work, do book an Online Dating Coaching session with me.