The New Rules of Online Dating Etiquette 2021

Updated: February 25, 2021

For the answers we talked to a few different relationship and etiquette experts for their take on the most important rules of online dating etiquette that you need to know.

1. Reply within 24 hours.

Responding within 24 hours keeps a positive energy flow between a possible connection. “It’s an unspoken rule that you don’t need to reply back to an email where you don’t have interest in the person. After 24 hours, it’s assumed you’re unlikely to reply due to lack of interest or inactivity on the dating site,”.

2. Wait to give out your digits.

Although texting may be easier than finding wifi to send the next message, wait until you’re comfortable with someone before giving them your phone number. “If you are interested in them and wish to continue the relationship offline, consider setting up a date in a public place and get to know them in person before trusting them with personal contact information,”.

3. Let someone know if you’re not interested.

“If someone asks you out and you’re not interested, politely say that you would prefer to keep the relationship online, or that you would like to get to know them before meeting in real life,” suggests Schweitzer.

4. Ghost if you need to!

Unmatching, blocking, and reporting someone are socially acceptable options for those who wish to discontinue a conversation. “The best option is of course to be honest and explain that you’re not interested, but if you don’t feel comfortable with sending that message or if they continue to message you after you’ve been upfront, block them and move on,”.

5. Be appropriate.

Don’t do or say anything you wouldn’t face to face. Although it’s easy to open up to people online, according to online dating etiquette, it’s still important to keep the conversation appropriate.

6. Don’t assume.

“Online dating is a particularly sensitive situation, and it can be hard to tell if both sides are mutually interested in a relationship. Don’t assume that your online conversations will lead to anything more,” says Schweitzer.

7. Don’t take it personally.

At any stage of the relationship process, rejection isn’t the best feeling, but don’t take it to heart. “Think about it as being one step closer to finding the person that’s right for you!” says Schweitzer.

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