Updated: November 30, 2022
Face it, the rules of dating have changed a lot since online dating came along. If you’re a dater and want to do the right thing, how do you know if you’re crossing any lines or breaking any of these new rules? 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. Give someone at least 3-4 hours to respond.
The wait may make you anxious, but when sending an online dating or text message it’s good to give someone a little more time to respond. In fact, according to data from the online dating site Zoosk, sending a second message before getting an answer to your first can decrease your chances of getting a response from someone by 34%.
2. 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.
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,” says Schweitzer.
5. Don’t lie, be yourself.
“Whether it’s about your age, hobbies, or appearance, getting caught in a little white lie is always embarrassing, especially if you’re hoping things will work out well between the two of you,” says Schweitzer. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you portray yourself in a false light, you’ll never know if that person truly likes you or your new persona.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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