How-To’s for Online Dating Etiquette

March 22, 2012
How-To’s for Online Dating Etiquette

Famed etiquette writer, Emily Post, didn’t live long enough to see online dating become a social norm. But I still wonder what she’d have to say about proper manners when it comes to the dating blogosphere.

After all, does online dating differ from traditional dating?

There are dozens of online dating sites:, Zoosk, OkCupid, eHarmony and Plenty of Fish to name a few. With dating comes an unwritten code of behavior. With online dating comes a whole new set of rules. Let’s take a look at the top three etiquette questions when it comes to computer courtship.

When it comes to online dating, does silence say “No thanks”?

Say you’ve been emailing with this guy for about a week and he seems really sweet. Then all of the sudden, his messages become weird and cryptic. Can you just start ignoring him? Is your silence a way of saying, “I’m not interested anymore”?

Yes, the silent treatment when it comes to online dating is totally acceptable. Obviously, if you’ve been intimate with the other person or have spent a lot of time together out in the real world, then a phone call or in-person letdown is much more acceptable.


“Now that online dating is taking over,

it’s important to learn the etiquette.”

Is it OK to ask someone you met online personal questions?

No, it is absolutely not acceptable. If you haven’t met in-person, then it would completely inappropriate to ask. Some questions going through a potential date’s head could be, “Why would they want to know where I live?” or “Why would they want to know where I work?” Wait until they tell you where they work or invite you over to where they live. There is no reason, other than curiosity, to ask beforehand.

How long should a profile stay up once you’ve started dating?

Keeping your profile active on a dating website indicates to the person you’re with the relationship is either not serious or not going anywhere and you’re still on the hunt for a new mate. If you really like the guy you’re seeing, then take your profile down. If you’re just having fun and enjoying each other’s company without it getting to hot and heavy, then keep your profile up and your options open.

Now that online dating is virtually taking over traditional dating, it’s important to learn the etiquette and rules surrounding this new art form. Like a fine wine, the beginning of an online connection needs time to breath and gather full-bodied taste. Like a bad wine, unsuitable connections should be poured down the drain.

Kara Pound is an award-winning journalist based in St. Augustine, Fla. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Flagler College. Her work has been published in INKED, Natural Awakenings, Design Aglow, Memphis Flyer, Jacksonville Magazine, E/Environmental Magazine and dozens more. Check out some of Kara's work at Connect with her on Google+.

Related Topics:
Etiquette Online Profiles

5 Responses

    I really found that their is a certain etiquette to online dating that we usually forget. I met this guy online and he lied about his weight and height we get alone well on line but when I met him he was short and overweight I was a bit surprise because he had at least 50 lbs more that his profile…Should I ask to Skype with my future date before I meet them ?

    It really enjoyed reading your article … I was wondering I met this wonderful person and I am excited to meet him fast …He prefers to wait . How long should we know each other online before we meet face to face ?

      C. Price
      Cynthia (

      Dr. Wendy has addressed this question before. When meeting offline for the first time, keep it public, have your own transportation, and keep it a short meetup. Grab a coffee at Starbucks perhaps.

      “This isn’t a first date. It’s just a visual check-him-out. After that, if you like him, you can go on a first date.” –Wendy Walsh

    I met this woman online and she is great in every aspect . I recently took down my profile because I knew I found what I was looking for . I recently realized that she still has her profile active. I asked her to take it down, she said she will but she didn’t .Should I insist ? It’s been 1 month now and the last time I checked, her profile is still active .

      C. Price
      Cynthia (

      Instead of bringing up the “profile” issue again, try approaching your lady friend by asking her if she is enjoying the time you two spend together. Once she realizes how compatible you are, she’ll take her profile down on her own time.

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