Online Dating Etiquette

Women's Dating

How-To’s for Online Dating Etiquette

Kara Pound
Kara Pound Updated:
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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.