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Online Dating Etiquette-The Do's And Don'ts

Apr 9, 2008
For those of you who are just getting started with online dating, here are a few tips to get you started without offending others. In our everyday lives, we try to live by the etiquette of society, so the internet should not be any different.

Let's start off with the negatives and get them out of the way before moving onto the positives. Since most initial conversation takes place through either an email or chat, let's start with some basics.

* Don't type in Caps. This is the internet equivalent of screaming. TYPING IN CAPS IS FROWNED UP.

* Don't use "text talk" when responding to others. Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about: LOL, BRB, TTFN, CYA, OMG. There are too many people out there that just don't understand what any of the abbreviations stand for. Take the time to write out each word and make sure to use proper punctuation. Remember, you are trying to entice the person you're communicating with to want to learn more about you.

* Don't use offensive language. Keep your initial discussion clear of colorful language. Once you get to know someone a little better, you'll get the idea on whether or not they find this type of language to be appropriate. The last thing you want is for someone to lose interest in you early in the relationship because you let your language slip.

* Don't force someone to proceed quicker than they wish. You may feel you are ready to move from email and chat conversations over to a telephone call, but don't assume your partner is ready for that step. If they refuse your invitation, don't badger them. When they are ready for that step, they will let you know.

* Don't maintain an active profile if you are seeing someone else. This behavior is frowned upon in the online dating community.

Now that we've gotten those out of the way, let's take a peek at some things that you should focus on. Follow these tips and you will be a highly regarded citizen of the web.

* Tell the truth and be yourself. Even little white lies will eventually come back to haunt you. The foundation of every relationship is trust.

*It's OK to be in discussions with many different singles. In fact, this is one of the main benefits of using an online dating service. You want to be exposed to as many options as possible. As long as you're not in an exclusive relationship, this is not seen as being sleazy.

* Listen to what people are telling you. Take the time to read their email or chat responses before formulating your response back to them.

* Personalize each response you make. It makes the recipient feel that you value your discussion with them.

* Respond back to people as soon as you can. It's common courtesy to do so. Put yourself in their shoes. When you send out an email, you expect a response in a timely manner. One other point of note, if you wait too long to get back to someone, you may miss out on your opportunity to learn more about them. They may just move on to the next person that interests them. You just never know.
About the Author
Jim McMenamin is the webmaster and creator of MacsDatingSite.com, a blog dedicated to the various issues of online dating. For a limited time, Jim is giving away two free eBooks, 10 Tips To Writing Your Online Dating Profile as well as 101 Steps To A Happy Relationship, when you sign up for his newsletter .
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