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Online Dating Email Etiquette?

Online dating website etiquette.

I thought I would share an email conversation with a website visitor who was sick and tired of the lack of etiquette on dating websites. Maybe it will help you if you’ve found yourself or someone you know in a similar situation.

I have a pet peeve. I belong to several online Web dating sites and am a “young” middle-aged woman. I’m told I am quite attractive, intelligent, and accomplished. In my experience, on dating sites, men do not feel the need to be courteous because there are no repercussions or accountability for not doing so.
Site Visitor

It is easy to hide behind this screen.

There are repercussions and accountability. Those who behave in this manner online reflect their offline character. Maybe one day they may contact you, and you’ll remember they did not take the time to be courteous in the past.

Often when I contact a man whose profile I like, he doesn’t even bother to answer. I try at least to send a short polite “No, thank you.” when someone contacts me, and I’m not interested. Some men do this too, but more often than not, they just don’t bother to write back.
Site Visitor

When ignored, move on…

Well, unfortunately, you are more courteous than some. For these guys to think they are above reply to another human being, who has shown interest in them reflects a lack of humility.

They can’t take the time to say, “No thanks but thanks for reaching out”? It makes you wonder what else they don’t feel is essential in their interpersonal relationships.

I get that is a difficult email to send, but if you are on sites encouraging contacts, that is part of the deal.

It really annoys me and seems insulting and rude.
Site Visitor

Stay away from those who appear uncaring.

I agree 100% that it is rude. Insulting, not so much. You choose to be insulted when this is not about you. It’s about them not having the basic decency to reply.

To not respond to an inquiry or the fact someone showed interest in you is selfish — or lacks courage. Neither of these is a trait to be proud of. But, on the other hand, if you put yourself out there to encourage contacts, you should at the very least offer the common courtesy of a response.

After all, if someone introduced us (out in the real world), the guy would show some semblance of politeness. On occasion, I’ve contacted the guy a second time and expressed my disappointment in their not answering, and usually, when prodded, they do write something. Am I crazy to expect a reply?
Site Visitor

Don’t spend time chasing those who are reluctant.

I wouldn’t call you crazy, but I wonder why you would pursue someone who initially ignored you. With that said, again, please don’t make this about you — it is about them.

Many people hide behind these screens because they know you can’t see them and that they are not being held accountable for their actions — or lack thereof. So they say and do (or don’t do) things they wouldn’t dare if face-to-face.

If I were in your shoes and didn’t receive a response, I would take it as a positive clue. Then, I wouldn’t need to let them know about my disappointment in their lack of reply.

The good news is you found out that person lacks common courtesy before wasting another moment of your time on them.

Some dating sites have “canned” short, polite answers that you can use if you don’t want to write a personal “No thanks.” What is the official word on this?
Site Visitor

Lead by Example

The official word is that you always respond courteously when someone takes the time to email you. Even if to say “Thank you but…”

That is just the right thing to do. If you join a site to make contacts and encourage communications, you act like a civilized human being and respond when those contacts occur.

Thanks for any insights you can shed on this dilemma! I really appreciate it and want to know what I can do about it, if anything.
Site Visitor

Be you and be kind.

There is really nothing you can do to change others’ behavior. Just continue being you. If someone you contact doesn’t respond, they probably are not the type of person who shares your beliefs on how to treat others anyway.

Suppose they don’t respond, fine. They are losing out on someone who has manners and courtesy — a desired commodity in any relationship.

We live in a culture of “me, me, everything is about me,” but I also know that not everyone is like that. Keep in mind that there are lots of great folks to meet online.

I know it is easier said than done but don’t take it personally. These are “men” who don’t have the intestinal fortitude to at the very least show a lady some courtesy. So who needs them?!

P.S. The door swings both ways, Ladies. Treat guys who contact you that you may not be interested in as you would want to be treated if the situation were reversed.

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