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Dating Website E-mail Etiquette?

I thought I would share with you an email conversation I had 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. I a “young” middle-aged woman. I think 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.

There are repercussions and accountability. 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.

Well, unfortunately, you are apparently more courteous than most. 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”? Makes you wonder what else they don’t feel is important in their interpersonal relationships.

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

It really annoys me and seems insulting and rude.

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 very selfish. 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?

I wouldn’t call you crazy — but I do wonder why would you pursue someone who initially ignored you. With that said, again, 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 be held accountable for their actions — or lack thereof. They say and 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. You found out that person lacks common courtesy before you waste a another moment of your time on them.

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

The official word is you always provide a courteous response when someone takes the time to email you. That is just the right thing to do. If you join a site to make contacts and encourage communications you then 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.

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

If they don’t respond, fine. They are the ones 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 rude — 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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