Etiquette of online dating

One, when in Rome, and two, frankly it’s a lot easier than responding and rejecting, something I have always been very bad at and extremely uneasy doing.

If you get approached by someone you don’t find attractive, for whatever reason, you simply hit delete and move on. I began adapting to these odd new cultural mores, for a couple of reasons.

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Of course, when you think about it, what seems more silly: joining a community of fellow looking-for-love singles, who are introduced to you based on potential compatibility?

Or heading to the nearest bar, feverishly scanning for someone who ‘looks' single, then hoping like mad that a) they’ll notice you and b) that you have something – anything – in common? And the statistics support this: recent research has shown that internet dating is now the second most-common way to find a partner, while as many as 1-in-3 marriages start online.

In “real life,” when someone approaches and asks you out, you’re obliged by social custom to reply. How can I be mean to someone who thinks I deserve that kind of effort?

You may not be interested, but you can’t just pretend that the person isn’t standing there talking to you. So we have developed all manner of ways of saying no thanks, in what is hopefully the kindest way possible. And a couple times, women I have written to actually have replied with nice no thank you messages. And – here’s the odd part – a little uncomfortable.

I have had the experience of being both the dater and the coach.

The rules of conduct are seemingly made up by a hodge-podge of daters’ experiences and professionals (like me) who help frustrated singles looking for a serious relationship in the world of dating.With our inability to make a decision due tothe other black hole of this crazy universe—too many singles to choose from–we collect people like trophies.We find ourselves with more options and accolades than we know what to do with. I think I am quite attractive, intelligent, and accomplished.I try at least to send a short polite “No, thank you.” when someone contacts me and I’m not interested.While that’s a nice enough plot for a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, reality doesn’t work like that.