What are the rules of online dating? From what I can gather the rules are somewhat different from old fashioned style dating, but even there different people seem to play by different rules. I am somewhat confused so this article doesn’t actually provide the answers. Sorry. Perhaps if you are also confused, you will feel a little better knowing you aren’t the only one.
I recently read an interesting book called ‘Love @ First Click. The Ultimate Guide To Online Dating’ written by Laurie Davis. It was written in 2013 so is full of up to date ideas. The American author founded an online dating consultancy called eFLIRT EXPERT and has coached many people to find a date, friend or partner through online dating. I wrote about some of her advice for setting up a profile in part 1. Davis advises to always have an active profile on more than one dating site.
What is the next step when someone asks to make contact? Laurie Davis says it is acceptable to ignore someone with whom you don’t see any future. She was writing specifically in regard to sites where people send emails. If an initial email doesn’t seem to have potential she said you don’t have to do anything. There is no need to respond and decline the offer. Davis gave an example of where one of her clients had thought it would be more polite to send a ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ message. The recipient had responded with a nasty note. The author advises immediately blocking anyone who is mean or makes inappropriate comments.
According to this book it is quite acceptable for a woman to make the first move and suggest meeting in person. In this day and age, that seems fair enough to me. Some people like to talk on the phone before meeting face to face but Davis feels it is quite acceptable to skip this step and go from online chat to meeting up.
Davis suggests thinking of the initial offline contact not as a date but as a ‘meet-up’. The reason for this is that although you know the person you are meeting on an intellectual basis, you do not know yet if there will be any chemistry. If you have too many romantic expectations of this initial meeting you may be very disappointed. She suggests the ‘meet-up’ be between 45 and 90 minutes long. Davis also says going out for a meal is ‘second date’ territory in terms of online dating.
The author says once you have met in person and want to continue contact, further communication should not be online. Reverting to online communication can seem more comfortable but is unpredictable and keeping in contact between dates by phone (texting or speaking) is preferable. If the person contacts you for a second date but you aren’t interested, decline, thank for the invitation and extend good wishes for the future.
Davis says to be prepared to date more than one person concurrently. She says, ‘It’s not assumed that you’re exclusive until you either spend a significant amount of time together or discuss taking your profiles down.’ I wonder how long ‘a significant amount of time’ is? Do men and women generally have a similar definition of ‘a significant amount of time’?
The author admits dating more than one person at a time can present challenges in terms of fitting in dates, remembering details about each person and balancing the rest of one’s life. She gives details of how to cope with the challenges. Davis also gives lots of safety advice in regard to information you give out online and on dates.
How do you handle your online dating account when you have gone on a number of dates and believe you have met ‘the one’? Davis suggests initially stop logging in. Later you can hide your profile so it can be retrieved later if things go pear shaped. When you are sure your online dating days are over, delete your profile. When your profile has been removed it cannot be retrieved so be sure before you do this.
I found ‘Love @ First Click’ answered many questions about online dating. I’m sure there are people who would join me in questioning some of the advice. In the end, as with everything, one has to make decisions and act in accordance with one’s own style, beliefs and values. While there is some criticism of the online dating trend, I came across a positive quote in an online article, ’Above all, Internet dating has helped people of all ages realise that there’s no need to settle for a mediocre relationship.’