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Top 10 Unspoken Online Dating Rules

April 13, 2019 at 3.53pm by
Man and woman on a video chat

Like everything else in this world, dating has its own set of informal laws. And these laws seem to be peculiar for many people.

Call it design. Call it circumstance. Call it whatever you’d like. For whatever reason, the internet has had a definitive impact on dating in the twentieth century—for better or for worse. While romantic interactions may have changed in the past fifty years, the need to observe etiquette remains at an all time high. And yet?

Ask any woman who’s received an unsolicited crotch pic how likely they’d be to react positively. Go on. We’ll wait.

Didn’t think so. But it’s not just wholesale cluelessness that can turn a date from delight to disaster faster than you can say “Zuckerberg.” While it might seem like common sense to state that if you wouldn’t do it in the office, don’t do it on a date—online dating doesn’t exactly result in a surplus of common sense.

Maybe you’re just getting back into the swing of dating. Maybe you’re wondering why you seem to never get a second call. Or maybe you need to learn the fundamentals of manners. Online dating rules have changed the game. Not just in twenty years, but in the past two. Here are the top 10 rules of online dating advice.

Dress To Impress, Not To Repress

No, that doesn’t mean wearing Oscar de la Renta or Hugo Boss to the movies. But that doesn’t mean stained sweatpants and tracksuits, either. There’s a happy medium (more like an extra large) between both ends.

When in doubt, business casual is your friend in almost all occasions. And unless you’re going to a Comic-con or an opera performance of “Wuthering Heights”, leave the Mad Hatter outfits and Victorian frock coats at home (don’t laugh—we’ve seen it done.) There’s a big difference between being quirky and crying for attention.

Great Sexpectations Means Walking Home Alone

Men: You’ve picked up the tab. You smiled. You complimented her. Why, you even bothered to take a shower. Guess what? She still doesn’t owe you anything.

Women: He’s eyeing you. Ogling you. A leer says more than panting breath sometimes. If you’re not feeling it, learn to say “no.” Feels good, doesn’t it? If he doesn’t get the picture, remember these four simple words: Eyes. Knees. Groin. Throat.

Cash Rules Everything Around You. Use It Wisely

That’s a pretty sizable tab they’ve run up. 20 year vintage wine on a first date? Filet mignon? And whatever a tarte flambee is? Expensive tastes. Surely they know their stuff. No doubt, they can cover their end.

What’s that? They left their card at home? They’ll pay you tomorrow—and by the way, do you mind calling them an Uber?

Planning ahead to ensure you’re not spending outside your means on a first date is the difference between people watching—and washing dishes.

Get Off The Phone

There’s no greater lack of tact than checking your phone every 30 seconds. Even if the date has entered into that curious territory known as “Awkward Pause-landia”, at least pretend to feign interest in what they might have to say. And this might be a novel suggestion, but… consider striking up a conversation.

The LOLcats can wait until you get home.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Your ex isn’t around to hear you. Your past is a past for a reason—no matter how painful or time consuming it might have been. No one is interested in competing with the caricatures you might paint. And furthermore? If you’re not ready to give up the past, you might not be ready to start dating again.

Your date isn’t a competitor. They’re a real life flesh and blood person, with their own dreams, their own quirks and hopefully their own charms. They’re not your therapist.

A First Date Is Not A Contract

Online dating can lead to some tricky assumptions; particularly if you’ve been lost in deep, meaningful conversations before even meeting face to face (don’t laugh. We’ve all been there.) But don’t assume your first encounter is going to be destiny smiling down on you.

Real connections take time to develop. And online encounters are, let’s face it, only one side of the story. Don’t rush into your first date with wild-eyed dreams of true love. There’s a thin line between romantic aspirations and creepiness. Which, speaking of creepiness…

Don’t Stalk Your Date On Social Media (Or Any Place Else)

We’ve all done it. Reviewed a Facebook or LinkedIn profile to ensure there’s no red flags such as copious pictures of firearms or an occupation listed as “big pimpin’.” But there’s cautious and honest curiosity—and then there’s obsessiveness.

If they’re willing to share their profile with you, that doesn’t mean they’re head over heels in love with you. It means they have little to hide. Don’t exploit that openness.

Don’t String Someone Along

They’re nice, but… They’re sweet, but… Their heart is in the right place, but… For whatever reason, you’re just not that into them. But they, on the other hand? They’re convinced that you—yes, you—just might be the proverbial “one.” And you don’t want to let them down.

Let them down easy. Tactfully. Firmly. But there’s no use in letting them pretend there’s a spark when there’s nothing but an ice cube. Don’t lead someone along. That’s not just tacky. It’s downright cruel.

This Is A Date. Not A Competition

“Oh yeah? Well this one time…” are five words guaranteed never to lead to a second date. And in the off chance they do, rest assured that your entire time together will be spent puffing up your chest, and there’s no hope for a first kiss.

Nobody likes a braggart. About the only thing they like less is someone so insecure they feel the need to inflate their own ego non-stop. When in doubt, just remember—your rags are better than someone else’s gown.

Be Yourself

Be weird. Be controversial. Be boring. Be silly. Be passionate. But be natural. Most people can see through airs as well as they can see through… well, air.

Online dating is indeed very useful if you want to meet a potential match. If you’re ready to give it a try, be sure to choose a reliable online dating website – Simply Dating.

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