Opinions regarding online dating tend to be polarizing: people either accept it outright as a convenient way to date, or they can’t grasp the notion of an online search for romance. Many consider it to be tricky, but some experts explain that once you grasp the general idea, it can actually be quite fun! You just have to keep an open mind, and try not to take things too seriously. Here are answers to the four most common etiquette questions related to online dating.
- When should I reply?
There are lots of reasons why you may not immediately receive a response to your initial inquiry. So it’s important to allow prospective dates some time to respond. They may be stuck in a meeting, or getting dinner ready, or out with their friends. Waiting for several hours, then sending a follow-up message, such as “You must be really busy,” or “It seems you aren’t interested,” increases the chance of receiving a positive reply by as much as 33 percent.
- When should I expect a reply?
If someone hasn’t responded after 24 hours, this is usually an indication that they aren’t interested. Nearly everyone makes a point of replying within one day if they really are interested. So you don’t need to reply immediately to each inquiry, but don’t put it off for too long, either, or it may seem that you’re not interested.
- How can I get to know them before meeting IRL?
With online dating, you can’t really know the person until you’ve chatted together for a while. But even then, it may be difficult to really get to know each other. So before you set up a date, take advantage of as many social media outlets as you can. For example, ask the person to be your friend on Facebook, or to connect with you on Instagram.
Social media connections have another purpose, too: you’ll quickly be able to discern if the other person has several ex-spouses, or isn’t really the firm’s vice president like they said they were. Getting acquainted through social media will let you to do this additional, and sometimes important, research. You’ll be able to see what they’re really interested in, if they’re athletic or outgoing, and so on. You’ll also be able to see if the two of you have any interests in common, such as tastes in movies or music, or if you’re fans of the same sports teams.
When should I set up an actual date?
This really depends on the preferences of the two people involved. A general timeframe for a first date ranges from about three days to three weeks from initial contact. Using this timeframe as a general guide may save you not only effort, but also time. If the person really isn’t all that interested on going on areal date and would rather just keep flirting online with you, you’ll know within this timeframe.