Back in March, I wrote a little blog on E-flirting etiquette which looked at the way technology had changed the way we flirt.
Through the introduction of mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter and online dating sites such as Plenty More Fish, a lot of people may be unsure about some aspects of dating etiquette. No longer is it nerdy or desperate to ask someone out online or by text. In fact, it’s become quite the norm. Cast your mind back to the days before Facebook, sites like ours or even mobile phones; certain protocols applied to dating. Well, these manners still apply. For example, it’s polite to let the other person know whether another date is on the cards soon after the first date. In the past you may have communicated this straight after the first get together with little/ no contact in-between. Now, due to smartphones, it’s highly likely for this to be communicated soon after via text or social network. However just like before, it’s important not to leave the other person “hanging’ too long. A recent study suggested that the average wait time for a follow up text or call was 1.52 days. After this, the date loses interest. So a prompt response is still needed.
It’s important for modern and old school dating etiquettes to co-exist. Just because you’re sat behind a phone or computer screen, it doesn’t mean you should abandon some of the older rituals of courtship. For example; you wouldn’t open a conversation with a stranger in a bar by saying “wanna chat?” so why do it online? Quite frankly, I think you’d be lucky to receive a “no” as a response. The best way to start a conversation online would be similar to how you’d be expected to introduce yourself offline. Something a little more personal is needed such as; ” Hi, I noticed you’re profile and it seems we have quite a lot in common [talk specifics here]. If you like what you see, get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.”
Chances are, when you’re using a dating site like Plenty More Fish you’ll probably end up chatting to more than one potential date. You may even be dating more than one person at a time. This is very different to traditional courtship and a lot of people struggle to get their head around it. A while back, a friend of mine was feeling really guilty about dating more than one person at the same time after meeting them online. I don’t really see a problem with keeping your options open before a relationship gets serious. There’s so many fish in the sea it’s important to be sure before making the decision to let the other dates down. I think this is the biggest difference with meeting people online vs. offline – there’s a much bigger pond full of potential partners.
Technological changes have made it easier for us to find dates. The devices and platforms we use to communicate with them has changed but the way we communicate and the etiquette we use really hasn’t. It’s nothing we haven’t done before, just a different way of doing it.