Relationships

How to negotiate your way in the modern dating world

Coffee date.
Going out for coffee is a good option for a first date.

Social etiquette is an important part of every day life, and that includes dating.

For those getting back into the dating world, and even embracing online dating for the first time, you may have forgotten, or never even known what the ‘rules’ were.

Match.com has provided a guide on how to get the most out of online dating, which includes these tips to make sure you do the right thing in this new online world of romance. 

Last week we spoke about dating etiquette and how it has changed, when it comes to online dating. This week we continue with the romance once it gets beyond the keyboard and moves into a face to face experience. 

Meeting up

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It is impolite to string someone along for weeks without making a firm plan to meet. It’s best to offer to meet after one or two phone calls so you can at least see if there is something between you both.

A first meeting should always be in a public place. This makes everyone involved feel safer. Everyone should have their own transportation, as well.

First Dates

Be positive. A first date is not a place for negativity, so no talking about your ex, things you hate or past bad dates. This will only make your date feel self-conscious.

Ask questions. Show curiosity but don’t interrogate. It is better to ask a question, listen to the answer, and then provide an insight or an experience of your own.

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Who pays?

Old fashion gender rules dictated that the man would always pick up the check on a date. However, many today are not as hung up on gendered expectations.

Some feel the most equitable way to handle the question is to ask who offered the invitation. The person who asked the other out, in this case, can be the one who pays for the date.

Picking a small outing like coffee or morning tea is also a good approach. This way, no one feels like they’re being taken advantage of, even if the evening does not end with any sparks.

At the beginning of a date, feel free to offer to go dutch if that is what makes you most comfortable. This way, no one has any expectations. If you are a woman, saying it up front can help avoid mixed signals. Some guys may conclude that you are not interested if you offer to pay.

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Read more: How to successfully start an online dating relationship.

Dating others

Online dating involves some tricky etiquette when it comes to seeing other people. When you first start seeing someone, it is best to assume that they are also going out on dates with others. It is best not to get upset or jealous, as there is no reason to expect exclusivity at the start of a relationship.

If the relationship has become intimate, both safety and manners demand that you disclose whether you are sleeping with other people. This way, everyone can make informed decisions about the limits and their health.

And, of course, it is necessary to deactivate your online dating profile after you have decided to date exclusively.

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Rejection

It happens to us all. We message someone who looks perfect for us… and then there’s silence. We go on one date, then never hear back.

Rejection is just a part of online dating. Dealing with it gracefully is the part you can control.

The best way to handle a rejection is just to move on. If there is an opportunity to send a message, send a quick thanks for the chat or the meal and wish them luck in their future.

Do not ask for an explanation. No one owes you a full list of the reasons that they are not interested. In many cases, they may have painful things to disclose, so it would not make you feel better if you knew.

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How to do the rejecting

In many cases, it is no more fun to be the one doing the rejecting instead of getting rejected. Proper etiquette may not be any help for disappointment, but it may help sooth the sting a little.

Never no show, for a date. If you plan to cancel, do it as early as possible before a date.

In most cases, it is not necessary to give a reason that you are not interested. Your reasons are personal and you do not have to share them. And, in some cases, sharing a reason can make it worse. The other party may try to reason or argue with you about your decision. Better to avoid any unpleasantness.

You are not obliged to keep talking to someone after you have made your disinterest known. While you may feel bad about cutting off contact, further conversation is not required under proper etiquette.

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If a person becomes threatening or hostile, you can block them without a second thought. You have no duty to continue to talk to someone who has treated you badly or made you feel unsafe.

After the date

How soon is too soon to get in contact after the first date? Forget playing games, and old rules like waiting three days to call. In an era where everyone is near a phone all the time, we’re expected to get in touch much sooner. A text to assure that you date got home is appropriate.

A text the next morning is also a good idea. Just say that you had fun and you are looking forward to a chance to see each other again.

Read more: How to prevent being scammed while online dating.

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How official is it?

While it seems like the young ones are in and out of relationships all the time, thanks to a Facebook status, posting things online can have an impact.

Comments that might be innocent, like ‘looking forward to special date’, or more detailed like ‘hot date last night :)’ might make the other person uncomfortable. Certainly don’t go changing your Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’ too quick. 

Think carefully about what you have on your social media profiles and how well they represent who you are. Do a bit of cleaning up before you start online dating. Look at what is visible to people who you have not added to your friends list.

By putting your best foot forward online, you can avoid any awkwardness that comes from a bad impression.

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Go out and have fun

As long as you make a habit of thinking of how things will look and feel to the other person involved, online dating etiquette is easy. Always be considerate of others’ feelings, even if you decide that they are not a match or vice versa.

By coming from that attitude you can avoid online dating etiquette gaffs and have a better experience dating again.

What’s your dating experience been like?

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