Online dating and etiquette

Apps such as Tinder have spoiled us for choice and made it OK to be dating multiple people at once.“Someone can have a fantastic date, but when they get an email [from a dating service] with three other matches,” says Maria Avgitidis, dating coach and founder of Agape Match in Midtown, “fear of missing out takes effect.” But it’s important that everyone is up front about dating other people.Busy week, other things to focus on – sometimes I forget I sent a note at all.But when she writes back, when she makes eye contact, then the rejection becomes personal and I have to think about it.And yet, here I am, convinced beyond just about any doubt that what we’d call rudeness in our face to face dealings is a far kinder way of behaving in the online world.It’s cleaner, it’s less awkward, and as counter-intuitive as it may seem, ignoring people spares their feelings.

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I see it, I recognize the truth in it, and the part of me who was raised to be a courteous Southern boy who respected the feelings of others is never going to be quite okay with the idea that “rudeness” is the nicest thing I can do for another person.

I also remember sending notes to women I found interesting and getting absolutely no reply at all. I may not even notice that whomever she was didn’t reply.

These women find something potentially valuable about me, and many of them clearly work as hard on their approach messages as I do on mine, trying to appeal to something in my profile that struck them, working to connect the dots and sell me on the idea that they’re really worth my while.

In “real life,” when someone approaches and asks you out, you’re obliged by social custom to reply. How can I be mean to someone who thinks I deserve that kind of effort?

You may not be interested, but you can’t just pretend that the person isn’t standing there talking to you. So we have developed all manner of ways of saying no thanks, in what is hopefully the kindest way possible. And a couple times, women I have written to actually have replied with nice no thank you messages. And – here’s the odd part – a little uncomfortable.

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