Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today’s festivities. Please be seated as we commence this week’s discussion. The topic, you ask? Online dating etiquette. Why? Well, after a recent message I received after asking an innocent (soup related, it was on his profile ok?!) question on a dating app, it seemed like as a good a reason as any for this post. People may need a refresher, after all. So, without further ado, here are 5 definitive ways to not start your online dating chat…
Be more imaginative than ‘hi’
Let’s start with a slightly softer point. Saying hi. When you think about it, not the worst way to enter a conversation, right? We say hi to our friends, coworkers, neighbours, acquaintances (you name it) all the time. Why not when online dating?
Well, firstly, you won’t stand out. Anyone can open a chat by saying hi. Secondly, people spend a fair amount of time on their profiles. You have any number of things that can be used there to start your online dating chat. Show that you actually had a look and didn’t just swipe for a vaguely appealing human form you saw for 2 seconds.
No explicit messages
You’d hope this would be self-explanatory, but time and time again you have to wonder. How does anyone have the courage, no the confidence, to start a chat with such… boldness?! Mind blowing. This is a stranger remember. How do you expect them to respond to your sexually explicit messages two lines into matching?
If you’re opening your online dating chats like that all you can expect to be is blocked, reported or put on blast in the most public of forums. Rightly so!
No explicit pictures
Honestly, more and more apps are making it so that you can’t even send pictures. That’s how bad it is. Some among us can’t even be trusted with this technology. Sure, a picture says 1000 words, but starting your online dating chat with explicit pictures of your genitalia? No one wants that. Noone.
In fact, petition to have people who send d**k pics put in an isolation booth that’s wallpapered in d**k pics of theirs and others making? Hand me a pen, I’m signing!
Don’t tell them they look/remind you of your ex
Look, there’s probably a reason you broke up with your ex. No one wants to be made to feel like the replacement or consolation prize. You might mean it as a compliment, but all the other person will hear is “still thinking of your ex, huh? #thankunext”.
May be time to think about whether you should broaden your horizons in terms of type. That, however, is a discussion for another day…
Don’t comment on their race or make racial stereotypes
Seriously, even writing about this one makes me sad. Someone’s race is not the interesting way to start your online dating chat. Things like ‘I’ve always wanted to go/try [insert race here]” or “You must have this or be good at this because [insert race here]” are unacceptable.
Someone’s race is not something to be made into a fetish. They’re not a fun little experiment for you to make comparisons on later. No one wants to be seen as just their race, it’s a part of who they are. Not all they are. So, be respectful!
So, there you have it. 5 definitive ways to not start your online dating chat. The best advice I can give is if you wouldn’t say it to their face if you met them out in the ‘real’ world, then don’t use it as a way to start your chat! If you would use these points in person (barring the first one) then all I can say is “y’all need Jesus!”