‘Eye contact is a must, smoking is a strict no-no, avoid flashy clothes’ are just some of the do’s and don’ts of dating in the real world. Over the net, however, you could easily be over or under dressed, smoking, having absolutely no eye-contact, and still be dating through chat or e-mail; just another reason why more and more sites are launching matchmaking portals every day, making ‘virtual’ love a ‘real’ possibility. But everything else having become easier, honesty and sincerity – so essential to relationships – are doing a vanishing act. And the general notion is that more women than men tend to fall prey to virtual deception, although it is quite safe to say that they are fast catching on, and even getting into the same act themselves! The mask of anonymity has its advantages as well as disadvantages. With time, virtual daters on one hand have become even more cunning and those at the receiving end, that much more paranoid. Hence some sort of a code of conduct, or ‘nettiquette’, as it is sometimes called, is needed. If you are in search of love and looking for it online, here are some basic online e-mail dating etiquette tips to help you along.
Online Email Dating Dos & Don’ts
- Pick a reliable site if this is what you really want. Such sites keep your details secret and do not tolerate profanity or vulgarity.
- Set up a new e-mail id and a screen name (for greater confidentiality). You can provide your true email id later, if things go well.
- Try to keep your profile as honest as possible. E-mail only recent photos of yourself, to avoid future embarrassment in case you meet a net contact in person.
- Do not send a group e-mail to those on your list of probables. It is better to write personally to each one of them.
- Never say or do things in an e-mail that you would not in person. This is not only rude and against virtual dating norms, it also exposes a hypocritical side of your personality.
- Remember, you are dealing with people who are likely to have feelings as genuine as yours, so do not use words or gestures that can hurt their sentiments.
- Write mails that are grammatically correct and make enough sense. Keep them simple so that your net pal does not go back to reading the newspapers!
- Whether you are dating someone in person or virtually, dignity and respect are of paramount importance. Keep them intact.
- Never lie.
- By all means use humor in your mail, but not of the raw variety which will only further ruin your image.
- Do not over-do anything, not even e-mailing. Do not bore your virtual pals with too much mail. This will flood their inbox and cause unnecessary disgust.
- Once you have found someone you really like, maintain a serious dialogue with him/her through e-mails.
- If things look good, you can even arrange to meet up for a real date. Start with smaller dates. These will help you both overcome awkwardness, if any, that you may never have felt during your e-mail interaction.
- If a personal meeting goes well, by all means convey your happiness promptly through an e-mail. This will help your relationship move forward.
- If the person you are interacting with through e-mails is not the one for you, let him/her know early enough to avoid hurting them.
- If the person at the other end is no longer interested in you, move on, and keep dating! Never write hate mail and always try to end the relationship on a positive note.
- As long as you are genuinely looking for a partner, befriending more than one only increases your chances of coming across your Mr. or Mrs. Right, so go ahead and cast the net wide!