Is Online Dating Too “Social” And Not “Real” Enough? by @LifeByteStory

online dating
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online dating

Meeting people online is so easy. Write a profile, upload a photo or two and suddenly you’re getting emails “winks”, “ice-breakers”, and other singles “liking” your photos….and you never have to leave the comfort of your own laptop. I’ve heard from men and women who’ve had years-long relationships via email, chat rooms and Skype with people they NEVER met IRL (In Real Life). But is that really a relationship? Is that enough? Is online dating too social and not real enough?

I Want To Meet A Real Man

For me, it’s not – I’m online because I want to meet men, real flesh and blood, cuddly, kissable, men to date. I get a little ticked off when a man just wants to email and occasionally chat on the phone. “Listen buddy”…I want to shout. I want to introduce you to my friends and family. I want to hold your hand, cuddle up next to YOU, not my laptop, on a chilly winter’s night.

I always want to email once or twice, speak on the phone and then meet. Granted, many men I contact follow the same process (I look for this in the profiles I read!). But more and more I’m finding men who are just as content to only communicate via electronics. I think online dating is becoming too social for my tastes. It’s so easy to push a button to “wink” at someone and now many sites will let you push yet another button to “like” someone’s profile or photo. It’s created an atmosphere of laziness I think. We don’t court one another in the ways our parents (and yes even WE) did in the days before computers…and I kinda miss that.

Some Online Dating Etiquette Tips

So, for those of you who agree with me, let me throw out some Cyber-Etiquette tips for online dating.

  1. A quick flirt via a Wink or Ice-breaker, or other form of instant communication is OK, as long as you follow it up with a short email. It doesn’t have to be paragraphs long, just a little message that shows you’re interested in getting to know more about this person.
  2. If they write back with a phone number…USE IT, call them. If you feel funny just picking up the phone without any other emails, then send one. Let him or her know that you’ll give them a call and give them an approximate day and time frame in which to expect this call. Let them know you’re interested and are pursuing getting to know them
  3. If they write back without a phone number but seem interested, by all means email back and forth a bit. How long this goes on is up to you. I like to talk after just one to three emails. I have a girlfriend who likes to email for about a month before she feels comfortable talking to the guy. Just make sure that you talk on the phone before too many weeks have gone by!
  4. The phone call is very important, it gives you and your date so much more information about each other and how well you might get on in person. If the conversation goes well, make plans to meet. You’ll never know if there’s any of that elusive chemistry if you don’t meet face-to-face! Of course if you don’t hit it off over the phone, now is the time to politely let them know that you don’t think you’re a good match…and move on.

While this communication process is going on, by all means flirt away online! Intersperse your calls and initial meeting with as many emails and winky or smiley faces as you’d like. Just keep in mind the reason you’re on that dating site….it’s the hugs, kisses and cuddling you can get only with a real-live boy (or girl!).


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We are Mariann and Sharon, authors of "THE MAN PLAN, A Guy's Guide To Planning The Perfect Date" - the ultimate dating reference book that will take your dates from OK to ....Oh WOW! We're currently working on our second book, an anthology of true dating stories from singles the world over. We dish about dating, writing, life and love at


  • January 23, 2013

    Single Dating Diva

    Great tips! Online dating is a great way to meet new people, just need to make sure you really are on the same page and your wants and needs match. We’re so afraid to speak on the phone because we’re so used to using social media or texting, perhaps going back to basics does have its advantages.

    • January 24, 2013

      Sharon & Mariann

      Absolutely! It’s easy to forget that the reason we’re on a dating site is to actually MEET that person. It should always be the goal of all our online communication…moving towards, and getting to that first in-person meeting!

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  • January 25, 2013

    Boston Single Girl

    Love, love love this topic! The fact that so many people take the term “online dating’ so literally is such a pet peeve of mine! Great advice! 🙂