Online Dating Etiquette---Do’s and Don’ts


Happy long weekend and I suspect many singles will be online this weekend searching for the one (or ones)! If it’s raining (or flooding—oh no, I’m sorry) where you live or you don’t have plans one of these days, here’s some food for thought. This past week was super busy in my world of dating consulting and coaching---many people getting ready for the post Labor Day explosion online---more about that on Monday, including what CNBC’s take on it is! Averaging 60-80 singles dating coaching calls per week, I hear amazing stories, funny stories and sometimes the stupid mistakes smart people make online.


1. Do Message

Very strong thoughts here! Singles, please STOP sending Hearts and Likes without a message. This throws the ball into the other person’s court---then they call me and ask me what to do! So, yes, a Heart can be lovely, so can a Super Like if accompanied with something like “Hey, Michael—The photos of you and your two golden retrievers are adorable. I hike every weekend with my Lab at Red Rock---perhaps we can walk our dogs together! What are you up to this weekend? Warmly, Jacqueline”

So, what just happened here? Jacqueline showed interest—she had obviously read Michael’s profile, commented on his dogs, offered up something about herself that was relevant, and closed with a question to keep the conversation flowing. She used an ! to convey excitement---remember there is no tone in a text or message so the ! does wonders.

2. Do be Kind

Ohhhhk, you’ve now messaged back and forth 3 times each. It is time to either schedule a facetime call to set up a date…or call it quits. You’ve realized her enthusiast texts don’t resonate with you and you both only have a teeny bit of time invested here. Instead of leaving her hanging, reply with a kind text such as “It’s been fun talking with you, Laura, but I’ve decided to pursue another relationship. Have fun on Bumble and enjoy the weekend”. There. That took 30 seconds and now she isn’t hanging in suspense. Yes, this is kinder than ghosting.



3. The FaceTime Call (pre-first date)

Wellll, this is about a 50-50 deal with my clients. Some will go directly from 2-3 messages to a first date for drinks or dinner. Others would like to see the person, hear their voice and therefore set up a FT call. WARNING! This is fine if the video call is kept to 5-10 minutes, NO LONGER! Yes, that deserves caps. Why? Chemistry is felt in real life, not on FT, Signal or Zoom. This is merely an opportunity to see if they look like their photos online and hear their voice. Goal? Set up the date in those 5-10 minutes!

One of my favorite clients, Lisa, 42, this week was lamenting that her calls were going 45-60 minutes. How to fix this? Simple. In the text where you set up the audio call just say “Hi Mike—Thanks for your number—I’ll call you tonight at 7pm and we can chat for 5-10 minutes and see if we both want to go on a date. Thanks Lisa” Done. Expectations for the call here are direct: it’s short and the obvious idea is we are going to set up a date.


4. Oh Oh! The FaceTime Call is….weird or negative

Great! You learned something---you don’t want to go out with her. You saved each other a few hours of time, getting dressed, makeup, driving, etc. Mike, a 38-year-old surgeon, told me about his FT call yesterday where in the first 3 minutes she mentioned then ripped her ex. Negativity, no no. He simply closed the call then by kindly saying “I’m glad we spoke, and I wish you the best of luck on Zoosk. Have a good night”. I am so happy Mike didn’t continue to message her 10 times, meet her on a real date and waste his time.

(Aside: One of the lovely things about online dating is that your BFF didn’t fix up this date, pressuring you to go, and coming home bummed out! Mike nipped it in the bud!)


5. Do clean up your online dating site of choice

A common complaint I receive from clients is this: I see the same men/women on the site all the time. When I hear this, I jump on the app/dating site with my client, and we look at what they are talking about. As a dating consultant, I do this weekly with clients and it’s always the same thing!

Easy fix. We go through all categories: likes, matches, searches etc. Then I show them how to block every single person they have zero interest in---yes, it may take an hour, but the next time you visit the app/site, you will be soooo happy to see new potential dates. It’s a systematic approach to dating and finding the right person! For those of you who know me, don’t forget the 50/50 rule.

6. Don’t do Coffee


Ok, I sound like a broken record. I can’t say this enough! Coffee is a copout. There is nothing romantic about coffee. Unless you are going to Café Lola’s or the Café Dior, having coffee AND eating something, it’s useless. Sorry, Starbucks.




So, here’s the Good News and a sneak peak of what I will share with you Monday. Online Dating is exploding…and we are just coming into the best months for singles to date! I know I shared this news with some of you this past week on our coaching calls, but I’ll share with all Monday. After 25 years of being a dating consultant and coach, first as founder of It’s Just Lunch and now as Founder of 33000Dates.com, I have total confidence with the right strategy and attitude you will meet someone great online!


Thanks, Andrea

Isn't this pink phone cute! No FT though!

me yesterday!


33K%20DATES%20LOGO%20FINAL-01_White-Insi