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The Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Daters

After reading the post from Anthony Michael Rojas called “How to Treat a Woman on a Date,”?the outpouring of comments from many who disagreed, which resulted in a follow up article appearing on written by The Frisky’s Amelia McDonnell-Parry,?“Chivalry tips cause all kinds of outrage,” I decided it was time to republish my “Top 10 Rules of Netiquette” for Online Daters and see what reaction I would receive.

Call me old-fashioned,?but if a man did all of the 8 things listed in his article, he’d be my hero and would be a suitable date for my daughter, if I had one.

From a woman’s standpoint here my online dating tips and excerpts from my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online.

1.??? The Google Rule – Don’t tell your date he or she has been “Googled” before a first date. Can you believe some actually brag about the fact that they did a background check on you before your first date? If you choose to “Google” a date, it’s best to keep it to yourself. No one wants to be accused of being a stalker early on.

2.??? The Cut-Off Rule – Authenticity Matters. However, we all know that some people want to fit into a search and age is one of the biggest misrepresentations in a profile. If you feel compelled to stretch it, please don’t subtract more than 5-10 pounds off your actual weight or 5-10 year of of your age on your online dating profile. I can’t force the universe to tell their correct age online, so If you do choose to subscribe to this cut-off rule, please come clean about your age either on the phone or on your first date, especially if you want to make it to a second date.

3.??? The Food and Beverage Rule – A man should not suggest sharing an appetizer on a first date, nor should he meet his date for coffee without the intention of ordering a beverage. I once went on a date where the man brought his own bottle of water to the coffee bar. He never made it to a second date.

4.??? The Valet Parking Rule – It’s just gentlemanly and chivalrous to offer to pay for the woman’s valet parking on a first date, especially if you like her and want to get to the second date. Is it worth standing on ceremony and not paying $5 for parking? It’s typically less than the cost of the next drink and you will get extra bonus points if you ask the valet parking attendant to bring her car first. Even if you aren’t interested in a second date, she will remember this kind gesture and may have a friend to introduce you to. Make a great first impression.

5.??? The Ex Rule – Never discuss an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, or ex-spouse on a first date. If your date insists on talking about spousal support or how happy he is that his payments are about to end, change the subject, or run!

6.??? The Body Parts Rule – Don’t discuss cosmetic surgery, vasectomies, or anything that personal in nature regarding your body parts. Yes, this does come up on first dates, and it should not.

7.??? The To Go Bag Rule – Don’t EVER, take your food from a first date to go in a doggy bag. And even more important, don’t request your date’s food to go in your doggy bag as well.

8.??? The Send Button Rule – When in doubt, don’t push the send button in an angry or emotional email that you’ve written when you are upset at your date. Sleep on it or send it to yourself. You can’t take it back.

9.??? The Marriage Proposal Rule – Don’t give or accept a marriage proposal online or in a text message. If you think this hasn’t been done this before, give me a call!

10. The Break Up Rule – Never break up with a significant other in an email. It’s just common courtesy to have a conversation and preferably in person.

I’m not insisting that men follow all of these ten rules. They are just suggestions that will make a difference to a woman that you are interested in dating again.

Excerpts from the book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online by Julie Spira. Visit her at

Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.

3 thoughts on “The Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Online Daters”

  1. This is a good list, I would also add two things to the no-nos: religion and politics. Unless one of these two topics is what caused you two to meet, they are definitely not first date topics!

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