Online Dating Etiquette

When it comes to online dating, some people have a hard time separating the person they portray online and the person they are in real life. Check out Modern Manners Guy's 3 simple rules for making an online love connection.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #296


Being a romantic, I’m highly optimistic about love, I believe that people can find love anywhere, at any time, and under any circumstance. Nowadays, everyone is so busy with work and life in general that it’s hard to find that special someone. That's why online dating has become such a hugely successful tool for connecting singles with the click of a mouse…or text…or however else eHarmony makes their magic work.>

Of the dozens of different online dating sites out there, each one has the same goal: To connect like-minded people and encourage relationships. However, in an effort to achieve that goal, many users of these sites misconstrue the fundamental practices of what it takes to make a connection.

Like the over-Photoshopped profile images that make you look like Brad Pitt’s stunt double, or listing your occupation as “high rollin’ baller” (even when you are hardly high rolling and still live with your parents).  

So before you embark on a quest to find Mr. or Ms. Right online, check my top 3 Quick and Dirty Tips for online dating etiquette:

Tip #1: Who Are You, Again?

I majored in art in college (my mother still cries about that decision today…"Doctor? Lawyer? Architect? Why? WHHYYYY?” but I digress). My art training taught me a thing or two about Photoshop. I can plop any image into the software and make magic happen. I think Photoshop has singlehandedly changed the way people connect online, thanks to its ability to trick you into seeing something that isn’t really true (much like alcohol). 

For example, my lack of those sexy six-pack abs? Not a problem, just find a photo of the ripped abs I like online, blend here, erase there, and while I’m at it, move my image so that I’m standing in front of that new Tesla. Click save and et voila, I’m now a good looking, ripped, rich, happening young man. Ah yes, younger is better, right? So I shave off a couple years too, while I'm at it.  Done and done. Bring on the ladies!

Sadly, my mannerly friends, falsifying how you look for your online profile is never going to work in the long run.  Do you think a potential love interest will be inclined to trust a person who shows up to a date 30 pounds heavier or lighter and with far less hair than their online photo? Or if they show up driving a beat-up Corolla instead of that six-figure ride they so proudly showcased? Not likely.

The same goes if you post a photo of yourself that is severely outdated. That's just as bad as trying to airbrush your picture with graphics software.  

I’m not saying this to be shallow. You should not be embarrassed of who you are at all! Own who you are (online or not). But lying to get a date is not going to get you a second one. It’s only proper to present the same image online that you can promise in real life.

Tip #2: Your So-Called Life

The movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is about a guy who uses his wild imagination to escape his lackluster real life. A big chunk of the movie deals with Walter not being able to find a date on eHarmony because he hasn’t “really been anywhere noteworthy or mentionable” (at least, not in real life). So Walter ventures out to do just that. By the end of the movie his life drastically changes and he can easily add many noteworthy bullets to his online dating profile.

When it comes to online dating, oftentimes people exaggerate their lives for effect (just like Walter). For example, writing, “I love working out 6 days a week,” may be true, but "loving to work out" isn't the same as actually working out - especially if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym since 2012.