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Old 09-16-2005, 11:15 AM   #1
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Online Dating Etiquette

I'm new to the online dating thing. There's a number of women within my general area so distance shouldn't be a factor. But I've never done this before and I don't want to come on too strong.

We have corresponded via email for a few days. She typically is quite prompt at responding but hasn't gone into deep details about herself yet. I'm wondering, when is the right time to ask her for her phone number so I can speak to her? I assume that would be the next step, right? Asking her out might be a little trickier because you know these days you have to be careful about who you meet in person from online. Should I do that first - ask her out to lunch in a local restaurant?

BTW, she has not seen my photo and she does not have a photo on her profile. I hesitate to ask her because I dont want it to seem like all I want to do is judge her by her looks and she has not asked me for mine.

Basically I want to go further - to see, talk, and meet this woman but I don't know when is the right time to proceed when you start off by answering someone's online profile. How long should only the email continue?

 
Old 09-16-2005, 11:29 AM   #2
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Hiya HB User
Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1965_Bruce
I'm new to the online dating thing. There's a number of women within my general area so distance shouldn't be a factor. But I've never done this before and I don't want to come on too strong.

We have corresponded via email for a few days. She typically is quite prompt at responding but hasn't gone into deep details about herself yet. I'm wondering, when is the right time to ask her for her phone number so I can speak to her? I assume that would be the next step, right? Asking her out might be a little trickier because you know these days you have to be careful about who you meet in person from online. Should I do that first - ask her out to lunch in a local restaurant?

BTW, she has not seen my photo and she does not have a photo on her profile. I hesitate to ask her because I dont want it to seem like all I want to do is judge her by her looks and she has not asked me for mine.

Basically I want to go further - to see, talk, and meet this woman but I don't know when is the right time to proceed when you start off by answering someone's online profile. How long should only the email continue?
I think everyone has a different idea of what's appropriate, safe, and attractive. Personally, I like a few emails, just to get a good idea of where the man's head is regarding career, religion, politics, recreation. Then, once you get past that, then I like to take it to the next step. If the guy keeps me in email limbo for too long, I begin to assume he's not that interested in me. I think if you have a fairly good sens of what she's about, and you feel comfortable enough, you can ask her for her number, and offer her yours at the same time. You might feel more comfortable giving a cell rather than your home phone. But I'm usually reluctant to give out my number when he hasn't offered his. You can tell her you'd like to meet her in person and would like to make arrangements over the phone. But as long as she doesn't know your last name, you should be pretty safe. Meet in a public place and both take your own cars.

 
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Old 09-16-2005, 11:41 AM   #3
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

well, if I gave her my cell she'd probably know my name because of the Caller ID if she has it which most people do...but I suppose I could turn that feature off for one call...

Will it look suspicious because my cell# is in a different state? I guess I could explain that to her. She'd have to dial long distance...but I kept that # because the plan was cheaper.

 
Old 09-16-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Before you dial, hit #67 and your name/number will come up "private". That's what I always do when I call a stranger.

Yes, she may be suspicious to call a long-distance number or not want to incur charges. She might not have a very cheap rate and conversations can be costly. I know that from experience.

I also meet the person somewhere the first few times until I feel I can trust him to have him pick me up.

 
Old 09-16-2005, 06:33 PM   #5
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Well, hopefully she knows your name by now LOL. And if you mean your last name, I don't think it would appear on a cellphone call, i.e. if she gives you her cellphone number and you call her from your cellphone, she will only see the number, not a name. Besides, it's kind of funny that you, as a guy, would be so paranoid about it. It's usually women who are somewhat reluctant to give out numbers because some guy might potentially be dangerous, but your risk as a man is MUCH smaller. Regardless, you should exchange pictures first. Enough of this pointless emailing back and forth because you can spend months doing that and it would be all useless if there's no attraction whatsoever. Then offer your cellphone number and ask if she would prefer you to call first or if she wants to call you. Leave it up to her. If she wants you to make the first phonecall, give her a call and see if you would like to meet her in person. Suggest some cafe or a lunch date somewhere in a public place convenient for both, and take it from there. It's that simple, really. Good luck to you!

 
Old 09-16-2005, 06:46 PM   #6
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

I agree with Sophia--great advice. By the way, Caller ID only reveals your name is you are calling from a home phone/land line. I am quite sure there is currently no way for your name to show up when you call from a cell phone, though your number will come up if she has caller ID. However, if you'd rather keep your number private, you should dial *67 (not #67 though otherwise HIT's advice was right on) before punching in her number. But it's usually the woman who's more interested in protecting her privacy and security, so I'd just be patient, but go ahead and ask for her number and if she'd be interested in meeting for lunch, coffee, or a drink sometime. She'll then give you an idea of whether she's willing to take your relationship past email...I also think it's fine for you to ask if she'd like to exchange pictures. At this point, after you've chatted for awhile, I don't think she'll think you're shallow or only interested in her looks, though I would pace yourself and not ask her for her number, picture, and a date all at once. Try to just let things progress at what seems like a natural pace, and if she's resistant to meeting, remember that it probably has nothing to do with you and is more likely because she's shy, paranoid, or insecure about her looks. I also STRONGLY advise you to post a picture...I know there are lots of excuses why you might not want to, but women who are attractive and have lots of prospects usually don't want to waste time on a man too insecure or cowardly to put up a picture. If we're brave enough to put our pictures out there, why should we waste any energy talking with a man who isn't? Let's face it, physical attraction and chemistry is key, it's what separates a date from a friend, and you should give women the option of seeing how you look before deciding if they'd like to know more about you and therefore avoid wasting either of your time. Anyway, the most important thing is to be friendly and enthusiastic but not pushy, let things unfold naturally, and not take rejection personally, because there are so many other great women out there and those who things don't work out with don't intend any rejection personally toward you...chances are it has more to do with them or you just don't mesh well in person. In any event, don't get too attached or have too high expectations about any one woman until you meet in person, which can be hard to avoid with online dating but will save you a lot of disappointment and frustration. Dating, especially online dating, is a numbers game, and chances are you'll encounter a lot of women who aren't for you along with a few who hopefully are just what you're looking for. Try to stay positive, be persistent and patient, and don't take anything that happens as a personal reflection on you, and I'm sure you will have a great time and find online dating to be very rewarding and satisfying .

 
Old 09-16-2005, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

I was wondering something as well. I have a cousin who just signed up for an online dating site and is not a paying member. She recently received an email from somebody but cannot reply to the email (it was sent back). She's afraid that this person will think that she is not interested. She isn't ready to subscribe and wonders if the person will be alerted to the fact that she is not a paying member. What are the chances that this person who emailed her will know this??? Short of another way of getting in touch with this person other than the online site is there any other way that she can respond??? I'd like to advise her but don't know how to....perhaps you gals can give me some recommendations. Thanks ~ Goody

 
Old 09-16-2005, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

You're right, Stacy, it is *67 to block your phone number. I knew that, but typed it incorrectly.

 
Old 09-16-2005, 07:28 PM   #9
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Nope, there is no way he'll know she's not a paying member unless she signs up. Why is she being so cheap about it? Seems to me that the chance of meeting someone she likes is certainly worth the cost of a short term membership, if her site doesn't offer the option of a free trial. She might be able to wink at him without becoming a paying member, but she won't be able to write to him unless he sends her his actual email address (not the anonymous one through the dating site). Still, I think her best bet is to spend a couple bucks...there's no good reason to be cheap about it--why bother to join a dating site at all if you're not willing to spend a few bucks to be able to communicate with other members?

 
Old 09-16-2005, 07:48 PM   #10
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

ooops wrong post

Last edited by Ivorygirl; 09-16-2005 at 07:48 PM.

 
Old 09-16-2005, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Quote:
Originally Posted by SophiaM
Besides, it's kind of funny that you, as a guy, would be so paranoid about it. It's usually women who are somewhat reluctant to give out numbers because some guy might potentially be dangerous,
I'm really not paranoid...sorry if I came across that way. I would gladly give her my number. My point originally was that I don't know if its too soon. I expect that I will have to make the first move; she most likely won't ask for my number but I don't want to do it too soon. I do understand about the typical safety measures, like meeting in a public place, seperate cars, etc.

I guess maybe I'm too eager, who knows. Does not having a photo on my profile really mean that most women wouldn't respond? I will have to work on that I guess.

And from other guys who have done this sort of thing, I guess its normal for the response rate to be very small? I've already replied to probably 6 or 7 and only had an email from one.

A woman once told me that the response rate for women was MUCH higher than for men, so that would mean that these ads or profiles are tilted in favor of the woman not the man?

 
Old 09-17-2005, 01:22 AM   #12
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

First of all, women who are experienced with online dating and have lots of men interested in them are not going to give you a second thought if you don't have the balls to put up a picture. We are taking a risk by showing everyone what we look like--why should we be at all interested in a man who isn't willing to put himself out there as well, especially when we are getting so much attention and interest from attractive men who aren't too wimpy to post a picture? I don't mean to be harsh, but that's undoubtedly why you haven't received much interest thus far except from a woman who is also not willing to post a picture (which probably means she is either very overweight, unattractive, or lying about her age). Anyway, why won't you put up a picture? Even if you're not good looking, it's only a matter of time before a woman sees you if you want to have a relationship in person, so why not let women who aren't attracted to you realize that off the bat without wasting either of your time on someone who won't be interested once she meets you in person?

Anyway, it's just an absolutely terrible idea to do online dating without posting a picture--you might as well not bother if you're unwilling to post a picture for whatever reason. I highly doubt you'd have any success or meet any women you'd actually be interested in if you aren't willing to take that risk. As I said, attractive women are highly in demand on online dating sites, and they are regularly inundated with messages from desirable men who have nothing to hide when it comes to their pictures...I'd say I get 5-10 emails per day, and maybe one of those have no picture. I've never even wasted my time checking out their profiles because I can't understand why a man who wasn't cowardly or had something about his appearance he was trying to hide wouldn't just post a picture. I doubt any other women who are in demand waste any time checking out such profiles either, though maybe some women here will disagree? I don't think you're necessarily being too eager though...in my experience, it's pretty normal to exchange phone numbers and set up a meeting in person if both people get along after sending about half a dozen emails back and forth. I certainly wouldn't be at all turned off or think a guy was overeager if he asked me for my number and/or to meet after exchanging a few emails, so I wouldn't worry about that. As far as responses, I'm sure that very few women will respond as long as you don't have a picture, and the few who do probably don't have any other men interested in them (I'm assuming the one who did respond also doesn't have a picture, so I doubt other men have expressed interest in her). As in real life dating, with online dating men definitely do most of the pursuing and probably don't hear back from quite a few women they contact. Especially if the woman is young, attractive, and has an appealing profile, she can usually just sit back, wait for men to email her, and be selective about responding to only those men she finds desirable and promising. So men are definitely at a disadvantage when it comes to having to make the first move and not always get the response they hope for, particularly when they go after very attractive women who have their pick of male prospects. I think you'll have the most satisfying experience with online dating if you add at least one flattering photo and frequently search for new profiles in your area...keep sending emails to any women who interest you, because it's definitely a numbers game, and you should figure you'll send out 3-5 emails for every one response you get, and you'll need to send out even more emails to ensure you keep in contact and eventually get to meet a woman you like.

That said, while it's a lot easier to online date as a woman (especially a young, attractive woman), I think it's well worth the risk and effort...there are a lot of great people on those sites, and as long as you stay positive and don't take rejection personally (half the time it has nothing to do with you, for all you know the woman isn't a paying member and can't respond or has started dating someone exclusively but hasn't removed her profile, yet another reason to search regularly for new members and stick to women who log in frequently), I'm sure you will be very pleased with your online dating experience. It sounds like you might also benefit from a book about online dating--there are many helpful guides available at bookstores--and from experimenting with different sites until you find one that's to your liking. I can't urge you enough to avoid free sites and especially to steer far clear of eharmony, which is just a terrible site filled with unattractive, undesirable people and doesn't allow you to run your own searches or find out much factual information about potential dates.

 
Old 09-17-2005, 07:18 AM   #13
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

thanks, eaglesgirl. I'm going to do that. Its not that I'm terribly unattractive or have something to hide; I just didn't have a really appealing photo available digitally to put up but I am going to work on that. i think you make a good point.

 
Old 09-17-2005, 09:27 AM   #14
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1965_Bruce
thanks, eaglesgirl. I'm going to do that. Its not that I'm terribly unattractive or have something to hide; I just didn't have a really appealing photo available digitally to put up but I am going to work on that. i think you make a good point.
Absolutely--post a photo and watch your response rate go up, Bruce! It's true, I don't usually bother to respond to emails from men without photos because in my experience, when I did, and they eventually emailed me their picture, I just wasn't attracted to them. Then it's awkward to stop communicating right after he sent you his photo, so to avoid that, I'd rather respond only to guys who had the courage to post their pictures, and there are plenty of them. You don't need a digital camera, either. If you have any recent photos that look attractive, just have them scanned at Kinkos for a couple of bucks and that's it. I really encourage you to do it if you want to have any success with online dating. Oh, and I don't think it's too soon at all to ask the woman you're corresponding with to exchange pictures. You should have suggested it in the first couple of emails, in my opinion. Then, if you like her picture and vice versa, suggest talking on the phone. Depending on how the conversation goes, I think you should ask her for a date at the end of the first phonecall (if you feel so inclined, of course). Good luck!

 
Old 09-19-2005, 04:01 PM   #15
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Re: Online Dating Etiquette

Ok, I did that. And I got two icebreaker-type of responses from women who were older than me, and with kids! Another one that seemed like I might have a chance is going extremely slow; when she replies she doesn't really say much or ask much. So I can't figure out what she hopes to get out of this. I wrote her yesterday; even said that now my photo is posted, and she replied on sunday night very quick, something like cant write much gotta run off to bed, have to be up early for work.

Another thing, about age. I am getting a number of rejections right off the bat that the age difference is too great. Those women are in the late 20s to 30. I am 40. Am I really too old? What's the difference between a guy who is 30 and one who is 40??? I have all my hair and teeth and don't need viagra LOL. Am I wrong to think that they are being very shallow? I haven't responded to many women of my own age for various reasons... 1) they have kids, 2) they are nearing the end of childbirth years if they don;t have kids, and 3) those who have pictures do not appear attractive. Those who replied to my profile were over 40.

Sorry, I just had to vent. I guess all the good women are probably taken - at least that's the way I am starting to feel. Its quite depressing to think that I'm being written off as "old" before being given a chance. Maybe the word "Forty" has a negative image...perhaps I should fake my age lower. I dunno.

 
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