The Rules of Dating Online Vs Dating In-Person

When it comes to dating, there are two distinct types of people: those who prefer to do it in person and those who prefer to do it online. Both certainly have their benefits, but there are definitely clear distinctions between the two.

While online dating is still a relatively new concept, dating in person has a long-standing history and is considered more traditional.

Anyone who has ever dabbled in both dating pools will know the rules of dating online are quite different from the rules of dating in person. Although they both have the same end goal, the way to manoeuvre through the two dating pools is significantly different.

If you’re new to the realm of online dating, you should be aware of the different unspoken rules of dating online. In this article, we will go over some of the cardinal rules of dating online vs dating in person. 

If you are someone who wants to explore the dating scene, then keep on reading to learn the key differences. 

The Rules of Dating Online The Rules of Dating In-Person 
1. Express yourself clearly over messages by using emojis. Use technology to your advantage and use emojis to show how you really feel.  
2. Send pictures to each other throughout the day, as this is a great way of staying up to date with each other’s lives. 
3. Video calling each other in the evenings and having long conversations about your days. 
4. Take advantage of the options on dating apps and chat with multiple people at once.
5. Your dating profile is the first impression someone has of you, so it is important that you have an accurate portrayal of yourself online.
1. Use body language to present yourself and whether you’re interested in who you are dating. 
2. Be sure to ask lots of questions when on a date with someone, as this will demonstrate your interest in them. 
3. Take the initiative and plan lots of fun in-person dates. 
4. Always make sure you look nice on a date. 
5. Don’t be afraid of physical affection! Hold hands, hug, and maybe even sneak in a kiss.


1. Don’t Be Afraid to Make the First Move 

Make the first move

With online dating, you shouldn’t be afraid to be the one to make the first move. After all, you won’t make any progress towards finding a potential partner if you don’t actually reach out to anyone. 

Chatting to someone online is a lot easier than talking to them in person, so you should take full advantage of this and make the first move. Perhaps have a few conversation starters ready to use at any moment.  

Some people find it easier to be more open online than they would in person, which is why online dating is so popular. With online dating, you can take your time getting to know someone without the pressure of an in-person date. There is also no pressure to reply to a message immediately, as you can wait a bit and take some time to think of a response. 

2. Don’t Take Everything Too Seriously 

Don't take things too seriously

Remember that online dating is more fun if you don’t take it too seriously. Although you may be looking for a serious relationship, it doesn’t mean you need to take everything seriously. Online dating is supposed to be fun, so just make sure you are enjoying your time online. 

If at any point you feel as if it is getting too much, take some time away and come back when you are ready. 

Enjoy the process of getting to know someone online, as there are bound to be plenty of interesting moments. Just because you are talking to someone, it doesn’t mean you need to meet up straight away. Take things slow and just enjoy getting to know them on a deeper level.

3. Don’t Leave Them On Read 

Don't ignore your partner's messages

When you’re messaging someone online, it’s important to respond promptly, especially if you are interested in them. No one wants to be ignored, so if someone is showing you interest, do the polite thing and reply to their messages. 

And if you decide you no longer want to speak to that person, then just let them know you are not interested instead of ghosting them.

Leaving someone on read can be interpreted as rude or disinterested, so if you’re genuinely interested in someone, it’s best to respond promptly. Think about how you want to be treated on a dating site and make sure you show that person the same amount of respect. Politeness will go a long way!

The big difference between dating someone online and in person is that you don’t have the same body language cues. Because of this, it means that you need to be more careful with what you say and try not to use words that could get misinterpreted. If you struggle with conveying tone over text, then perhaps use some emojis to help you out.

4. Don’t Overshare, But Do Ask Questions 

Ask your partner questions

When you’re dating someone online, it’s important to remember not to overshare too much about yourself or your life. Of course, you want to get to know the person you are speaking to, but you need to leave some stuff to the imagination. Try not to get in too deep with conversations, as it could be a little off-putting.

It can be easy to get carried away and start talking about more personal topics than you would in person. While it is a great idea to have deep conversations, try not to jump straight into the personal stuff as soon as you start talking. It is far better to slowly build up to those types of conversations. 

However, it’s still important to ask plenty of questions to get to know the other person. Start off with some light questions that will help you get to know them on a basic level. Once you feel as if you know each other better, you can then move on to some deeper topics. 

5. Always Make Sure to Meet In-Person Within Reasonable Time 

Meet up within a reasonable time

Although it can be tempting to spend plenty of time getting to know each other virtually, there’s no substitute for actually meeting someone in person. This is why it is important that you arrange to meet up with the person within a reasonable amount of time. 

Once you have been speaking to someone for a few weeks, suggest that you meet up in person for a first date.

Leaving things too long can give the impression that you’re not actually interested in taking things further. If all you ever do is chat online, then the person you are speaking to might eventually lose interest. So, give it a couple of weeks of chatting online and then make some arrangements for a first date. First dates are a great way of getting to know someone on a deeper and more meaningful level.

6. Stay Aware of Dating Scams and Catfishing 

Be aware of catfishing and scams

Sadly, online dating can be a breeding ground for scammers and catfish. Make sure that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself from these unscrupulous people by researching any potential partners thoroughly. If their profile only contains a couple of pictures, then there is a possibility that they are a catfish. 

Try and ask for their social media to verify that the pictures are actually them.

Additionally, scamming is an unfortunate but common part of dating online, so in order to avoid being scammed, you need to know the signs. If someone is talking about their finances a lot and being persistent about you sending them money, then it is a likely scam. 

If something like this happens to you, unmatch and report the profile straight away.

Key Takeaway: Stick to the Rules of Dating Online 

The rules of dating online

Online dating can seem scary if you’ve never tried it before, but don’t let that stop you from exploring the possibilities. The world of online dating has changed massively over the last few years, which means there are plenty of dating sites suitable for all types of people. 

Online dating is a great way of forming connections with new people, and it could even lead to a long-term relationship!

But remember that there is no right or wrong way to date; whether you prefer dating online or dating in person, it is important to remember to always be yourself. There should be no pressure when it comes to dating, so make sure you are always having fun.

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FAQs 

Take advantage of technology! Use emojis and pictures to convey how you feel and keep the conversation exciting. Ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to message multiple people at once. 

Additionally, don’t leave someone on read; simply tell them you are not interested. It will save a lot of hurt.

If someone’s profile does not reflect who they are, then this is a red flag. When speaking to someone, make sure that you never send over any private or financial information. If you find that someone is being particularly pushy, then unmatch them immediately and report that profile. 

There is no harm in unmatching someone if you do not feel safe.

You will know someone is serious if they are mature and clear about their intentions. Someone who is just looking for casual hookups will likely not be as interested in you as a person. You will know who is serious by what sort of questions they ask. 

If someone is very vague with you and takes ages to reply to messages, it is likely that they are not serious.

It is completely up to you; however, it is best not to wait too long before meeting up. If you have been talking for ages and neither party has arranged to meet up, then there is a high chance that this relationship will not work. We recommend meeting up after a couple of weeks of messaging online.

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