Internet dating is becoming more and more popular among singles of all ages throughout the world.

There is a disturbing attitude among some Internet daters that courtesy, integrity and honor don’t apply on “the net.” I want to weigh in on this offensive attitude.

Integrity is not a choice. We don’t employ integrity and courtesy if and when they are convenient or we happen to remember. Integrity lives inside us and is part of every action, reaction, interaction, choice and decision. We treat everyone with whom we interact with courtesy because we hold a value for treating others with basic kindness and respect and our value drives our behavior. We must not throw caution to the wind when it comes to honoring our values and our behavior.

Here are some thoughts about common sense, courteous behaviors otherwise known as etiquette:

  • Posting a photograph is the single most important factor for getting people to read your profile. Post a current photograph of you! Resist posting an old photo or a photo of your best friend whom you think is “better looking than you.”
  • Be timely. Answer the responses and initial inquiries within three to four days. It is considered good etiquette to answer all emails since people have taken the time and effort to communicate with you.
  • If you become overwhelmed by the interest of many men or women, simply freeze your account until you can catch up.
  • Always be polite in you emails. Keep them fun, positive and upbeat. It is generally a good idea to avoid jokes and sarcasm. Also, avoid heavy or politically charged issues or issues that relate to religion, abortion, or the death penalty. Don’t complain about your life or bash your exes.
  • Resist embellishing and exaggerating. Integrity is always better than stretching the truth. Remember, you are trying to attract the kind of people you want to meet. Let them know who you are from the “get-go.”
  • Once you know you are no longer interested in emailing, speaking with or spending time with someone, tell him or her directly. Don’t just stop emailing or calling. Don’t tell someone you are interested when you are not. Don’t tell someone you will email again or call again or that you want to see him or her again and not follow through.
  • Find the courage to use your words and say plainly, “I have enjoyed meeting you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get acquainted with you. I’m dating to find my ideal match and what I have discovered is… you and I are not a match. I wish you well in your life and good luck finding your ideal match.” This is common courtesy and anything less is rude and disrespectful!
  • If someone lacks integrity and simply stops emailing, or acts interested and stops responding or doesn’t call again to make plans, please listen to their behavior, not to their words. They are not interested in you. You are not being rejected. This is not an indictment of you. This is a message about them. They are not interested in you. You do not need closure. You do not have a relationship. You have been engaging in dating events, not building a relationship. Hear their behavior. You are not a match for them. They are not interested in you. Move on.

Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Become the ideal partner and you will meet your ideal match. Believe in yourself, believe that what you want is possible. Live on purpose, make choices that affirm and esteem your best self and go for it. Don’t waste time with people who are looking for who you are not. And don’t show up being anything less than who you are!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

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