Would you manage a plate of snails with more panache than Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?Those aren’t questions you need to wrack your brains over, but when you’re online dating, little points of etiquette really can make a difference.Not only can they keep things running smoothly, but, more importantly, they can show your respect for other PARSHIP members.
If, for example, a man who has a moustache gets in touch with a woman who says she doesn’t like beards, he needs to play things carefully!
Generally, putting things in writing demands greater care than spoken communication - and the speed and ease of email can be both seductive and deceptive.
Always read through your messages before you send them - keep an eye out for slips of spelling and grammar and make sure that what you have written reflects what you really want to say.
It’s also important to strike the right tone: you don’t want to sound formal or cold, but, equally, you want to sound relaxed rather than over-familiar.
It’s also a good idea of avoid projecting into the future and saying things like “We could do this together …”, and when it comes to the sign-off, ‘Yours sincerely’ is obviously out of place, but ‘Love and kisses’ can seem a bit premature.
‘All the best’, or maybe something like ‘Cheers’ is probably closest to the right sort of tone.
Well, it’s worth making an effort to be on time and to have the other person’s mobile number - and the number of the place you’re meeting at (if it’s a bar or restaurant), just in case you get lost or stuck in traffic.
Certain topics of discussion should be out of bounds - your ex, your weight, your illnesses, your losses on the stock exchange … And avoid making comments that could be taken amiss …”Your hair looked much blonder in your photo,” or “You don’t really mean to say you believe in astrology, do you?
”, or telling the other person what they ought or ought not to do …”You shouldn’t put so much salt on your food.
It’s bad for you.” Focus on the other person when you’re with them (switch off your mobile for a start), but don’t invade his or her personal space.
Perhaps surprisingly, in a survey of PARSHIP members about 30% of respondents thought the man should pay.