Kathryn's Blog

Rudeness online? It’s about them, not you…

Why don’t they answer my emails?  Where did he/she disappear to?  Newspaper columnist Carolyn Hax’s interesting viewpoint below:



I know you get these all the time, but I really could use some perspective. Where have all the manners gone in dating? I met someone online, went on a couple of dates, he was polite, showed interest and appeared to be someone worth getting to know.

He made an effort to be in touch with me when he was busy with work. He called me over the weekend and, since I was out running errands, asked me to call him when I got home. I did and haven’t heard from him since.

Yesterday I checked my online account and saw that he had severed our communication through the site (we hadn’t used it in weeks, since we were seeing each other in person). He didn’t even have the guts to write a note saying he was sorry but it wasn’t going to work out. No explanation, nothing.

I was shocked at how rude this was. In a very calm but perplexed voice, I left him a message saying that I was surmising that he wasn’t interested based on his action, and that I was disappointed, because I thought we had agreed that we both thought it polite to just tell someone you weren’t interested because it wouldn’t have been a big deal. (I mean, geesh, it had only been a couple of weeks of dating.) And I would have shown him that courtesy had the situation been reversed.

Now, I was a little hurt, but more shocked at how cowardly he behaved. Is this what happens these days?

Do you think I did the right thing by pointing out his bad behavior?


If it made you feel better, then you did the right thing. If it made you feel worse, then file that away for next time, and just let future doinks think they got away with one.

I do believe, though, that you need to expect there will be a next time.

I could probably fire off a good rant about where all the manners have gone in general, not just in dating, but you have enough specifics here that I don’t have to.

No one seeks awkwardness. Some people feel it more than others, some fear it more than others. Now, just about everyone has the Internet. So, now people who mostly fear awkwardness can hide all they want behind electronic dodges.

Those same dodges, meanwhile, are available to protect those who treat others as disposable: There are more people online and more degrees of separation, and that means your average jerk can feel pretty confident that s/he can treat Internet dates horribly without getting busted for it at home, work or favorite hangouts.

If you date at all, just by the nature of dating you’re going to be meeting a lot of new people and you’re going to be in more situations where awkwardness and misunderstandings are common. So you’re going to see manners break down no matter what.

Date online, though, and while not everyone will be rude, you will be choosing your dates from the pool with the highest concentration of people who are looking for an easy way out of something. In other words, get used to what just happened.



Don’t be too rude!

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