July 23, 2015

Online Dating Etiquette for Men: Always Follow Wheaton’s Law.

Nate Steiner/Flickr

“I’m sorry…it’s just that you remind me of my wife, except wrinkly.”

“Makes me want to go talk to the hot pediatrician who likes me better than you. She’s younger than you too. And did I mention hot, and fit. And more successful.”

The messages you’ve just read are messages that came into my inbox within the last 48 hours from two different men on a dating site. The first was the final sent in a series of assaultive messages because I had the audacity to ignore him. The second was sent after I stated I am not interested and refused three times to tell him why.

You’d think this was an anomaly but sadly, it’s not—this happens so often that there is a Facebook and Instagram page called Bye Felipe dedicated to sharing these interactions with others. These sort of messages can be shocking the first time they come through but after seeing so many of them, it becomes less so and eventually sort of funny (in a crude way). It’s the sort of thing you share with your friends and you all laugh and marvel at what an epic douche this guy is and you feel sorry for whoever he ends up dating. This may be why so many women shy away from online dating or dating at all,and why so many of us have ironclad shields in place when we meet a new guy.

So, let me just say this now: no woman is required to tell you why she doesn’t want to date you. She owes you no explanation or justification for why she declines your advances. She doesn’t have to say “sorry” for not being interested and she absolutely does not have to walk on eggshells when she says “No” so as not to hurt your feelings.

You are not entitled to an explanation.

She said no—let that be enough and walk away with some dignity. Repeatedly sending messages asking why or demanding an answer or, worse, trying to demean or assault her because she has the nerve to not be interested in you, is just a di*k move. If this were real life, you’d be doing the equivalent of standing on her doorstep, ringing the doorbell and yelling awful things at her. Odds are, you wouldn’t do it in real life so don’t do it online.

Seriously, guys, this is not cool. I get that online dating is challenging and that it must get frustrating being ignored and rejected but that doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk when someone says no to you. In fact, if you’re expecting every woman you like to be attracted to you, you’re in for a long, hard road. It’s not realistic and you’re going to be rejected a lot.

Welcome to humanity.

If you get rejected or ignored lick your wounds, and move on. There are 7.4 billion people in the world—why get all bent out of shape about one woman saying no?

What you don’t do is send her messages attempting to insult her, demean her, attack her and threaten her. If you find yourself doing this, please stop what you’re doing immediately. Just stop.

Remember, the woman you are harassing is someone’s daughter or sister or best friend or mother. The woman on the other end of that message is a real life person and I know it’s easy to forget that when you’re behind a screen. That woman has a life story, a history and her own path and there is nothing awesome about attempting to inflict wounds because her rejection hurt your feelings. You won’t feel better by trying to make her feel bad.

Instead, try living by Wheaton’s Law and see how that works out for you.

Wheaton’s Law: Don’t be a d*ck. ~ Urban dictionary


Author: Lisa Vallejos

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

Photo: Nate Steiner/Flickr


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