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Proper etiquette for the first chat

Whether you’ve been invited to chat by an individual on a networking site or you’re choosing to use the chatting device added to most dating sites, be careful about what you include in this initial conversation… if you want them to continue. If you’ve exchanged messages and you’ve reached a new level in your “relationship” by chatting, you’re well on your way to meeting in-person. It’s essential not to blow it in the first few comments you make, which occurs more often than you may think.


Some grow overly confident when they reach this level and will say absurd/ disrespectful things thinking the other can take a joke and feels completely comfortable with racy remarks. Unless you’ve already established comfort with light-hearted banter in your messages, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve known each other a little longer to make your darkest jokes. Remain respectful and remember you’ve only just “met” and some may be offended by what you say. Feel free to joke around, but the first chat should concentrate on the person you’re conversing with. Shifting the conversation to yourself will cause the receiver to believe you’re self-indulgent and seeking attention rather than being interested in what they’re saying.

As usual, never ask for sexy photos. If that was the reason you both decided to chat, have fun, but if it’s your only goal, sans permission, don’t get too eager or you’ll be starting over again. Keep in mind that photo exchanges don’t always occur in established relationships, so expecting a stranger to do it is ridiculous. It’s a form of harassment when you attempt to convince one to do it when they’re not willing and you run the risk of being reported on and kicked off the site. Avoid sex altogether. That discussion will come in time and it is extremely disrespectful to bring it up shortly after messaging. The other person will probably sign off immediately, block you and never type to you again.

Keep the discussion light-hearted and use it to learn more about their conversational rhythm. It’s a completely new experience compared to sporadic messaging. There’s an element of excitement in immediate responses. The video chat is the most nerve-wracking online correspondence, so the chat should always remain fun. If you survive the first chat and it becomes a daily occurrence, be prepared for an advancement in the “relationship.” It’s the gold star of online dating.

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