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Thanks, But No Thanks

Mistress Maeve

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Dear Mistress,

I have ads on a few different online dating sites, and I have a question about etiquette. If a guy sends me a "flirt" or a "wink," and I'm not interested, am I obliged to send him a "No, thank you," or can I just ignore him?

My guy friend, who is a seasoned online dater, tells me that it's standard practice to send a polite note, but I hate awkwardness. (Hello! That's why I'm meeting guys online and not in person!) Isn't my silence enough of an indicator without sending them a cyber rejection?

Signed,

Wink This

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Dear Wink This,

While it might seem to rude to some, it's perfectly fine to ignore a "flirt" or "wink." It takes very little effort to send a virtual wink, so you shouldn't feel obligated to expend energy on a rejection note. Even on sites that offer to send a polite "Thanks, but no thanks" for you with an easy click of the mouse, you're not required.

On the other hand, if someone takes the time to write you a thoughtful note, you might consider a single-line response saying, "Thank you, but I don't think we're a match." Most certainly, if you've exchanged a few messages back and forth before deciding you're not interested, do not disappear into the Internet ether - send a polite explanation before moving on.

IMHO,

MM

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