Facebook-Messaging Etiquette

By Anna Breslaw, Glamour magazine

Look, if you're going to go the Zuckerbergian route rather than just calling someone and asking him out, you need to adhere to just a few simple rules.

1. If you initiated the contact, be prompt. Nothing's more annoying than someone establishing contact, asking you out, then playing "too cool to respond within the day" with Facebook messaging. You already asked this person out, bro. Cover is blown.

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2. But if you're gonna drop the ball, don't be conspicuous. If you change your mind or whatever and decide to flake, and our message is sitting unanswered for a day, and then you're writing all these funny status updates about the Oscars, well... uh, we know you're there?

3. On the other hand, don't get sucked into the messaging void. There's a reason that some seasoned online daters set a message limit (as in, only three messages will be exchanged before a face-to-face meeting): it's because often two people will just write back and forth--neither one requesting a date--until it peters out. If it becomes too based on messaging, then one or both of you will start wondering if the other person's trying to nicely indicate that they're not interested, and everyone will just end up mindf*cked.

Also: be honest with the person! Cheese and crackers! Be honest, lest this turn into Catfish.

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4. Please, no epic explanations for stuff. For some reason I always end up with the dudes who send these long, over-intellectual excuses for why they're not able to go out with me and/or need to stop going out with me via FB message. Why is this? Because a phone conversation is too intense? Is Gchat is too intense? I do not want a breakup letter in the same place as all the invitations to parties where I'm gonna run into that ex. It's too weird.

5. Graduate to texting and Gchatting eventually--sooner rather than later. To remain in FB messaging forever would be static, right? As Woody Allen says in Annie Hall, "A relationship is like a shark. It constantly has to be moving forward or else it dies." Don't kill your shark! FB message is the venue of frat boys and party promoters. The quicker you get out of there, the better.

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