I have old-fashioned dating values

Hi Meredith,

I am a single woman in her late 20s who would like to find a partner, however, I am struggling to navigate the modern dating scene. Some may call my views old-fashioned, but I know two things to be true for myself: 1) I'm not good at dating multiple people at once, and I would prefer to focus on one person at a time. I would also prefer that the person I'm dating shares this mentality, as unrealistic as it may seem in today's day and age. 2) Upfront and honest communication is crucial to me. I think ghosting is cowardly and I am accepting of it after one or two dates, but once you start to get to know someone I think you owe them some sort of goodbye if you plan to pursue other options.

I seem to be the only one following these values. Is this just because I'm strictly dating online and this is largely a part of that culture? Should I wait to meet someone in person? I don't foresee myself being flexible in these values, but should I try?

– "Old-Fashioned" In Cambridge


Some of this behavior is more common in the world of online dating, where it's easier to date many people at once – and it's just as easy to disappear. If you date friends of friends, or people who are somehow connected to your community, they might feel the need to be more respectful and kind. (That doesn't mean you should stop online dating, by the way. Some people on sites and apps are interested in old-fashioned courtship, and it's worth continuing on.)

The good news: When someone ghosts or tells you they're dating 50 people, you can walk away with all the answers you need. In the online world, people tend to reveal their motives pretty quickly. That can be a gift.

Your best bet is to try to make more real-world connections as you date online. Continue to be kind to others and maybe they'll follow your lead.

Just remember that you can't prevent yourself from getting hurt. That risk is going to be a part of this process no matter what. Sometimes old-fashioned daters have the best etiquette – and the worst intentions.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you be an old-fashioned dater online?