Frequently Asked Questions
This section is part of the OxfordRomance.org.uk online help system. (show contents). You can also view the entire document as a single very long page.
The "Netiquette" of using OxfordRomance is largely based on "Do as you would be done by." However, there are some things which are specific to an online forum, and which
are worth mentioning:
- This is a website for online romance. Thus, it is acceptable (and encouraged!) to ask people out. The fundamental design is that, if you like each other, you should be able to meet up
in real life. Meeting people "offline" is normal, and there is usually very little cause to be wary of so doing.
- Be direct and honest. If you are not interested in someone, please say so. It is simply a waste of time (yours and theirs) to converse with somebody you have no
intention of ever meeting.
- It is a paradoxical result of anonymity that it can sometimes allow much greater freedom to be honest. You will find that people speak very freely in most regards here. However,
please do be sensitive to the type of person you are messaging. Do not write messages that are clearly inappropriate to the recipient.
- Provided that a message is courteous, one ought to answer it! It is far better to send a reply on the lines "Sorry, I'm not interested", than to simply ignore an invitation to correspond.
Nevertheless, don't necessarily expect answers to messages right away: people are sometimes busy, or have received a deluge of messages, and do not have time to reply properly to all of them.
- If someone has not replied to your message, it is ok to send a single polite follow-up after a suitable period of time, perhaps a day. Be aware that they may not yet have logged in and
read your original message. Alternatively, they may have simply not had time to respond, or have overlooked it. Some people do receive quite a lot of messages!
[See also the faq on read-receipts.]
- Since typed messages cannot convey the tone of voice in which they were written (smileys sometimes help here), both the author and recipient should be aware that some
statements are ambiguous. This is especially true of irony without a ";-)". Don't type in ALL CAPITALS, because IT LOOK AS THOUGH YOU ARE SHOUTING.
However, please try not to attribute to malice what can be explained by folly. Sometimes, situations can arise in which far more offense is taken than is intended.
- Be careful when flirting. Sweeping generalisations notwithstanding, it's frequently the case that a woman writes something flirtatious (not expecting to be taken seriously); the man
reads it literally (and takes it at face value). When he responds to what she said; she is upset, because he couldn't telepathically infer what she meant!
- Rude behaviour is never acceptable. Be polite: remember that the other person is a human being, not a PHP script on a webserver. Those who are discourteous may be barred from the site
without warning. If someone offends you, please tell them and they will usually apologise. However, please do report such behaviour to Cupid using the
"Is this message rude or offensive?" link given on the right hand side below each message.
- If you arrange to go on a date with someone, then don't fail to show up! If you change your mind, it's better to tell the other person, and cancel.
- When you eventually leave the site (which we hope will be because you are riding off into the sunset!), you should send messages to your correspondents to say goodbye - and, where
appropriate, to give your contact details. It is otherwise quite distressing for people to discover that a friend has suddenly evaporated!
- Please also see the FAQ on acceptable behaviour. [You may also find the more general guidance of Emily Postnews to be of interest.]
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