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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Miss Manners 11/27

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a young professional woman who uses a dating app to meet potential suitors. It seems that the traditional rules of correspondence have become somewhat muddled.

I use a particular dating app that requires both parties to “match” with each other before they can begin conversing. However, I find that many of the men with whom I match (meaning we have both expressed interest in each other) are taciturn when it comes to actually exchanging messages.

I generally start these conversations with a question about some interest they express in their profile, but their responses are often terse and not accompanied by a similar question for me. I do not want a conversation with a potential mate to feel like pulling teeth, so I have a habit of “unmatching” these men.

What is the appropriate amount of time I should wait, or number of one-sided questions I should answer, before unmatching them? Or is it rude to do at all?

GENTLE READER: The usual rules of socialization apply here; it is just the technology that is different.

If you did not have a successful date with someone, you would not make another. But you also would not call them to tell them to stop contacting you. After a conversation’s worth of tersely answered questions, Miss Manners recommends that you simply stop pursuing the relationship. If the gentleman wants to know why, he can follow up with an interesting question himself.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a colleague informs us of taking time off to attend a funeral, is there a polite way to ask who died?

GENTLE READER: Because you want to issue a more personal and heartfelt condolence? Or to find out if the relationship with the deceased genuinely merits missing work?

Miss Manners is trying not to suspect the latter. But “I am so sorry. Were you close?” should politely cover both options. She warns you to resist persisting further, however, if the answer is simply “yes.”

Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website

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