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With online dating becoming more popular in pandemic times, I've been doing a little myself.

I have a question about communication in a specific potential relationship that has come up for me. It's fairly online-specific (I think).

I thought I remembered a while ago that dating questions weren't really welcome. I did a bit of searching on meta and I found:

The response there is, "let's give it a shot!". However, it's also a bit old; and I don't spend a lot of time on this site.

So, basically, I just wanted to check again a few years later to see what the community consensus on romantic relationship and dating questions is. Is the attitude now the same as it was when that last topic was discussed?

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It really depends on the content of the question. A lot of dating questions are asking us to interpret someone else's behavior, which is something that can't easily be done and goes a bit against the topic of this site. That topic is Interpersonal Skills, which are the behaviors people use to interact well.

Dating or romantic relationships are not interpersonal skills, they are a context you use interpersonal skills in. As such, questions that are only about dating or romantic relationships and not related to interpersonal skills are off topic: Too often we get 'does she like me' questions that we simply can't answer and that aren't about interpersonal skills at all. Or questions that should go on Reddit's Am I The Asshole, which are asking us to tell us who's right or wrong.

We do encourage people to include context in their questions when we ask them to let us know who was involved. That's where the nuance is: questions about interpersonal skills in the context of dating/romantic relationships are fine. As long as you keep your question focused on the interpersonal skills part: the behavior you use to interact, it should be fine to ask something that also involves dating and romantic relationships.

If you're still unsure, take a look at the checklist for what makes a good subjective question, IPS's good question checklist or consider posting in the Sandbox first for some help refining your question.

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  • An example of answerable question would be "How to maximize my relationship chances with my date given this context" which makes perfect sense to address and doesn't try to read minds or read through a morality framework – Arthur Hv Aug 24 at 6:47
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    @ArthurHv that's one of those that is really, really easily messed up still. A lot of people take your example to mean 'How to maximize my chances with my date given that she likes chicken nuggets and a movie'. That still isn't a matter of interpersonal skills. I think a much better example doesn't focus on 'maximizing relationship chances' at all, but on behaving in such a way that you interact with the other person well, even if that means the chance for a relationship isn't maximized. – Tinkeringbell Aug 24 at 7:20
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    A better example could be to think of it as 'How can I behave to fix this problem I have while dating/being a romantic relationship', with more context as to a specific goal (what does 'fix' mean to you?), and of course what you've tried so far or considered. Most questions on interpersonal skills that aren't under academic-research can follow the line of 'how can I behave to fix this problem I have while interacting with others', the 'while dating/in a romantic relationship' being context already :) – Tinkeringbell Aug 24 at 7:22
  • Thank you for clarification then ! – Arthur Hv Aug 24 at 7:52

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