I from a land where we only use "Dear" in letters among family members, close relatives and people we love. But obviously Americans used it in business dealings (Also surprised to see people calling strangers "honey" and "sweetie") I'd like to know more about the word usage of "Dear" in workplace email.
First, is it common to address the same sex with "Dear"? I'm a guy and I'm straight. I don't feel comfortable to start my email to this guy I know at accounting with "Dear John". It's touchy to me.
Then I'm fine to sent emails started with "Dear Mary" to this Mary at Finance now and then. I don't have problems with that and she seems to take it well. But I have to say that I addressed female coworkers with "Dear ..." because I want to show my respect and my niceness to them. I don't actually know them well. Because then I would just started with "Hey Mary" or "Hi Jill" as if she is my buddy.

Then comes to situations like job employment. I don't have a hard time to send a "Dear" thank-you email to a female who interviewed me or a senior male who's much older than me. But I don't feel comfortable to send a "Dear" email to a guy who's about my age. But then I don't feel a email says "Hi Steve, I really like the job that we discussed." show enough respect to Steve who might become my boss later on. Do you agree with me? What's a good way to handle this?
If a female manager hires me and my email to her during the job interviews has always been "Dear Mary", is there a time I should stop that and switch to a more relaxed "Hi Mary"? When would that be?
Thanks.
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I from a land where we only use "Dear" in letters among family members, close relatives and people we love. ... people calling strangers "honey" and "sweetie") I'd like to know more about the word usage of "Dear" in workplace email.

"Dear" isn't too commonly used in email, even though it's standard in traditional written correspondence. In email it's generally seen as too formal. Especially so for intra-workplace email.
First, is it common to address the same sex with "Dear"?

In a traditional letter of a non-informal sort, yes. In email, no, because it's not common to use "Dear" at all, but if you did use "Dear" in email, the gender of the addressee wouldn't factor into it.
I'm a guy and I'm straight. I don't feel comfortable to start my email to this guy I know at accounting with "Dear John". It's touchy to me.

See above. You're missing the point.
Then comes to situations like job employment. I don't have a hard time to send a "Dear" thank-you email to ... older than me. But I don't feel comfortable to send a "Dear" email to a guy who's about my age.

See above. You're missing the point. Generally you don't use "Dear" in email (though it's never horribly wrong to do so, and some people even do it routinely). The issue is formality.
But then I don't feel a email says "Hi Steve, I really like the job that we discussed." show enough respect to Steve who might become my boss later on. Do you agree with me? What's a good way to handle this?

For a thank-you email following a job interview, you could just use "Steve,", and it's one situation where "Dear Steve," doesn't sound too formal, but I don't even think "Hi" would be wrong nowadays, in AmE cultural usage. I'd probably play it safe and not use "Hi". It has nothing to do with "respect" it has to do with knowing the appopriate level of formality. The same issues come into play even if you were to send a thank-you email to someone who'd be reporting to you if you were hired.
If a female manager hires me and my email to her during the job interviews has always been "Dear Mary", is there a time I should stop that and switch to a more relaxed "Hi Mary"? When would that be?

There's no sex difference. You deaf? It's all about register and formality. If you're hired, you'll be able to tell after a day or so of receiving emails from coworkers what the general practice is. In Lamerica you generally don't use special formalities when addressing someone who is ranked higher than you in an organization, with the exception of organizations like the military.
I from a land where we only use "Dear" in letters among family members, close relatives and people we love. ... feel comfortable to start my email to this guy I know at accounting with "Dear John". It's touchy to me.

Your subject line says "My dear" and that is only used to express actual affection (or deep sarcasm). But plain old "Dear" lost any sense of sentiment ages ago. You can use it with anyone strangers, superiors, enemies, nearest and dearest, everyone except maybe royalty and positions like that. (Those, you look up in a manual.)

I'm thinking of actual letters, there. I don't participate in a daily whirlwind of emails like some here must, so I can't say much about how the role of "dear" has changed in the workplace world.

Except, as you imply in your final paragraph, "Dear" does seem slightly too formal somehow for a message to a friend (as it's so impersonal) and "Hi" feels much warmer. Email feels more like scribbling a note than writing out a proper letter. If your language has different rules for quickly-written notes as opposed to full letters, that might help you in feeling the difference.
For emails, I tend to put no salutation if it's strictly information/business, "Hi, Firstname" to friends, and once in a while "Dear", maybe when I'm responding to an inquiry from an individual not otherwise known to me.
Then I'm fine to sent emails started with "Dear Mary" to this Mary at Finance now and then. I don't ... them well. Because then I would just started with "Hey Mary" or "Hi Jill" as if she is my buddy.

That's fine.
Then comes to situations like job employment. I don't have a hard time to send a "Dear" thank-you email to ... Steve who might become my boss later on. Do you agree with me? What's a good way to handle this?

Dear is always safe and polite, as far as I can imagine.
If a female manager hires me and my email to her during the job interviews has always been "Dear Mary", is there a time I should stop that and switch to a more relaxed "Hi Mary"? When would that be?

There's no timetable, not that I know of. Since she's the boss, you probably want to follow her lead.

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I from a land where we only use "Dear" in letters among family members, close relatives and people we love. ... feel comfortable to start my email to this guy I know at accounting with "Dear John". It's touchy to me.

It's going to depend on the purpose of the e-mail. If it's a quick note to John confirming an appointment, then "John . . . I'll see you tomorrow at 10." is probably OK.
If you ware submitting a proposal for a project of some kind something that is going to be kept in "the files" then I think the same rules as for a regular letter apply.

If you know the person well enough to call him by his first name, John, in daily conversation "Dear John" is acceptable in all correspondence. Otherwise, "Dear Mr. Jones." "Dear" has become one of those more or less meaningless words that get stuck on to formal correspondence. It doesn't really imply ANY kind of a personal relationship.
Only in a very informal e-mail would you say,
"Hi John . . ."
Then I'm fine to sent emails started with "Dear Mary" to this Mary at Finance now and then. I don't ... them well. Because then I would just started with "Hey Mary" or "Hi Jill" as if she is my buddy.

Not in a business e-mail only to make a date, or reply to a simple question Mary or Jill had asked.
Then comes to situations like job employment. I don't have a hard time to send a "Dear" thank-you email to ... is there a time I should stop that and switch to a more relaxed "Hi Mary"? When would that be?

If all you are speaking of is informal -e-mail, it probably doesn't matter how you address someone, as long as it is polite, but I don't think thanking someone for
interviewing you for an important job (for instance) is something you'd relegate to e-mail. That calls for a handwritten (typed if your handwriting is like mine) note dropped in the mail
"Dear John:
"I really enjoyed meeting you . . ."
jkl
I from a land where we only use "Dear" in letters among family members, close relatives and people we love.

Where's that?
But obviously Americans used it in business dealings (Also surprised to see people calling strangers "honey" and "sweetie") I'd like to know more about the word usage of "Dear" in workplace email. First, is it common to address the same sex with "Dear"?

Of course. Why shouldn't it be?
I'm a guy and I'm straight. I don't feel comfortable to start my email to this guy I know at accounting with "Dear John".

In English, "Dear" is the conventional way to start a letter.

In informal circumstances you can use "Hi", etc.
It's touchy to me.

Then you're a fool.
Adrian
I from a land where we only use "Dear" in ... more about the word usage of "Dear" in workplace email.

"Dear" isn't too commonly used in email, even though it's standard in traditional written correspondence. In email it's generally seen as too formal. Especially so for intra-workplace email.

Maybe so, but there are those of us who still use it frequently when addressing superiors (my department chairman), despised co-workers35 years younger (Ms Chang), clients (Dear Dr Wu or Dear Prof Lin), and students (Dear Eunice).

I think you and Adrian missed bruno's point: in his country (whatever that is), the equivalent of "Dear" is used only for "family members, close relatives and people we love." I understand how and why it might make him uncomfortable to use "Dear Mr Smith" despite assurances that it means nothing in English. He has an emotional block here, not an intellectual problem.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
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It's touchy to me.

Then you're a fool.

Sheesh! The guy asked an honest question about usage in a language he's not that familiar with. I thought that's what the NG was for.
Why jump all over him?
jkl
Then you're a fool.

Sheesh! The guy asked an honest question about usage in a language he's not that familiar with. I thought that's what the NG was for.

That is what this NG is supposed to exist for.
Why jump all over him?

Good question! It *** me off too.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
He has an emotional block here, not an intellectual problem.

According to what everyone suggests that "Dear" can safely be used for same sexes in email and letters, I guess you are right on the target. You really know what my problem is.

Now how can I get over my emotional block?
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