So I figure that after a few weeks off I might as well put together a little something something for you all. As we all know the world is going through a communications revolution, it has never been easier to stay in touch with with the people we know, we have texting, facebook, skype, google+ and a plethora of other ways for us to communicate.
Of course with all of these relatively new and unique ways of communicating, the world of dating has changed dramatically as well. Think about it, at least 20% of successful relationships start with people meeting online rather than in person. If you look back even ten years, people didn't have to worry about what their new boyfriend was saying through text messages or posting on facebook because those weren't really viable options for building a relationship or didn't exist... So in other words there have never been so many options for communication and building relationships in the history of the world ever and we have the unique opportunity/challenge of managing relationships through these unique mediums of communication. I kind of chuckle to myself when older adults tell me that they would have never sent a text message to a boy/girl they were interested in to have a conversation or ask them on a date because they didn't have that option so of course it's easy to pretend like they wouldn't have, but I highly doubt that their generation would have been any different. That being said, I feel like there should be some established ground rules for dating in a digital world.
1. Face to face communication should be priority #1
Fact: If you can't have a face to face conversation with a person your dating life will be more difficult. This doesn't mean that you can just make small talk, you have to be able to communicate your emotions openly. If you feel like if you had to break up with someone and you couldn't tell them face to face then you probably have some work to do in this category. There are so many elements in human communication that aren't verbal, like proximics, vocal tone, touch, and non-verbal facial cues that make conversation easier to understand so you don't run into the classic sarcasm over text problem or offending someone over the phone accidentally because of a lack of social cues. Basically there should be a premium on face to face conversation/communication for a successful relationship to develop
2. When to call/ When to text? The eternal debate...
I can't tell you how many times I've ran into very passionate conversations about this very issues, is it ok to ask someone on a date over text or should I call? Is there any benefit to carrying on a text conversation with a person that I might be interested in? My answer is simple to the date question, call first, leave a voicemail if no one answers and wait for them to call back. Every girl I've ever talked to has told me that they prefer to be asked out on a date through a phone call because it feels like someone is important enough to take time out of their schedule, however there is a caveat to this that I don't think most people think about. There have been numerous times that I've called a girl to ask them on a date and nobody answered, so I left a voicemail only to get a text back the next day to let me know that they could/couldn't make it No offense but doesn't this seem like a double standard to anyone? Girls expect you to call but they text you back if they don't answer? Just a thought... The problem is that unless you're in a committed relationship with someone it's just easier to ignore a phone call, whereas if someone sends you a text you can respond at your own convenience. I've been asked out over text messages before and I wasn't offended, I was just happy to have the opportunity to go on the date(it's amazing how much easier life is if you just enjoy the company you have around you) I also feel like it's super awkward to be texting someone and all of the sudden to call them just to ask them on a date especially if said date has already been mentioned in the text conversation. Then again I'm not really a fan of social mores that have no real context. Which brings me to the next question, would you rather spend 20 minutes on the phone per week with your crush and then do something on the weekend or would you rather text your crush for an hour or two, three or four times a week and then do something on the weekend? I'm not going to answer that question but I think it's a question that we all have to ask, texting is obviously less personal but it's a lot more convenient for both parties, especially in a society built on doing as much with the time you have as possible. I personally would rather talk to someone obviously but texting is a nice alternative to keep in touch and carry on a conversation. My best advice would be to be flexible and willing to do both because in this technology driven world, versatility is possibly your most valuable asset.
3. Don't be afraid of online dating!
I've written about this a previous blog but I feel like online dating is really underrated not because it's necessarily better than traditional dating, however it gives you access to a bunch of other people looking to date just like you! I've met a ton of great people that I wouldn't have had the opportunity otherwise because of online dating. The thing that's nice about online dating that instead of seeing one or two people you might be interested in at a huge party where you'll never really have a chance to get to know them, you get to single out, send a message, if they respond great! If not, no big deal, you never really had anything invested with them anyways and you can probably find someone else that you're interested in... sure there are people that are creepers but you can control whether or not you meet them and where you meet them so you have control of the situation... Don't get me wrong I love meeting people in person and developing a friendship with them before actually dating them but at the same time it's nice to have other options if things don't work out with your personal contacts... I'm not saying that online dating is for everyone but from my personal experience 99% of the people are normal people just looking for someone to make their life more complete...
Anyways I hope my random babbling has been productive and that your dating life in a digital world is a little less complicated after today. Now on a completely different note here's another great cover of a super talented singer/songwriter from the 70s by a super talented modern artist James Blake!