Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Texting and Modern Dating

The Texting Game.


In today’s world, texting is a common form of communication, if not the most used, when it comes to dating.  It’s a wonderful feeling seeing that special person’s name pop up on your phone screen and feeling a surge of excitement and electricity punch you in the stomach.

You met, exchanged numbers, and are now exploring the possibility of a romantic relationship.  Ideally, phone calls are the next best way of getting to know someone after face to face interaction.  Calling the person you are dating is now considered 'old school' and chivalrous, and it shows you care to hear their voice and get to know them right away.   But there is something about texting that you can’t beat.  Whether it’s actually having the words in front of you to read... or re-read over and over again (c’mon, we’ve all been there), or grins that go from ear to ear after receiving a sweet message, texting is the new form of conversation and flirting, and often the first means of getting to know your potential partner.

Then comes the hard part.  Interpreting the text, or sometimes, the non-text.  I spent many a night with my former roommate, sitting on the floor with a glass of wine, trying to figure out the texting game we now have to play when it comes to dating.  Conversations would often go something like this…

“What does he mean by that?”

“Seriously, how am I supposed to respond to that?”

“If he uses one more exclamation point, I’m done.”

Why hasn’t he texted me back yet?”

“Should I say this, or is it too soon?”

“Should I text him back right now… or wait 8 more minutes?”

The downfall of texting is there is plenty of room for interpreting a message wrong.  Something as simple as a smiley face could send the other person into a fit of frustration, or into a fit of love.

So how do you avoid getting caught up in this game that can cause so much confusion?

The golden rule of texting is less is more.  I cannot stress enough that going overboard on your texting in the first critical weeks of your budding relationship will not give you the results you want.  Keep texts simple by leaving the majority of your connection to your face to face interactions.  Sending an inside joke, a short compliment, or arranging details of plans via text are all encouraged while dating. Sending long emotional texts, x's and o's and multiple smiley faces or emojis, or an excessive amount is highly discouraged. While some move faster than others in relationships, it's always best to play it safe.  All of the mushy stuff can come later when you have both established that you are in a committed, mutual relationship.

The most important point is to realize that a text is just simply that… a text. If a person wants to see you, they will let you know – whether it’s a phone call, or actually arranging to see you, you cannot have a relationship purely through texting (at least not a long and fulfilling one!). Texting, if done right and naturally, is a way to share inside jokes, compliments, or pictures of happenings in your life. Or, when in the later stages of dating, a way to send thoughts of encouragement or sweet nothings to your partner.

So, when you get discouraged about the way your “texting relationship” is going, pick up the phone and call that person.  Ask them how they are feeling, and truly get to know them by talking or meeting up in person.  Taking the lead (guys, I'm talking to you) and making the first call sets the tone for the relationship. Be intentional.  Show them you care.

-Katie

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Social Media & Your Relationship

Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, etc. are all great tools for networking and meeting up with new singles. However, the use of social media outlets outside of being a networking tool can be a huge problem in a romantic relationship. Yes, social media can be used for staying connected with friends, family, and work associates. Yet, when in a romantic relationship, your interactions outside those categories have to be limited. If interactions outside those categories are not limited, then problems can occur in your relationship.

Not monitoring your interaction on social media may cause your significant other to question your loyalty or honesty in your relationship. For example, by having frequent interactions with a particular profile by constantly liking posts and pictures of the profile or sharing a particular profile's content on your own personal page may cause your significant other to believe that you have an interest in the particular person. Not only will this build insecurities between you and your significant other, but can cause trust to be broken in your relationship.


The solution to this problem is not necessarily giving your significant other your password to your social media accounts, but rather opening the line of communication on how social media will be used in your relationship. For example, have a conversation on how frequent you should interact with a person on social media outside of your professional and personal circles. Also, discuss with your partner what type of content is appropriate to be posted on each other's profiles. Most importantly, make sure that there is an open line of communication between the two of you. Encourage one another to be honest about issues or concerns that arise regarding social media use and discuss things that may bother you instead of letting them build up. If you and your partner agree that social media interactions are being used to stay connected with friends, family and work associates, then honor that. This will help prevent problems in your relationship due to social med