We are living in a digital world, and it can make dating and flirting pretty treacherous at times. While this has opened up endless opportunities to meet, connect and stay in touch with others, it has also opened up entirely new possibilities of overstepping boundaries and embarrassing moments. How do you date and flirt while making sure you aren’t jeopardizing your budding relationship? Let’s break it down.
Texting is an amazing tool! It allows you to connect with people all the time in a way that is not intrusive. When I started dating, you had to suck it up and call him (well, call him back). The endless ringing phone was nerve wracking. What if he didn’t answer? Was he avoiding you? Do you leave a message, or call back? Texting eliminates that stress because you can send your message off without worrying about interrupting anything. The problem with texts? They are one-sided and have no tone or inflection. How many times have you had a conversation via text where it was completely misinterpreted (although you knew what you meant)? Sarcasm and humor can take disastrous turns when you are just getting to know someone. Here are three quick tips to texting while flirting and dating:
- Keep it short and flirty. Nothing heavy should go in a text. Ever. Texting in the beginning stages of a relationship should be limited to fun banter or confirmation of plans. That’s it. Everything else should be said in person.
- No naked pictures. Ever. Sure you can send off a shot of you smiling or your bedroom eyes, but keep all body parts to yourself. I don’t even suggest sending X-rated shots between married couples. You never know where they could end up, and unless you are a reality star, it will not benefit you.
- Don’t expect an immediate reply. Just because he didn’t write you back within five seconds doesn’t mean he isn’t interested. Not everyone is tethered to their phones, and a little time between texts is completely normal.
Email is another fabulous way to stay connected — and flirt! However, the same issue arises as with texting, as you can not insert tone and inflection with the written word, no matter how many emoticons and exclamation points you use. At some point, you have to get on a call and hear each other’s voices! However, email is a great way to stay in touch! Just keep in mind the following:
- Know when to stop the chain for the day. It should never go on indefinitely. At some point you need to say “Talk to you later” or “See you soon.” Preferably before the conversation jumped the shark.
- Check your “To:” field carefully. How many emails have you gotten that weren’t meant for you? It happens all the time, especially with most mail programs “guessing” who you want to email after you type the first letter. Just double check.
- Do not expecting an immediate reply. Just like text messages, it is tempting to expect someone to reply immediately. Keep in mind that he has a life and might be at work. Give him 24 hours.
- Always remember that your email can be shared with the click of a button. The power of the forward is immense. Never send anything that you wouldn’t mind being shared.
Never ever use your work email to flirt. You don’t own it, and your employer can very easily access your very private messages. Use your personal phone to send messages — even free email accounts can be recorded real time.