Aziz Ansari is right! Text messaging has the power to ruin dating. The aggravation and exasperation he expresses to Conon O’Brien in this clip about dating in the digital age is exactly what I coach my clients to work against.
Back in the days before the text message, when a man called a woman and asked her on a date, he didn’t have the option of sending a quick note to cancel at the last minute. He showed up like he said he would, and they had the opportunity to communicate in person. There was intimacy in this process because communication was direct, respectful, and responsive.
Today, technological advances have given us so many more options for quick non-committal communication. We can text and email dozens of people in a matter of minutes, all while going about our day as usual. This is undoubtedly a convenient new technology, but as a matchmaker I often find these advances have made people feel very detached from each other, and dating has lost the sense of intimacy and reliability that it once had.
Dating is tremendously more successful when people work to communicate effectively, and respectfully with each other.
In person communication is imperative to exploring any potential connection, but since texting is not going to disappear any time soon, dating in the digital age is something that singles have to learn to contend with. As a matchmaker and coach, I always stress that communication etiquette is the key to creating meaningful relationships.
Dating is tremendously more successful when people work to communicate effectively, and respectfully with each other. I see relationships destroyed all the time because of a miscommunication through texting, or because someone did not take time to learn their date’s communication preference and take it into account.
Everyone has a different way they prefer to communicate. My clients in the 30 and under age bracket seem to be the most disconnected in their dating communication. They opt for quick, evasive methods of communication, rather than picking up the phone or making plans to meet in person, much like what Aziz references in the video clip.
My clients in the 40 and over age range, on the other hand, typically feel that texting comes off as disrespectful and distant. If their date sends them a text saying they are going to have to cancel instead of calling to let them know, they feel blown off.
As a matchmaker I can’t match two singles solely based on making sure they have the same communication style. This is where communication etiquette coaching comes into play.
In our first meetings I always ask my clients how they prefer to communicate. I never make assumptions. Not all individuals under 30 prefer to text, and not everyone over 40 loves the phone.
I take in what my client tells me, but always encourage them to go for the more intimate form of communication. The most intimate is, of course, meeting in person; under that comes making a phone call, then sending an email, and lastly, sending a text message.
Here’s an example: If I am matching a person that prefers texting with someone that prefers to use the phone, I coach the texter to err on the side of making the phone call. It is much more personal, and will show that they care.
If I match two people that prefer to text, I coach them to only text each other with short messages like, “Looking forward to seeing you.” or “Can’t wait for tonight!” before their first date. No extended texting conversations. No changing of plans last minute via text. No dating via text message allowed!
The advantage of working with a matchmaker is that they can alert you to the communication style of your date, and help you to communicate effectively and responsibly with them. If you are not currently working with a matchmaker, my advice is to always go for the more personal communication. Even if making a phone call is out of your comfort zone, your date is sure to be impressed that you took the time to call, and will feel appreciated.
I know that we are all incredibly busy juggling a thousand things and can easily get distracted by the many options that are available to us each day. I get that texting and emailing are important to help us keep up with the fast pace of our lives. When it comes to building significant, romantic relationships though, put in some extra effort. Take the time to communicate meaningfully with the person you are getting to know. You don’t want to ruin a great opportunity with the man/woman of your dreams because you didn’t go the extra mile
My advice: Work on being present and connecting with others in a thoughtful way. Make real communication a priority, and love will follow.
As always, you can email me at LisaClampitt@matchmakinginstitute.com with any questions/comments.
Facebook: Matchmaking Institute