The Etiquette of Modern Dating – Guest Blog

It is probably fair to say that if you are playing the dating game at the moment, you will have discovered just how different and challenging it is, with a whole new set of rules created by the growth of internet dating sites and social media.

The fact that you are looking for a new relationship might be down to the fact that you have had your divorce papers and are hoping to move on, but if it has been a while since you were last in the market for love, it would be wise to learn the etiquette of modern dating.

Time to listen

One of the main problems is that we spend such a lot of time talking about ourselves online, it can be difficult to adjust and understand when it is time to listen and learn more about your potential new partner in person.

When you first meet up, if you haven’t already exchanged a fair amount of personal information beforehand, there is still going to be what you might consider to be the traditional exchange of standard data about each other, such as what work you do and what your interests and hobbies are.

In that respect, nothing much has changed, although it can still be hard to adjust from being the instigator of conversation, to stopping for a moment and listening to what they have to say.

Beware the coldness of a text message

We are all used to texting each other with details of where to meet up or relaying a bit of basic information, but when you are in the early stages of dating someone new, using texts as a form of communication, could potentially kill a relationship before it gets the chance to get going.

Text messages are mostly too impersonal for a new relationship and can often come across as too cold and lacking in emotional content. It is far better to use your smartphone to call and tell them what you want to say, especially in the early days where you are still trying to build that emotional attachment.

Even if you have decided that the first couple of dates haven’t gone that well and you want to breakup and look for someone new, it is not good form to breakup via text message. Dial those numbers and relay your message personally, rather than send a text.

The etiquette of modern dating might be to look for love via online dating sites and exchange certain bits of personal information in order to decide whether you want to take it further and meet up, but once you have got to that stage, the rules of engagement should change to a certain extent.

It is never really a good idea to express your feelings for someone over the internet or through a text message. If you are ready to say “I love you” that is still a message to pass on in person, not via a text message.

Harrison Miles works as a marriage / relationship therapist and is a semi-regular contributor to a small number of online, and offline, publications where it comes to matters of the heart.