A matchmaker’s guide to texting after a first date
Are you a serial tweeter? A fanatical Facebooker? A constant texter? We no longer have to get out of bed to stay connected, but has life become a virtual reality?
As a matchmaker, I see many examples of potentially successful relationships falling at the first hurdle text messaging due to misunderstandings usually caused by misinterpretation . I will tell you how to avoid this.
Once upon a time in a far away land, circa 1990, we had to leave the house to meet someone, and our efforts to have a chat-up line (or just a good conversation) had to be honed to perfection if we expected to make any kind of romantic connection. These days, with online dating, you can tap on an app and load your favorite picture of yourself taken a few years ago (Photoshopping beyond recognition), and it’s booming! The catch is that you’ll feel disappointed if you show up to the date not recognizing yourself.
So let’s say you go on a first date after all this cyber communication and you’re a little delirious that you’ve found a really normal person with a great personality. You really like her and she seems to like you back. Result! But then there’s the thorny issue of post-date communication. Text-iquette, if you will. What’s too much and what’s too little? How risky should you go? When, if ever, should you start exchanging picture messages?
Communication between the first and second or third dates is difficult, especially because text messaging is an unforgiving sport. It is important that you send a message after the first date. An example if you really liked her: Hi, really great night! Loved your company, really enjoyed the conversation, the story about XXX was hilarious and would love to see you again. Have a great week. you looked sensational. ‘Note the lack of an attached nudie picture.
What happens next needs to be carefully controlled. Stop, think, and read each text message before you send it. Is it light, friendly, cheerful, energetic? Do you not demand a response? Remember that text messages are often ambiguous. They don’t effectively capture humor, sarcasm, or emotional tone. Therefore, you may send a quick-witted text message that your friend reads as rude, distant, or just plain weird. In an ideal world, a text message would be saved for a simple exchange of arrangements or a quick hello. Anything emotional, positive or negative, is better handled with a phone call.
In addition to misinterpreted texts, there is also the danger of becoming also communicative too soon. The best relationships happen when you are comfortable in your skin and have a mature, open and balanced dialogue. So if it’s been a while since you’ve been in a relationship or had a recent bad experience, start as you mean to go on. Joke around in person about what you and your potential partner like and hate in terms of digital communication – including texting, emailing, WhatsApp, Skype, and posting online. For example, don’t immediately post pictures of the two of you without knowing she’s okay with it or that you’re seeing her last.