Most of us go into relationships with the best of intentions. We put our best feet forward in the first few weeks or month with the anticipation that the relationship will continue to grow and go the distance.
We introduce our partner to our friends and family hoping to get the vote of approval. Often we share our dreams for the future, plan holidays and vacations together, and learn the fine art of compromising in a relationship, because we know it’s worth it.
Sometimes outside influences can attack our relationship resulting in the inevitable bumps on the road. It’s at these times that we look at our partner and either deal favorably with conflict resolution, or sadly our ego sometimes gets in the way and we end up heading for a fall.
From financial issues to family stress, the romantic gestures from an outsider at work to juggling the schedules of children, or even job pressures can affect the best of relationships.
Here are a few tips to know if you’re relationship is on its way out, or if it’s just a pull back or bump on the road that hopefully will become a distant memory.
- They stop sending regular text messages. If your significant other used to start his or her day with a good morning text and good night text, but those have disappeared, chances are the relationship could be fizzling out.
- Phone calls are reduced. If your significant other usually calls you routinely on his or her lunch break, while driving home from work, or before bedtime when you’re not together, and the calls have been reduced to once a day or a few times a week, your sweetheart may be disengaging from the relationship.
- Pet names disappear. He or she goes from affectionately saying, “It’s me” to leaving messages with their first or full name, assume the familiarity and romance are on their way out. Affectionate pet names are part of a relationship. It’s what makes you unique as a couple and puts a smile on your face.
- Plans are made without you in mind. If your normal routine is to see each other a few times a week and on weekends and suddenly your significant other would rather go out for drinks with friends and go home alone instead of into your arms, assume they are creating more distance and are open to the possibilities of meeting someone else.
- Future talks are put on hold. If you had been discussing living together or even planning a vacation six months out and now you’re not sure when you’ll be getting together in the next few days, your relationship suddenly might become a short-term affair, and not with someone who wants to go the distance anymore.
- Sex dissipates. Having a healthy sex life creates bonding in a relationship. If your boo is having doubts about the relationship, often sex is the first thing to go. When your sex life goes from “hot” to “not,” there’s a possibility your partner is detaching from the relationship.
- PDA disappears. If you’re the kind of affectionate couple who holds hands in public and loves cuddling at night and suddenly you find yourself sleeping on your side of the bed, there could be trouble in paradise. If the welcome home kisses are no longer part of your regime, it’s a sign that your relationship might be falling out of the love zone.
- Grooming habits change. From getting a Brazilian bikini wax to sporting a new hairstyle, joining a gym, or starting a new diet, when your significant other starts to change their looks and takes more time to focus on their appearance, they might have someone in mind other than you.
- They become attached to their phone. If suddenly your sweetheart is staring at his or her text messages, keeping their phone uber-handy, and staring at Facebook instead of focusing on you, you’ve just become lower on the totem pole than his or her smart phone. If they go into another room to secretly respond to a text or a phone call or turn their phone upside down so you won’t see who’s texting or calling, there’s probably trouble in paradise.
- Titles disappear. While titles are usually more important to a woman than to a man, if you’ve been introduced as the girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner and suddenly you’re being introduced as, “This is Janie,” there could be trouble on the horizon or you might be moving into the friend zone. Read: Why Won’t He Call Me His Girlfriend
- Reactivates their online dating profile. If you’ve met online, but unplugged your profiles to be exclusive, don’t be surprised when one of you starts fishing to look for Plan B. Typically before a breakup, someone may like to view their options before making a clean break. Read: Gone Fishing, or is it Over?
- You’re thinking of breaking up. If the thought of breaking up is on your mind (if you’re reading this, that’s probably the case), you’ve put together your pros and cons list about your relationship or are think you might need some space, chances are your sweetie may be thinking the same as well.
What should you do if you can relate to most of these items on this list? Before you toss your relationship away, understand that feelings can fluctuate, but if the flow has been disrupted by most of these relationship issues on this list, you might be headed for splitsville.
Before you pull out the tissue box and think it’s over, take the time to talk to your partner about how important they are in your life. Acknowledge there’s been a shift in the relationship and ask them if there are any outside stressors that could be affecting the two of you. One of you might still be brewing about something that happened over a month ago and perhaps an apology needs to be made if your partner is feeling resentful about something or misunderstood.
Acknowledge how affectionate you used to be and let your partner know that you miss those warm and fuzzy happy times and would love to get back on track. Take the time to listen to your partner’s concerns. If you truly think this is a relationship worth fighting for, let your partner know that you don’t want to make an impulsive and abrupt decision that you might regret. Ask how you can help bring back the romance in your life.
If your partner just isn’t feeling it for you anymore, don’t fight it. Thank them for the memories and start the healing process. I know it hurts to have another failed relationship, but I also know that there is someone special out there waiting for you. You just haven’t met him or her yet.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of online dating and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
In the past week, three women have come to me with the same dating dilemma. They’ve met terrific guys online. One on OkCupid, another on Tinder, and one on JDate. All three men are super-successful and are very driven in their careers. They’re the guys who are too busy to be players and truly want to be in a monogamous relationship.
In all three scenarios, the men have asked the woman for exclusivity. Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly.
One woman has been dating a terrific guy, whom she met on Tinder. After six weeks they had the conversation about becoming exclusive. They both projected to the future. The problem is, she’s lower on the totem pole, as his work is a priority. The more she tried to spend time with him and fill his calendar with fun events, the more he pulled away. Eventually, he started spending weekends without her, even though there was no one else he was interested in.
The second woman met a great guy on OkCupid, whom she thinks is her soul mate. They’ve both said they’re in love with each other, but after six months of dating, he still focuses on his work and children on the weekends. The more frustrated she gets with the situation, the more distant he becomes. She sees a future with him, someday. But today, she’s walking on eggshells. What should she do?
The third woman met a fabulous guy on JDate. He told her on the second date that he thought he was falling in love with her and saw her in his future. He wanted to see her every night, until one day when he stopped returning her calls and texts. She’s devastated. She thought he was ‘the one.’
If you can relate to any of these situations, you’re not alone.
All three of these guys were building their castles and were defining their success as a man based upon their career success. While juggling children from a prior marriage, a busy career, and girlfriend, the girlfriend ended up in last place. It wasn’t that these guys weren’t crazy about the women they adored. They would do anything for them… if it was on their schedule. They were doing the pull back and these women were hurting at the sudden change of heart.
Between rebuilding from a divorce, keeping a family together, maintaining a career path to provide for financial success for the women, they couldn’t juggle it all. The more the women pushed to be with them, the more they pulled away. It’s the ever-so-common pull back and it’s gut-wrenchingly painful when it’s happens to you.
Ladies: When guys are in work mode, you’ll probably hear from them less.
There’s no need to stress and think it’s over.
My suggestion to all three of them, and to you if this is happening in your life, was to let them build their castle. Be at their side when it’s convenient for you. Don’t send text messages asking what’s wrong, or you’ll run the risk of pushing him away, period. No guy wants to feel like he’s dating his nagging ex-wife. Also, when a guy starts to fall in love with you, he gets scared. There are a lot of reasons for this. Before they make that commitment that seems to be permanent, they might want to view other profiles of singles on a dating site, even if they have no desire to go out on a date. They may fear never having sex with another woman again. A lot of thoughts go through their minds. As they’re processing all of these emotions, they often pull away.
I know it doesn’t seem right. If he’s crazy about you, he should want to be with you, right? Women are built to multitask. It’s in their DNA. Men are most often single focused, and when they’re in career mode, they’re thinking about work and closing the next deal or hoping to get a raise. When they’re with their kids, they’re in parent mode. When they’re with you, they’ll adore every moment of being with you.
Understand that you’re not playing a game. You’re just letting the man lead, which is in their DNA. If you ever feel that your needs aren’t being met at all, then by all means, have a conversation about it, but don’t beat it to death or give ultimatums. It’s your decision to stay in any relationship. Men will come and go as rubber bands and often they’ll just need the space to be in their caves from time-to-time. It’s really OK, if they come back to you. In time, your relationship will develop into a groove and you won’t have to worry if he forgets to send you a good morning text. Perhaps he’s just busy. It doesn’t mean you’re not on his mind. Give him his space and if you truly are ‘the one,’ he’ll return without even realizing he’s been gone.
Have you experienced the pull-back in a relationship? Your comments are welcome.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and the founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She was an early adopter of online dating and has been helping singles find love online for 20 years. For more dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Photo credit: Fotolia
While it’s normal to log on and read your emails and search for others until you’re exclusive, it’s often painful when your new love interest hasn’t taken his or her profile down.
Just because they haven’t unplugged their profile, doesn’t mean they’re looking for someone else to put in rotation on the dating docket.
Trina wrote to me saying she knew she had met ‘the one.’ Her new guy told her on the second date that he was crazy about her and started talking about the future. He wanted to see her all the time and everything was moving in a normal direction except, his profile was still active. This caused Trina great stress and as a result, she started logging on under a different user name over-and-over again to see when the last time he had signed in. For Trina, it became a downward spiral that she couldn’t stop.
I told Trina, before she started sabotaging her relationship by becoming a cyber-sleuth, she needed to know that there are many reasons why his profile is still active.
1. He might be too busy with work to take it down
2. He might be curious as to who has written to him, but isn’t responding
3. He might be too busy juggling his children
4. He might realize her profile is still up
The bottom line is, a man often doesn’t see taking his profile down as a priority if he’s courting a woman and behaving like a boyfriend. It falls into the category of digital housekeeping. Instead, this guy was keeping his family and work commitments in order, while trying to court Trina. She receives daily text messages and phone calls from her new guy. From where I stand, he was showing her by his actions, that he wanted her to be his girlfriend.
If this story sounds familiar, I urge you to stop peeking at his profile. Stop obsessing what he’s doing when he’s not with you. When a man is juggling, work, joint-custody of children, and his career, he’s got a full and justifiable plate.
The best thing you can do during this in-between period is to stop logging on. Keep yourself busy and be the confident beautiful woman you are. In time, both of you will know when it’s time to have the profile unplugging conversation, but do you really think he’d like to know you’ve been spying on him?
If you have a burning dating question, send them to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
The Cyber-Dating Expert Weekly Flirt is now ready for your reading pleasure. We’re live from Las Vegas from the NAB Conference with 100,000 broadcasters.
In this edition of the Weekly Flirt, read about online dating tips for spring fever, meet a lovely couple who fell in love on eHarmony, and find out if you’re dating or in the friend zone. Enjoy!
Dear Cyber Dating Expert,
I met this wonderful guy online and we connected on our first date. Yes, it was exciting to have chemistry and we kissed at the end of the date.
By the time I got home, my new guy had already sent me a text message saying how much he enjoyed our date and wanted to get together again. I went to sleep with a smile on my face.
Suddenly, he was sending me a text message saying “Good morning” every day, checked with me during the day, and even to say good night. Because of our busy work schedules, we had a difficult time putting a second date on the calendar. Actually, we tried several times and one of us, usually him, had to cancel due to business or for some other reason, but I did go to his house to watch a movie a few times. I kept suggesting a real date, like one where we’d go to dinner at a restaurant, but it didn’t happen.
Before the New Year, I realized it wasn’t going anywhere, but had remorse about it over the holidays. I am finding this is common, I mistook his daily texts as effort when he hadn’t made any real plans. He would want to see me day of and I would already have plans. Nonetheless, I wished him a Merry Christmas via text then he wished me Happy New Year so I thought we weren’t entirely over.
Last week, he messaged me again and we flirted and talked about doing dinner on Wednesday. I shared with him that we had amazing chemistry on our first date and I wanted us to get to know each other better over dinner. Sunday night he messages me to come over to his place and stay the night with him and that kind of showed me where I stood. I have been to his place 3 times already! He has never been to my place and why would I stay the night with him prior to reconnecting at dinner?!?!
He called me Wednesday and we postponed getting together to Friday night. He mentioned possibly moving for work, which raised my guard even further. Thursday we exchanged some texts and I haven’t heard from him since. Fortunately I can laugh at it all. I’m glad we never slept together. I don’t go from 0 to 360. A part of me is still a little hurt and disappointed that what I had hoped would happen didn’t. But it takes two to tango and two to make an effort and while passion are SUPER important to me, I need to be romanced a little before I go there.
How could I really believe we were in a relationship and that he was courting me? Did he texts mean nothing?
Disappointed in California
Texting is so easy to do and has become a part of most daters’ regime. However, I view texting as a flirty way of keeping in touch, while you’re courting, dating, or even in an exclusive relationship. Your guy sends you texts to keeping you on the hook, sucked in, with the hope that you’ll think a real relationship is in the cards. He knew your relationship goals, but he was clearly on a different page. Quite simply, he was looking for a relationship of convenience and was hiding behind his mobile phone.
How many women was he texting while making you feel like you were special? Probably many. Invitations to come to his home may have been sent to several women, with the first one to bite ending up in bed with him. I once knew a man who like clockwork on Friday sent a text message to 10 women he either had slept with, were ex-girlfriends, or women he wanted to pursue. He was a classic player. He invited them each out to drinks and whoever responded first was the one he ended up spending the night with. Be happy that you didn’t jump at the chance to be in a girl in rotation.
You did nothing wrong other than open your heart to the possibilities and fortunately not more.
So, keep true to yourself and know there is someone else out there. I would not have ANY contact with this guy. Be open to meeting someone else. I always quote Stevie Nicks from the song “Dreams.” “Players only love you when they’re playing.”
It Sounds like he wanted a relationship of convenience, a hookup, or whatever. When a man wants you to be his girlfriend, he?ll do whatever it takes to let you know and to make sure he claims you as his.
?It didn’t mean there wasn’t real chemistry. Let’s not confuse lust with the desire for love. It didn’t mean that he didn’t like and adore you. Men love the game and love the chase.? As a woman with a huge heart, it’s easy to get sucked in to the possibility of romance and finding someone special.
It’s a new year and time to find someone who’s on the same page. Enjoy the flirty texting, but until two people agree that they’re dating exclusively, they’re not in a relationship.
I know this seems like a lot of pressure, but to simplify the Internet dating process, we’ve come up with several expert tips on how to ace your cyberdating exam.
Coordinating a first date to make that great impression makes singles nervous. One person may love coffee, where another would rather go hiking. Trying to find a common balance for your first meet-and-greet, especially when geography gets in the way, means a single dater must go with the flow to fill up their date card.
This means you must be easy-going, have several options on where to meet, and not appear too high-maintenance.
Here are two examples of how one date progressed nicely and another went south, fast.
Dater #1. When *Randy decided to make the dinner plans before the theatre date, he came up with a well-executed strategy. It was his homework assignment to select the restaurant and figure out how to coordinate the details. Sure it would have been easy to tell him to park once and just dine at the restaurant in the theatre, but he came up with a more complicated plan and told his date the following:
Unfortunately the restaurant doesn’t have a shuttle to the theatre, but I’ve thought of a plan to minimize the parking issue and maximize our time at dinner.
Try this on?
You drive into downtown and park at the theatre (or wherever you like near there) for about 5:30 PM and call me when you arrive to say where you are. I’ll drive over to pick you up and bring you to my building to park my car; and then we walk just a few blocks to the restaurant. After dinner, we take a taxi to get to the theatre, unfettered with driving and parking while others are arriving, and just walk in. After the event, you take your car out, and drive us a few blocks back to my building; I’ll hop out at the front door on the street safe and sound and you continue straight toward to the highway to get home – real simple. Does this work?
What do you think?
It sounds like an exhausting plan, right? There was nothing simple about it. However, he took great pride in coordinating timing and location and just wanted acknowledgement that his idea would be well-accepted.
The lesson here is the best solution isn’t always the smartest solution when it comes to dating. Sure some women think that they’re smarter and can drive the dating train, but a man wants to be the woman’s hero. He wants to know that she approves of his plans. His efforts to coordinate their dinner date were well thought out. Telling him to change them, especially early on in the dating stage, could possibly backfire. She responded with, “Great plan. I love it! I’ll see you around 5:30pm.”
Dater #3. When *Kathy invited her online date to an outdoor concert, she had tickets for the summertime music festival where they would be picnicking. Her date offered to pick up some wine and food items and they agreed to drive together to the concert. That was, until she called him up and asked him what he would be wearing. When he replied that he would be dressed casually in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals, she got furious with him. She told him he wasn’t dressing appropriately for a date and that she hated Hawaiian shirts and shorts. Stunned, because this was a casual outdoor concert in the summer, he thought he’d be dressed perfectly for the occasion. She abruptly canceled the date because he didn’t conform to her perceived dress code and she went alone to the concert. Did he ever call her again? Not in a million years.
At the end of the digital day, when someone plays hard-to-get in the online dating game, the only word the potential date will remember is that you were hard to deal with. Don’t make dating difficult. Enjoy the process and go with the flow.
Julie Spira is an Online Dating Expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She?s been helping singles on the dating scene with her Irresistible Online Dating Profiles for 20 years and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. For more dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
On Take Part Live on PointTV, we tackled the subject of digital dating and how texting and social media have affected our love lives.
It was a honor and joy to be a featured guest on the program with hosts Jacob Soboroff and Cara Santa Maria.
I was joined with Comedienne and Glamour blogger Phoebe Robinson, who appeared earlier on Raising McCain with Meghan McCain, and Jessica Sorbino.
One of the main questions that came up is should you change your Facebook relationship status? The opinions from the panel differed. Phoebe met her boyfriend on Facebook and checked out his profile before agreeing to going on a date. I said that everyone who is single should list their relationship status as Facebook could be the world’s largest dating site, and Jessica believes you shouldn’t list a relationship status at all, so forget about “It’s Complicated.”
How long should you wait to respond to his or her text message? Are we becoming Internet dating addicts? Watch the show segment for details.
You can read more in this article on Digital Technology and Romantic Relationships.
If you’re questioning whether your summer romance has an expiration date on it and are wondering what to do next, these dating tips should help you on your romantic journey.
As summer is nearing its end, many students are now returning to school and single parents will now have a much different schedule to adhere to.
So with the change of seasons, how do you know if you can handle a long distance relationship this fall? If your guy is still in town, how do you know if your passionate summer love was just a fling or the real thing?
If you notice your relationship is tapering off as we lead into Labor Day, should you part ways as friends now that summer is over and wish each other well, or sign up for another season of love?
I’ve always said that long-term relationships should go through multiple seasons to determine if you’re compatible with your significant other or not. Yes, winter, spring, summer and fall. All of them, each with their unique beauty and differences can help you pass the test of time.
As cliche as it sounds, we know there is some validity to the three-month honeymoon phase. At first, everything about the other person is exciting. From giggles and hiccups to their exercise regime, you just suck it all in like a sponge that won’t dry out.
When these relationships peak in the summer, it’s often hard to tell whether it’s lust or love with all of the outdoor heat, but oddly, as the summer ends, it’s not unusual to start receiving less text messages from your beau. The days in between getting together seem to be getting longer while the days start to become shorter. The routine of your love life just isn’t as exciting as it used to be.
During months 3-6, the “imperfect stage,” don’t be surprised if your single girlfriend sees your guy?s profile online, where he?s just fishing to see who might write to him, even if he isn’t setting up any dates.
After that, you may find out about a few Facebook chats that were incorporated into the routine to create distance between the two of you. Someone notices a Facebook check in, he?s busted and there’s a major explosion.
If you can relate to this feeling or sequence of events, the problem may not be with the calendar, but more often-than-not be related to serious commitment issues that one of you may be struggling with.
The next think you know, someone isn’t sure if they?re feeling it anymore. Rather than being honest about the relationship, they’re cultivating conversations on Facebook with high school or college pals to create distance, and the trust dissipates. It’s the beginning of the end.
Why do so many of these relationships end when the summer is over?
Weather changes, months change, routines change, and even those relationships with the best of intentions run their course. At the end of the summer, it’s like the end of the calendar year. People reevaluate their relationship statuses and decide whether to renew for another three months.
If you feel this is happening to you, have the conversation first with your partner sooner, rather than later. Don’t toss away the relationship so quickly. Acknowledge all of the amazing things you’ve done together as a couple and honor the memories you’ve shared. Ask the other person if there’s anything they can do to keep the relationship alive. Remember, bumps on the road are an opportunity for personal growth within a relationship, not always necessarily the beginning of the end.
If at the end of your conversation, you feel you aren’t compatible or someone has already strayed, wish each other well, before you start logging on for love looking for their replacement.
It’s important to mourn the loss of your relationship, because your friendship, bond, and the daily connectivity will abruptly end. Trying to get together immediately as friends during this emotional time is not a good idea. It will backfire. There’s no such thing as a mutual breakup where everyone is happy. One person might think it will lesson their guilt. It won’t. You fell in love with someone for a reason, not a season.
If you find that your summer love has ended, don’t reactivate your online dating profile for at least a week. Sure it’s great for your ego to get people lining up to meet you for dates, but it isn’t fair for someone new not to get the best shot at you. Dating while you?re still pining away for your ex can increase your sadness. You’re a walking-wounded person and it’s healthy to take a break.
After enough time has gone by and you both have moved on with other relationships, it’s possible to be friends with your summer romance in another season, but in my experience, you truly need at least six months to segue a romantic relationship into a friendship. But then again, do you really want to be friends with someone who broke your heart?
Photo credit: sandra zuerlein – Fotolia.com
As one who has studied and coached singles on the intersection of love and technology for 20 years, it was an honor to be called upon by behavior and relationship reporter Sharon Jayson for her in-depth story in Love 2.0: The Tech Effect on Romance.
Appearing as the cover story of the USA Today Weekend edition, Jayson wrote about a recent study conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle in which 1500 singles aged 21-50 shared their thoughts on how mobile phone technology and texting when it comes to matters of the heart.
The USA Today article makes a bold statement. Jayson reports that “Cellphones and texting have blown up the dating culture.”
With the growth of smartphones, popularity of unlimited texting and data plans, it’s no wonder that singles are relying on their mobile phones to set up a date, cancel a date, make dinner reservations, order theater tickets, and yes, unfortunately break up.
In my conversation with Jayson, she asked me how long I believed a person should wait to return a text message. In my expert opinion, I thought 1-4 hours is polite.
The survey showed a surprising amount of singles (25%) believed that a text from a potential date or romantic partner should be returned within one hour. One hour? Think about it. If you’re in a meeting, on a conference call, on an airplane, or your phone is charging, does that mean you’re not interested? My big concern is the growing anxiety associated with response time for text messages, which appears to be shrinking. Another 25% thought 1-3 hours would be appropriate, followed by 12% who believed 4-6 hours would be fine. Responding immediately came in fourth place at 10%.
Does this mean your significant should go into the digital doghouse if you don’t hear from him or her in 1-6 hours?
When I was asked about my thoughts on breaking up in a text message, I was completely against it. However, the survey found that 59% might break up via text and even 24% had no problem breaking up with someone they were exclusively involved with.
Tone doesn’t come through in a text, and that can lead to misunderstandings, especially when a comment gets misconstrued and “your text may not get returned,” suggests cyber-relations and netiquette expert Julie Spira of Los Angeles. She’s author of the 2009 book The Perils of Cyber-Dating, which includes a chapter on netiquette.
The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships.
“There’s so little you know at that point,” Spira says. “You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all, and it’s not.”
Sure, many celebrities have done so, including Russell Brand who notified Katy Perry of their divorce in a text message, but is it right?
Would you break up with someone in a text message? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She writes about the marriage of love and technology and coaches singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
It?s been a decade since Carrie Bradshaw was dumped by Berger in a post-it in Sex and the City. Now it appears, even breakups via email are becoming passe and a text message ending has become more popular flavor du jour.
I was interviewed in an article, which appeared on USA Today called Would you break up by sending a text? In the story, relationship writer Sharon Jayson reported that Katy Perry was notified by Russell Brand via text message they’d be getting divorced. Ouch.
Jayson was working on an in-depth article based upon a new survey conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle. The study encompassed 1500 singles from 21-50 years of age who were either dating or had been in a relationship for up to two years.
The interesting findings showed the following:
- 59% of daters might break up with someone they are dating via text message
- 24% might end an exclusive relationship by sending a text
- 96% of singles hide their cell phones
- 67% find a way to check their mobile phones during a date
It’s alarming to me that so many singles make the excuse of going on a bathroom break during a date to actually text a friend about their date or to check their emails and voicemails in between the appetizer and the main course.
Where have all the manners gone?
I’m a big lover of technology and even believe that some digital foreplay and casual flirting via text messaging can enhance your dating life. I also believe, as I share in The Rules of Netiquette, that your mobile phone is not an accessory. It should be put in your purse or your pocket while on a date.
However, lately I even find myself breaking my own netiquette rules and using my cell phone on a date from time-to-time. From checking in on Four-Square, Facebook Places, or Google Plus, to snapping a photo of each course of my meal on my cell phone to upload to Instagram and share on Facebook, my cell phone seems to resurface, with permission of course, and never on a first date. It can be fun and flirty, but ONLY if you’re on the same digital page as your date.
You must simply ask, “Do you mind if I take a photo of this beautiful meal and share it on Facebook?” Usually, the answer will be no, go right ahead. But there is a huge difference from sharing your mutual enjoyment of memorializing the date together snapping photos of the meal he selected for you, than checking your phone to see who else sent you a text or a tweet. That my friends sends a message that your date isn’t as important as someone else who might pop up in a text message asking you out for dessert.
Back to the subject at hand, the text message break up. How much are we relying on our mobile phones to help us multitask with everyday chores and matters of the heart? More-and-more every day according to this recent survey. About 25% of singles 21-26 will use their mobile phones to seek out information about a date, with a higher number of 38% using their cell phones to schedule and plan their date. But don’t wait too long to respond to his or her text to accept a date. Most singles are expecting a response in 1-3 hours now. That is, unless you’re getting dumped in a text message. In that case, lose his or her number, unfriend him or her on Facebook, and put away your mobile phone and take a good walk with a friend.
If singles are starting their digital courtship by asking someone out on a date via text, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if the relationship ends the same way it started.
As I shared with USA Today,
“The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships. There’s so little you know at that point. You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all, and it’s not.”
Another digital breakup study we reported on showed that 30% of singles admitted to initiating a breakup on Facebook, text messaging or email. By now, we think that number is continuing to rise. Dating site WhatsYourPrice.com’s recent survey of 7,500 of its male members and 8,300 of its female members found that an overwhelming 83% of the men had broken up with someone via text message, as compared to only 18% of the women.
So I ask you, would you break up with someone you were dating in a text message? Is that how you’d like someone to end their relationship with you?
Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She’s writing her second book, The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for more netiquette and dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.