Dear Cyber Dating Expert,
I desperately need some online dating advice. I met a guy on OkCupid last week and we had the perfect date. The next day he reached out to hang out again and even introduced me to his engaged friends and we went on a double-date. That night we ended up sleeping together and I thought everything was going so well.
We continued to talk and he remained sweet and attentive. We made plans to meet up a few days later and I went to his place and we watched a movie. Again, he was very affectionate, held my hand, kissed me on the head/check, etc.
What threw me was when I saw his cell phone light up with text messages from random numbers he hadn’t saved to his phone. Immediately I knew these were probably other girls he was communicating with from OKC. My heart sank. I thought everything was great until I saw those texts! He seems SO into me, but now I feel like I have something to prove and other girls to beat out. I just don’t want to get involved and get my heart broken, but I like him and don’t want to lose out on getting to know him better.
Do I play it cool, let him take the reins for now? Or should I be proactive & initiate more dates with the chance of coming off aggressive/desperate?
Thanks for your email.
I understand why you’d be upset about seeing text messages you believe were from other women that your new guy might be chatting with.
Because you both met on an online dating site, unless you’ve had the conversation about being exclusive, assume that you’re not. After all, you were only dating for one week when you noticed these anonymous texts.
Sleeping together while you both have active online dating profiles isn’t something that I recommend, unless you don’t mind if he’s seeing other people.
Once a woman sleeps with a man, the hormones kick in and women get very attached and bonded, even if the guy isn’t really good for you. When the sex is good, it’s natural to hope and think that he won’t want to be with anyone else. Maybe he’s ignoring those text messages, after all you’ve only known him for a short while.
My advice is to keep it cool and date him if he asks you out on a proper date, but don’t sleep with him again. Sure you can hug, kiss, fool around, etc. Please don’t make a big deal out of the text messages, as men don’t like a high-drama, clingy or possessive woman in their lives. Just show him that you’re the confident great woman that you are. If he calls, return his calls. If he texts, return his texts. If he asks you out and you’re free, go out on a date with him, but let him know that you like him, but realize that you aren’t into casual sex if it comes up. Let him know how much you’re enjoying getting to know him. I know it’s hard to go backwards, but it’s worse to sleep with him and then wonder if he’s logging on to find someone to sleep with the next night. That’s the risk with online dating. If he tells you it’s not acceptable, then he doesn’t really want you as his girlfriend. He might just be looking for a booty call or friends with benefits relationship. Throwing yourself at him won’t help. It will kill the chances to have a relationship with this guy. Being great in the bedroom doesn’t mean he won’t look elsewhere. Being the confident girl he can’t be without will make him want you to be his girl. Let him take the lead and initiate dates with you.
If he really wants to make you his girlfriend, he’ll take down his profile and do whatever it takes. At this point, you haven’t set your boundaries so he doesn’t think it’s a requirement. Don’t be in competition with other women. Just be yourself and feel great about who you are. Please don’t get possessive or start to interrogate him about his text messages or cell phone. Insecurity will kill a relationship. Since he didn’t put those phone numbers in his phone to save them, nor is he hiding his phone, they probably don’t mean much to him anyway. Still, I know it hurts.
I hope this helps and please do keep me posted.
At Cyber-Dating Expert, we like to report on the latest trends in online dating and mobile dating apps. Is the digital world getting more complicated or becoming easier with reliance on text messages?
Our friends at JDate and ChristianMingle just released their study on the impact of mobile phones and relationships based on a survey of 1500 singles aged 21-50, which we’d like to share with you. I read the in-depth study, The Dating Game: Mobile Technology Redefines the Rules for Singles and realized one thing for sure; the cell phone has replaced a fancy purse as the accessory of choice, that is, unless there’s room for your mobile phone in your purse.
While we know the increase in cell phone usage has resulted in a dramatic increase in sending text messages to schedule a date or to stay in touch in between dates, the alarming data of who sleep with their phone in bed with them is startling. According to the survey, 50% of singles think they might be addicted to their cell phones, with 25% of singles 21-26 reporting that they actually sleep with their cell phones in bed with them. For those who don’t feel the need to cuddle with your mobile phone, we found out that many of you are just an arm’s length away from your phone, which is prominently placed on the table next to your bed or on the floor close by.
Data Before Hygiene
When it’s time to wake up in the morning, what do singles do first? Ahead of brushing their teeth, they reach for their mobile phones. According to the survey a whopping 56% of singles aged 21-26 check their mobile devices for e-mails, text messages, or voicemail (44% overall) as compared to 19% of singles who diligently brush their teeth first before grabbing onto their favorite mobile device.
When it’s time to schedule your online date, the survey found that texting is the most popular for those aged 21-26 with 50% saying they’ll text several times a day before their first date. In addition, approximately 1/3 of both men and women believe it’s less intimidating to ask someone out on a date instead of picking up the phone to call. Singles are using texting for digital foreplay and flirting leading up to a date and making reservations for restaurants.
Call me old-fashioned, but I still like to hear the sound of someone’s voice on the end of the phone, even if details of scheduling are done via text. Apparently I’m not alone as the study reported that 68% of singles prefer scheduling a date on the phone as compared to 20% who prefer texting.
Cell Phone and Dating Etiquette
Now that we know the cell phone isn’t going to be locked in a trunk while on a date, who can’t resist keeping it on the table or sneaking a peek? 98% of singles say they put the phone away on a date, but does that mean they’re still not attached? Not really. Somehow 67% of those surveyed found a way to check their phones, either at the table or in a bathroom break.
To the benefit of making us feel good after a date, 78% say they’ll send a text or communication within 24 hours if the date went well. Immediate gratification does have its place.
Til Text Do Us Part
When it’s time to part ways, how should you end your relationship? Of course I believe you should have the conversation in person if geographics allow, but at least by telephone so it’s a two way dialog. According to those surveyed, more than 50% said they would consider ending the relationship in a text message if they were casually dating and 24% would break up in a text message, even if it was a serious relationship. Where are your manners?
At the end of the digital day, I believe in treating someone the way that you want to be treated. Don’t let your mobile phone end up higher on the totem pole than your date when you’re sitting at the table, or you might be the recipient of a breakup text, no remorse included.
Are you using your mobile phones to schedule dates? Would you check your messages while on a date?
Photo Credit © naka – Fotolia.com
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and writes about the marriage of love and technology. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating and coaches singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt.
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 passé 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.