Before the advent of the internet, dating was a completely different ballgame. Most people in previous generations knew -or at least knew about- any person they might potential date. People were introduced by friends and family members. Some marriages were even arranged. Today, social media has changed everything about how people meet, hook up, and fall in love.
Pros and cons of instant messages
Back when everyone had a landline telephone, some people stayed home instead of missing a call from someone if they went out. Today, potential couples can communicate with one another via messaging, phone texts, Skype, Twitter, and other instant services. In the bright beginning days of a new relationship, this constant contact can be endearing.
These fast methods of communicating can also make things a bit weird, especially if you see that the person you want to see has been online but is not responding to your messages. When one-half of a dating couple becomes ‘too busy’ to answer texts within a polite time frame, trouble may shortly ensue.
Text etiquette can be tricky, especially in the dating world. If you text someone and they don’t answer back immediately, don’t sweat it. If they take two days to text back, don’t reply immediately. It makes you look desperate. If you send two texts and the recipient never replies, forget them. The dating pool is deep and wide, and you have endless options to find someone with good manners.
Modern dating dilemmas
Nowadays, nobody really knows what they’re doing, as far as dating is concerned. At least that is the estimation of Guardian UK. It used to be that when a couple broke up, they would share a nice dinner and discuss things like adults. Not anymore. Millennials break up via ghosting — or acting as if their former flame (or fling) never existed at all. Unanswered text messages and unreturned phone calls are the modern equivalents of “going to the corner shop for a loaf of bread” and never coming back.
Breaking up in the 21st century is different than it used to be, too. When a couple breaks up, online social sites can add misery to heartache and make it hard to break up all the way. Unless you completely block your ex and all their friends, chances are you will sooner or later see them with their new dating interest. If you stay connected via social media and see such images, resist the urge to drink and type. Likewise, stay away from your ex’s photo pages. Viewing obsolete images of former fun times with your ex is one thing. Wallowing in the past and boohoo-ing in public is another. Just don’t do it.
Profile persona problems
Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, and other social media services offer a less than realistic view of a potential date’s life. Online personas can be intimidating and/or misleading, explains Heart UK. For this reason, many people use Google and other search engines to scout out information about a potential date. Some even go so far as to perform background checks before diving into the dating pool with a particular person.
People lie on public profiles. You’ve probably lied on your own. Bear in mind that the bigger your lie, the likelier you are to hook up with another big liar, warns Lifehack magazine.
Online profiles, especially those posted on dating sites, provide a jump to judgment while offering a way to discard a potential date before ever meeting them. First impressions are no longer made in person, and this can be troubling for persons without great profile-writing skills.
One night stands and friends with benefits
For persons who desire a quick hookup, there are sites which offer an easy way to find like-minded individuals. In fact, you may be offered far too many choices. Dating sites recommend being super selective. You will have a higher-quality group of potential dates and stay out of ‘overwhelm mode’. Get to know the matches you make, and take the time to actually read a profile before sending a flirty message or asking for a date.
When you find someone you really want to go out with, play it safe. Prior to intimacy with anyone, make sure you’re healthy and make sure they are, too. In Los Angeles, you can find dozens of free and affordable test clinics at SaferSTDTesting.com.
Above all, dating should be fun. Keep it light, maintain your sense of humor, and enjoy the big wide world of one-on-one human interaction.
Liam Hancock shares his fun stories and survival strategies for dating in the modern world. Married for 20 years, Liam suddenly found himself back in the dating game last year after his divorce.