Dating & Technology

Dating Communication: Call, Text, Email or Social Media?

466698613With so many methods of communication these days, it can be tough to know how you should contact someone once you’re interested in them. It can be easier to text, email, tweet, or write on their Facebook wall, but are there times when you really should pick up the phone and call? 

In a survey conducted by It’s Just Lunch of over 26,000 singles on how technology impacts relationships, 65 percent of respondents said they were more likely to text than call after swapping phone numbers with someone to whom they’re attracted. Nearly half of them indicated they interacted with their love interest on social media either daily or weekly. 

Let’s face it: typing is easier than talking for most people, especially when nerves and feelings are involved. Just because it’s the easy thing to do though doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do

Here are four instances to watch out for when it comes to your means of communication:

Plan dates over the phone 

There’s a time and a place for texts, emails and social media, but it’s not when planning dates early in your relationship. 

“Ultimately, relationships are built on communication,” said Julie Lopez, head of matchmaking at It’s Just Lunch. “The best way to develop a healthy line of communication is to start from day one.” 

Want to shoot the other person a quick message to tell them you had a great time on your date? Feel free to pull out your phone and fire off a short text or email. 

Never drink and text 

This one isn’t just a no-no for texting and other forms of messaging, it applies to phone calls as well. Rarely will anything good come from a drunk message. It’s entirely likely you’ll come off as immature if it’s obvious you’re drinking. It’s not outside the realm of possibility you might sound like a jerk. Plus, if you send one drunk message, you’ll probably send ten. Now you’re annoying. 

Not to mention liquid courage tends to make people say things they might not otherwise be ready to say, which leads us to our next inappropriate situation for typing . . . . 

Feelings should be verbalized 

When you need to express a feeling for the first time - whether that’s affection, love, disappointment or anger - it shouldn’t be through a device. It all goes back to developing communication as the bedrock of your relationship. If you can’t express your feelings to their face now, you may continue struggling to express those feelings throughout your relationship. 

Of course, if you’re already saying “I love you” in person, feel free to text, tweet, email or shout it from the rooftops. Just don’t let that first time the other person knows your true feelings be on a telephone screen. 

No fighting and typing 

Don’t be a coward. If you’re upset, speak with the other person (preferably in person). Without tone or body language, it’s easy for both sides to misinterpret the issue. 

Ultimately, the biggest danger in using technology to communicate for any of these reasons is the potential for misinterpretation and misunderstanding. One of the top reasons - if not the top reason - relationships fail is because of a lack of communication. Interacting via text, email and social media is fine for a quick, light-hearted message but should never be your primary means of communicating. 

Are you still looking for your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you. Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


5 Tips for Hurdling Past First Date Awkwardness

Google glass blind dating

A new dating app made for Google Glass made such a splash on the market that it’s now shifted directions from “Sex with Glass” to “Glance” within the span of a few months after news of the iPhone app went viral. Glance gives one the ability to see what their partner can see and watch from numerous angles while having sex. The idea behind Glance is an evolving one for its founders, giving users the opportunity to capture and view two different perspectives side by side and change the way they experience something as personal as sex… or perhaps as awkward as a first date if you were to ask a matchmaker. 

As matchmakers and dating specialists, we couldn’t help but wonder about the implications this kind of technology might have for singles. What would it be like using this app while blind dating? Would it make the date more or less awkward? What if singles starting using it as a feedback tool for becoming better at dating? We may not have all the answers to these questions since this app is still pretty new and still finding its place in the market, but what the professional matchmakers at It’s Just Lunch do have is some amazing insight on the most common dating blunders every single secretly hopes goes unnoticed during a first date.

5 Things You Secretly Hope Your Date Won’t Notice

Ask any matchmaker and she’ll tell you that almost every single she works gets incredibly nervous right before a first date. Most singles secretly hope that their date won’t pick up on how awkward or nervous they feel on the date. Know that it’s completely normal and that chances are your date is just as nervous as you, if not more. Accept this as reality and realize that it’s only awkward for the first few minutes until you get more acquainted. Sometimes, people need a few minutes to warm up to new people, especially if they are the shy or introverted type. Let’s face it, meeting and trying to get to know someone for the first time is not an easy thing. With or without the help of technology, nobody wants their date noticing how nervous they might be during the date.

Another thing singles secretly hope their date won’t ever notice is how over-prepared for they might be for their date. Some professionals make the mistake of preparing too much for a blind date. This is especially the case for professional singles with a tendency to do an online search of their date before meeting them in person. These singles rehearse exactly what they want to talk about or how they are going to say certain things, and sometimes it can come off as sounding fake and over-prepared. It is okay to have a few talking points in mind you want to talk about or ask your date, but it’s not okay to sound like you’re reading from a script. If you really want to prepare for your date, make sure to confirm your date plans in advance in case there’s an unforeseen scheduling conflict and refrain from Googling your date’s name, phone number or email address in search of talking points. Instead, ask your matchmaker about your date’s interests and browse local or national headlines for current event topics you can piggyback off of for value-added dating conversations.  

Have you ever been tempted to cancel a date when a huge pimple shows up on your face the morning of a first date? Or spilled coffee on your shirt during lunch with no change of clothes or time to go home before a date? Whether it’s these minor flaws like these, an uncomfortable outfit or a bad hair day, many singles quickly become self-conscious about what they look like to their dates. While many singles would be mortified if they could see what their dates sees when they look at them, our matchmakers are here to tell you that your date will probably not notice because they’re too focused on how they are being perceived by you. In fact, you might even be surprised over what your date notices about you that you might not even be aware of at all. Matchmakers warn singles to avoid drawing attention to their flaws as it will only magnify them for the date who wouldn’t have noticed at all until you pointed it out or brought it up.

Manners, or dating etiquette, is another concern that many matchmakers hear from lots of professional singles, particularly among the women with regards to the way men present themselves. Many people get so used to eating comfortably in their home or around their close friends and family, it slips their mind that their date is probably watching their every move. They forget to eat or act properly in front of people they do not know. Singles would be mortified to watch themselves shove food into their mouths in front of their blind date because they weren’t mindful of basic manners. If you really want to show how classy you are at dinner, go to YouTube, type “dining etiquette” in the search bar and watch a few of the videos that come up for tips on how to present yourself. This will not only be good for you on a date, but it will also be good to know just in case you have a big meeting with a high-profile client or very important person within your company or industry.

Do you have a tendency to fidget under pressure or when you’re feeling awkward or don’t know what to do with your hands? Well, you aren’t the only one. It’s actually very common. Many singles tend to fidget during a blind date if they feel uncomfortable. They wouldn’t want to see what their date could see if their hands were shaking, playing with their hair or biting their nails out of nervousness. Fidgeting is a sign that one is not relaxed and possibly wants to leave that date as soon as possible. Being uncomfortable during a blind date can be a hard thing to hide and many would be horrified to watch themselves fidget away in front of their date. Try to relax the best you can and be aware of your body language. When you catch yourself fidgeting, trying pinching yourself as a signal to the rest of your body to cut it out.

Want more dating tips, advice and insight? Follow It’s Just Lunch on Facebook and on LinkedIn where we do our best to uphold the traditional values of old-fashioned dating and help professional singles meet people in person instead of online.


Dating Conversation Etiquette Tips

Assistant entertainment editor Hayden Manders wrote quite the entertaining piece on modern dating problems over at Refinery29.com. The piece includes fun graphics displayed in a slideshow format illustrating 10 of the newest dating anxieties singles face as a direct result of text messaging playing a more integral role in dating and relationships. 

"Now that we're fully aware of our ability to hide behind emotionless, glowing words, our yearning to somehow convey emotion has skyrocketed," writes the beanies-crazed editor. "The emphasis has shifted away from tonal reflection to grammatical nuances and emoticons. Since we've removed the audible voice from conversation, our need to know whether our digital voice was delivered, heard, and seen is now paramount to our sense of well-being," he writes. 

Did you get my text?

The bane of our dating lives now rests on knowing whether someone saw our text message and wondering why they haven't had time to respond if they had time to read their text messages or update their Facebook status. 

For the record, do yourself a favor and turn off "Send Read Receipts" under your message settings (if you have an iPhone). If you leave it on, you're leaving others in agony when you don't respond right away. Leave it off and keep people in suspense instead. 

Um... ok.

Another interesting dating anxiety Manders brings up is the difference between "ok" and "k." You knew in your gut there was a clear difference between these two Ks, but shrugged it off figuring you may have been over thinking it. Well, we're here to tell you that you are not crazy at all. While the first variation denotes nonchalance, the second variation denotes irritation or annoyance. There is a caveat here dependent upon the texting style of the person you're texting. If the person isn't a real big texter or is always on the go, one word or one letter responses may be completely normal and thus no cause for alarm. 

Emoticons overkill.

Have you ever exchanged text messages with someone that ends almost every text message with a smiley face or a wink? After awhile, you start to wonder whether the person sending the text is overcompensating for something.... a lack of conversation skills, perhaps? The frustrating part about emoticons is that there aren't any clear-cut rules on how or when to use them. What we do know, however, is that using them too much can indeed hinder your dating prospects. 

Earlier this year, TIME reported that men who used smiley faces in their dating profiles or in messages received significantly lower response rates than those who refrained from emoticons altogether. You may want to play it safe and refrain from emoticons when first exchanging text messages with someone new until you get to know their texting style.

Visit www.ItsJustLunch.com to learn how our expert matchmakers can help you alleviate some of your biggest anxieties toward dating. 


9 Tips for Text Messaging Etiquette

Texting
Text messaging is fast-becoming the new first step in dating. In fact, most singles are more inclined to text someone first - rather than call - after swapping numbers. Phone calls only come into play nowadays as relationships escalate and people start to let their guards down over a period of time. To help you navigate dating in a digital world, here are some golden rules for text messaging etiquette. 

1. Always mention who you are when texting someone for the first time. The fastest way to get yourself rejected is by assuming someone knows who you are when in fact they may not even have your phone number saved in their phone. 

2. Don't freak out when someone doesn't respond right away. You won't know for sure at what point in time your message was read or under what circumstances, so try to be mindful of other people's busy schedules.

3. Text people back in a timely manner. This is just common courteous if you want to stay one someone's dating radar. A failure to return a text message back in a timely manner, if at all, can be perceived as a lack of interest. 

4. If you text someone twice and they still don't respond to you, then it's safe to assume that a) they're just not that into you or b) they don't have as much time for dating as they may have believed. If someone really likes you, they'll be sure to follow up with you one way or another, sooner rather than later. 

5. Don't leave people hanging in the middle of a text conversation. We know you do it; we have all done it at some point in time - have full blown conversations via text message. But if you've got to run to a meeting or are otherwise preoccupied, have the common decency to at least mention that you may not be able to respond right away because of an appointment or bad reception even. 

6. Text messaging should never replace real conversations. While it may be acceptable to have trivial conversations via text message, save the serious conversations for in person or over the phone. 

7. Never text in ALL CAPS. Depending on the context, writing in all caps can be misconstrued as angry yelling or eager excitement. 

8. Avoid ending every text message with a smiley face. While emoticons certainly have their place in text messaging, try not to go overboard with it. Use them appropriately in instances when your "tone of voice" might be misconstrued. 

9. If you're going to ask someone on a date or want to make plans to see someone, pick up the phone call. While text messaging is the first step in the dating process, it should at least end with a phone call, whether you're testing phone chemistry or making plans to meet. 


Singles and Technology

IStock_000030541702_ExtraSmall

So it’s Friday night and you’re enjoying a moment of me-time—sitting in front of the TV watching re-runs of Sex and the City, your hands deep in a bag of pita chips, and crumbs tumbling from your T-shirt. A (perhaps) very rare moment of I-don’t-have-to-answer-to-anything-or-anyone. In a pause between episodes, you log onto Facebook, and images of partying friends clinking champagne glasses flash before you. Suddenly, you’re not feeling so fine about your alone time. Why weren’t you invited to this festive night?

It’s the paradox of social media—the more time we connect to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, the more alone we feel, as illusions of other people’s happiness only underscore our state of solitude and feelings of disconnectedness. Though physical isolation can be a good idea for self-reflection and other introspective activities, it’s not always accompanied by the empty feelings of loneliness. Though oft-times it is, and studies have shown that it’s a strong predictor of  alcoholism, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, among other detrimental conditions. “Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat,” says Jonathan Safron Foer in a New York Times article. ” 'We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible,” reflects Stephen Marche in the Atlantic.

We as singles especially need to keep our loneliness in check. When we’re sensing the need for interaction, it’s too easy to log on and hide behind our computers, smart phones or tablets for an immediate but perhaps brief and dissatisfying exchange. So step outside the digital box, and do as we do at It’s Just Lunch. It’s no secret:  No wall posting, “like,”  or retweet can substitute a genuine encounter.