Dating and technology: the etiquette

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In many ways technology has made dating in the 21st century easier than ever. Online dating has opened up a world of new people for us to date, from the comfort of our own homes, and mobile phones mean it’s easier than ever to keep in touch.

But technology bring with it new problems, and when mixed with dating can be a minefield. While two thirds of people had never sent a love letter, the same number had texted ‘I love you’, a recent study by the National Trust found.  So, in this new age of dating in the UK, what’s appropriate and what’s not?

Taking calls on a date

Everyone knows someone with a dating story that goes a bit like this: ‘Well, we were having a great time, but then he kept leaving the table to answer his mobile phone – so rude! He won’t be hearing from me again.’  Are you reading this thinking ‘that could be describing me’? If you are, it’s time to get some manners. At the very least, make sure your phone is on silent, or better yet turn it off and give your date all your attention.

If you think you’ll really need to take a call, (from a babysitter for example) explain this to your date, and screen your calls first.   If you’ve had this happen to you, shame your date by pointing it out. If they’re worth your time they’ll have the grace to be embarrassed.

Texting on a date

Just because it takes less time to write a text message, that doesn’t mean it’s better than taking a call on a date.  In fact, if you’re texting someone, it’s highly unlikely it’s about something important, which makes this act even worse. In our modern dating landscape, you might be seeing multiple people at the same time, but trying to juggle dates when you’re already on a date is beyond tacky. Just don’t do it. If your current date is that dull, you shouldn’t even be seeing them in the first place.

Opening up on a blog

These days, lots of people blog about their lives –whether it’s their love of skydiving, their food obsession or about the gory details of their personal life.  If you fall into the last category, our advice is think before you blog.  Unless you’re completely sure you are anonymous (which is very difficult in this day and age), you run the risk of offending your current or future partners.

You could be completely honest about your blog, but you may find this causes them to treat you differently or could even scare them off. If you do blog about your love life don’t use real names and don’t reveal secrets you’ve been told – it’s not worth it for the hurt you could cause, and just try and think how you would feel if the tables were turned.

The modern day dumping
It’s music industry legend that Phil Collins dumped his second wife by fax (not that he’s ever confirmed this), but in the 21st century we’re becoming even more detached. Everyone knows someone who’s been dumped by text message, but that doesn’t make it alright. In fact, it is one of the most impersonal and heartless things you can do if you’ve spent a decent amount of time with someone. If you’ve only been on a couple of dates, and you both prefer to communicate by text then it may well be acceptable, but consider long and hard whether that’s really the way you want to end the relationship.


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