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Online Dating Advice – Are We in a Relationship?

Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show

Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

When there’s mutual chemistry with someone you’ve met online and you start texting daily, are you in a relationship just yet? A young woman asks the Cyber-Dating Expert for help on what to do when she sees his active profile online.

Dear Julie,

I signed up for eHarmony as a one month experiment and wasn’t sure what to expect. I got lucky and the first guy I met I felt instant chemistry with and he felt the same way!

We went on a second date the following week and also had a great time. We both work a lot so it was hard to schedule our third date before I left for an out-of-town trip, but he has been texting me everyday since I’ve been gone and today even sent me a message that he is kind of missing me : ) I have been missing him, which seems so weird for someone I have only hung out with twice, and my reply was that : You just made me smile.

I’ve been busy traveling and was trying to be focused on one person rather than adding 2-3 more guys to the mix.

My membership renewed automatically for a second month, but I hadn’t logged on since I met this wonderful guy. Today, I logged on after receiving a renewal notice only to see that he had been ‘active’ today on the site. I’m not sure what that means, but my stomach dropped. We aren’t exclusive, he isn’t my boyfriend, but it bothers me. Is this normal? Do I just let the chips fall as they may?

He texted me again this morning and last night but I am totally freaked out now and want to protect myself from getting hurt.

Janet

Dear Janet,

Take a deep breath.

Your new guy who you had just two dates with is a member of a dating site and is receiving matches and emails from women who have written to him or would like to start the communication process. Out of curiosity, he’s probably reading them and may not be responding to them, especially since he’s now texting you at night and in the morning, and perhaps other times throughout the day.

You’ve had two dates with your dream guy. You have a major crush on each other. This is very exciting, but it was only your first online date. Enjoy staying in touch with your guy and respond to his text messages while you’re out of town. You’re definitely on his mind and men tend to miss women when they’re gone. I know of a man who logged onto his profile after six months of dating someone exclusively. He took one last peek and one week later, he proposed marriage.

Men are allowed to look at other women, online and offline. At some point, if you decide to become exclusive, you should talk about taking your profiles down together. Let’s get to the third date and see how it goes. This is a brand new dating experience for you, and as you said, he’s not your boyfriend yet.

Let him take the lead and yes, let’s see where the chips may fall. Don’t cancel your online dating membership just yet, but if in your heart you don’t want to log on, then just stay the busy happy person that you are.

Julie

Do you have a question for Cyber-Dating Expert Julie Spira? Send your questions to CyberDatingExpert.com/contact

Julie Spira Quoted in USA Today Love 2.0 Story

USA TODAY JULIE SPIRAAs 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.

Read full article Would you break up by sending a text in USA Today

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.

Weekly Flirt – Online Dating Advice

5 Texting Tips to Help Improve Your Relationship

Texting Tips

Digital love — Should texting be a part of your dating life?

According to a Rice University study, both men and women are sending text messages to their S.O.s.

In a recent article on Prevention.com, I shared tips and texting advice to help spice up your love life, along with a few precautions to make sure you don?t end up in the digital doghouse.

1. DON’T overdo it. Sending a simple happy face to your loved one can be a fun and flirty way to brighten up their day, but the overuse of emoticons reduces the effectiveness. In other words, if every message you send is punctuated with a smile or a wink, your partner will find it harder to figure out what you’re really feeling. (And off-topic but related: The overuse of exclamation marks, especially by men, is a turn-off.)

2. DO embrace the quick hello. I?m a big fan of sending a good morning text to your sweetheart. It never hurts to add ‘xoxo’ at the end to put a smile on his face.

3. DON’T send explicit photos. Even if you haven’t been a teenager for decades, sending naked photos via texting can still come back to haunt you. This is the biggest mistake women make. I can’t stress enough that anything you send digitally can and will be shared by others.

4. DO use it for quick updates. Texting is tailor-made for confirming plans or giving a status update to someone who’s waiting on you. If you’re running late for a date or appointment, you should always send a text to let the other party know.

5. DON’T text angry, ever. The problem with relying on text messages is you can?t hear the sound of someone’s voice. A text message sent in jest may be received as hurtful, and cause a fight. If you find a text exchange veering into argument territory, that’s the time to switch over to a phone call or talking in person. Do sleep on it. Just because you can send a text doesn’t mean you should especially if it concerns your relationship. If you have to get something off your chest, send it to yourself (and only to yourself!) in an email and sleep on it. You might feel differently about it in the morning.

Read full article at PreventionMagazine.com

Julie Spira is an online dating and netiquette expert. She?s the author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Manners on the Web.

For more dating and relationship advice follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.

Photo Credit: LiveStock – Fotolia.com