Advice for Understanding How Technology and Dating Mix...And Don't
Etiquette Advice for when Dating and Technology Collide
Dear April Masini,
I'm starting to date again for the first time in 20 years, and one thing that's new since the last time I was out here: technology! It seems like there are a lot of pitfalls involved with dating--do I answer the cell or ignore it? What about online dating? Is it okay? When do you take down your profile? I need dating advice fast!"
I'm a Techie, Not a Dater
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Techie, Not a Dater,
Anyone can wear thousands of dollars of Manolos and Armani, but if they don't have proper etiquette, they might as well book themselves on the Jerry Springer Show. Technology is a tool just like a salad fork or an invitation received in the mail, and each new piece of technology should be considered the same way a salad fork or that invitation should when it comes to using it properly and with grace and elegance -- the two assets that will set you apart from his or her other dates.
Cell phone. Turn it off during your date. If you are a single mother or a single father with custody of your children, and they are home with a babysitter, set the phone on vibrate and make sure you can see the number that comes up in the read out window. Only pick up if it is your children, and tell your date at the beginning of the date that you apologize for having to take these calls in his or her company, but you want to assure your child's safety. If your child is calling you because of some separation anxiety or is trying to sabotage your date (yes, those little buggers do do that), install some consequences for their calling you for anything BUT an emergency. And then follow through.
Online dating. If you met your date through an online dating service, you will probably have a "profile" of yourself online. The rule of thumb I give my clients is that once you are exclusively dating someone and the exclusivity is mutual -- in other words, it's not just you deciding he or she is "the one," but you've both decided together, and expressed a commitment, then and only then, do you take your profile down from the internet. One of the big mistakes many women make in dating is to immediately declare that someone they're dating is "the one" before it's a mutual decision. Then when they find out that he is still playing the field, the women feel betrayed. Date smart. It's not exclusive until it's clearly agreed to be. Don't pressure him, but his and your own online profile is a nice way to gauge how your relationship is faring. If you're both still online, you have to assume that you're both still playing the field.