It seems like technology should make life easier. That was the point, right? Not always. When it comes to love, things don’t run smoothly when relationships are conducted over text, email, and social media channels—all rife with potential for miscommunication and perceived slights. Here, a dozen of the ways tech might be wreaking havoc on your relationships.
1. People know way too much about each other before they even meet.
Do not Google before the first date. (Or, at least, do not go beyond the first few search results—you want to know if they’re a convicted felon.) Saying, “Hey, I checked out your Twitter account. You’re funny,” is flattering. Asking, “What did you mean with that comment you posted about Beyonce on Perez Hilton last year?” is creepy. Let the chatter run its natural course without pulling out encyclopedic knowledge of your date’s online activity.
2. People are way too overcritical about online profiles.
Back in the day when people met in the real world, there was room for error. A person could, say, stumble over their words and be considered charmingly shy. When it comes to online dating, rejecting an earnest soul just because they might come off a little cheesy in their dating profile is the norm. (Still, here are tips to make your profile the best it can be.)
3. Facebook stalking never enhanced a budding relationship.
You’ve been on a few dates, and you’ve friended one another on FB (if you weren’t friends already). Resist the (admittedly tempting) urge to examine every tagged photo, the comments he or she has made on other people’s pages, and (the biggest vortex of all), looking up your date’s exes. It’ll only lead to anxiety that even the most confident of us might be unable to laugh off.
4. Texting is a great shortcut to a frustrating relationship.
Texting has messed up so many minds that some women are instituting a “no texting” rule at the start of new relationships. It’s probably smart. The lag time between responses, unanswered texts, trying to figure out why his responses are so much shorter than yours can all be to your budding relationship’s detriment. Wait until the relationship’s established for texting and, even then, have some limits.
5. Tone misinterpretations are causing way too many arguments.
And this applies across all technology. Why did your new love interest just “like” your status, instead of comment on it? Why did he use an “XX” to sign off from email one day and an “XO” today? Was his response meant to be playfully sarcastic or does the flatness indicate he’s lost interest? Sometimes, talking on the phone or in person is the only way to understand what someone’s really saying and even then, it’s difficult. Dating’s rough.
6. Oh, the hours wasted obsessively checking your social media accounts.
If you’re spending your entire day checking your email and social streams for some sign of interest from your would-be amour, then you’re not doing the things that are so essential to being a worthwhile partner—like living. Don’t wait around, be interesting! Do things!
7. There’s too much emphasis placed on ones “Relationship Status”
There was a time when your relationship status came out at random: “He introduced me as his girlfriend!” And then you had the talk. Now, we wonder when it’s time to change our relationship status on Facebook. A button on a website shouldn’t be so important. (Unless you’re clicking “buy” on an engagement ring, maybe, and even then the rule should be to do some things in person.)
8. Comparing your relationship or self to others is destroying your morale.
Whether you’re paired off or single, weighing your life against the lives of others on social media is probably going to make you feel pretty low, even if you have it really good. If you’re single, you might feel like the only non-paired-off person in the universe. If you’re coupled, you might wonder why your couple selfies don’t seem as sexy as your best friend’s. Remember, you’re just seeing the version of someone that they want you to see.
9. Sexting is never the greatest idea, but if it happens, it can set you up for a letdown.
Sexting might seem somewhat benign, and like a way to be intimate with a partner before you’re intimate intimate__. But sexting can take you places that real sex might not, and might make doing the actual deed disappointing when the time finally comes.
10 The sexy photos you send are rarely sexy… or tasteful.
If you’re going to take a risque photo, do it well and do it with proper discretion. Better to send a flattering shot of a bare shoulder and pouty lips than the whole enchilada (especially if the enchilada is posing in front of the bathroom mirror with a toilet in the background). Use sexy photos sparingly, take and send them soberly and make sure you have a basis of trust with your recipient.
11. You’re addicted to your smartphone, not your significant other.You get into bed, and your finger slides across… the smudgy screen of your iPad. If you and your partner have grown more familiar with the contours of your devices than the contours of each other, your relationship is slipping. Start with at least one night a week of no phones, tablets or laptops to keep your connection alive.
Photo credit: Sergy Sus at Flickr