When it comes to romance in the digital age, things are, um … “complicated” to borrow an expression from our favorite social media platform. Not only do you have to navigate the usual shenanigans of the dating scene, but you also have to get to grips with the technology-related etiquette.
To make matters worse, dating in the digital age has a bunch of additional hazards that were never experienced by previous generations. Not only is every interaction recorded, except conversations over Snapchat, but anything you say can be captured and spammed all over social media. People have the ability to completely ruin you with a single copy and paste.
This brings up the question: how do you tell somebody you love them in the digital age? Or more to the point, how do you avoid some of the many pitfalls of conducting a romantic relationship using digital tools? Here is some advice to keep you on the straight and narrow.
Grab An Experienced Buddy
Going at it alone online can be hazardous. According to Talia Goldstein, the founder of a matchmaking service, it’s often a good idea to have somebody by your side – at least at the start – to make sure that you know what you’re doing. There are a few red flags in any new relationship, but they can be difficult for first-timers to detect. She says that it’s possible to get paid-assistance when seeing somebody romantically online. In other words, you actually pay to have a “wingman” – someone by your side with experience – should things take a turn for the worse.
Keep It Real
While the digital age has brought us an incredible ability to communicate with one another instantly over vast distances, it’s also cheapened the act of communication itself. Anybody can pick up their phone and bash out a message on Whatsapp. But with so many messages floating around, how can a single text be special?
Other forms of communication, once considered old-school, are gaining popularity. Sending postcards and greeting cards online is now a common way of telling somebody that they’re special to you. Actually having a physical memento that conveys sentiment is rare in this world. The advice, therefore, is to keep it real when telling somebody you love them: don’t limit yourself to messaging apps.
Put Down The Phone And Meet Up
People use their phones so much that they’re developing postural problems from all that bending over and texting. In fact, they spend so long tapping away on their devices that doctors are worried that it could lead to permanent disfigurement.
But it’s not just the health of your body that is at stake when you spend all night texting an internet lover – the health of your relationship can suffer too.
It sounds obvious when you say it out loud, but actually getting out into the real world and meeting the object of your affections is important. How a person interacts online is often completely different to how they interact in person. Their mannerisms, tone of voice and facial expressions are all just as important as text on a screen, if not more so.
Being in love in the digital age isn’t just about embracing devices. It’s also about knowing when they’ve done their bit, and when it’s time for the humans to take over.
Actions Are Better Than Words
Tony Robbins, one of the world’s foremost lifestyle gurus, says that the primary language of love is deeds, not words. What you do matters more than what you say.
So what does he mean by this? Essentially, what he’s saying is that doing things like making your romantic partner dinner or taking them out on an adventure is a heck of a lot better than just repeating mindless platitudes about how great they are or how much they’ve changed your life since you met them. Sure, those things are great, but they need to be backed up with real actions in the real world.
A relationship in the digital age, he says, shouldn’t be something you spend 30 seconds doing while you type out a message on your phone. It’s something that you need to be aware of all the time.
Physical Touch – Fun But Necessary
Finally, Robbins says that being in physical contact with your partner is essential. Touch is important to humans of all ages and helps to cement bonds between people on an unconscious level. Touch, he says, has real physiological effects on our bodies, like lower blood pressure – just the sort of thing you need to get you in the mood.
What’s one way you tell your partner you love them?
Love, Megan Anne
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