Sixty-six percent of American adults, who are either married or in committed relationships, report that cell phones, the Internet, and/or social media websites play a significant role in their lives (Lenhart & Duggan, 2014).
Are you having a hard time meeting Mr. or Miss Right? No…? Okay, well, do you find it challenging to maintain your romantic relationships once you get them? Kind of…? Hmm… that is what I thought. So, have you ever wondered why your love life is in shambles right now? Yes…? Well…maybe it’s because you spend the majority of your time on your Smartphone (Cue Adele – Hello Apple IPhone or Samsung Galaxy…it’s me…), IPad, Kindle, and/or watching The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars, Game of Thrones, and/or the Walking Dead…you get my drift. Oh and let’s not forget the game consoles like Xbox and/or PlayStation, online games (i.e. Candy Crush, Warcraft, and Pet Rescue), and social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Myspace and the infamous Twitter).
And, when you can’t meet people the “old fashioned” way (i.e. through friends and while out on the town), you can always sign up on online dating websites (i.e. ChristianMingle.com, BlackPeopleMeet.com, Match.com, Plentyoffish.com, eHarmony.com, Girlfriendsmeet.com, Tinder.com, etc.) Wow! I bet you didn’t realize how big a role technology plays in your everyday life… and you wonder why your love life is either non-existent or spiraling down a long black bottomless hole. Yep, I went there. And, although these amazing technological inventions were originally created to make your life easier, it has, in some cases, caused more trouble than anyone expected – in not only the relationship arena, but in life as well.
Why? Well, because when it comes to love and relationships, things don’t always go as smoothly as most of us would like, especially when communication and problem-solving comes in the form of texts, emails, instant chats/messaging, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. In fact, these forms of communication can lead directly to misunderstandings and alleged slights. And, even though technology isn’t going anywhere any time soon, you don’t have to allow it to take over your life and destroy your relationships. So, what should you do? Well, listed below are some rad ways to prevent technology from wreaking havoc on your love life.
Are you ready to add more love and romance to your life? Yes? Great! Let’s get started!
Stop Being Overly Critical Towards Online Profiles
Hmm…you would never be critical towards someone else’s online profile, right? Well, if you are in the very slim minority that belittles others because of their online profile pictures, posts, educational backgrounds, friends, and/or personal descriptions, then you are only hurting yourself. What do I mean? Well, the person you are poking fun at or unjustly criticizing probably doesn’t even know you are doing it, and as a result, you are the only one who is losing out on meeting someone, albeit someone you probably wouldn’t date normally, that may actually be a good match for you. What?! In other words, maybe you should refrain from being too superficial, open your mind, and venture out of your comfort zone.
For instance, if you normally only go for men, who are tall, dark, and handsome or women, who have a large bottom or bosom, then maybe you should give a man, who is shorter than what you typically date, not so dark, and average looking, but with pretty eyes or a woman, who has an average bosom and small bottom a chance. Guess what? You may actually be pleasantly surprised and you may just meet your future spouse. In other words, what you typically like may not be what is best for you, so why not go for someone, who is an atypical choice for you. Unfortunately, a lot of people, who engage in online dating, miss out on love because they are too caught up on how a person presents online.
And, while it is always a bad idea to “catfish” someone (i.e. using someone else’s pictures on your online profile, wording your personal description so that others will find you appealing, even though that is not who you really are or lying about where you work, your name, and/or where you live) is always a big fat “no-no,” it’s okay to become attracted to someone, not because they are tall, dark, and handsome, big bottomed or busted or a “real” doctor or lawyer, but because they are there for you when you need to talk or they make you feel good about yourself when you text or talk to them. More specifically, sometimes attraction grows as the result of getting to know someone on an emotional level. In other words, don’t underestimate an emotional attachment and overestimate a physical attraction because you may miss out on your “perfect” match.
Don’t Reveal Too Much Before the First Date or During the First Date
A common mistake that many people make before a first date or during the first date is revealing too much to a potential partner. It is easy to “overshare” (through texts, emails, phone calls, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram messages and posts, instant messaging, etc.). What do I mean by “overshare?” Well, I mean sharing all of your “dirty laundry” and dreams (i.e. to get married and have children by the time you are 30 years old) either before you go on the first date or during the first date. Why is this not a good idea? Well, because it can cause a potential partner to run for the hills.
Be mysterious and reveal new things about yourself (i.e. hobbies, desires, needs, fears, childhood and adult experiences, beliefs, and opinions) gradually. Definitely do not reveal your whole life before you even meet your potential partner in the flesh and definitely do not “dump” all of your “wants,” needs, and emotional baggage on your poor date before you even learn what kind of food he or she likes. Take your time and get to know your potential partner. Let him or her discover things about you and allow yourself to discover things about him or her. Think of this part of dating as a treasure hunt where every tidbit of information you learn about the other person is a treasure.
In addition, try to refrain from searching Google or performing online background searches on potential partners. I know it’s hard, and if you are concerned or an overly cautious person, it is perfectly fine to make sure he or she is not a child abuser, adult abuser, rapist, or convicted felon, however, you don’t want to obsess with finding “something” negative about the person you are dating or about to go on a date with. Why? Well, because it will drive you crazy, causing you to cancel the date out of fear and anxiety.
How do I know when too much is too much when checking out a potential partner or date? When you are looking up all the places he or she once lived, stalking his or her social media sites trying to see who he or she is talking to, and/or trying to see how much person the other person makes, so you can decide if he or she is “worthy” – that is when you are probably going too far. Give your potential partner a chance to reveal those tidbits to you, and if for some reason you are skeptical of what he or she tells you – then do background searches on you, but give him or her a chance to tell you first.
Refrain from Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram Stalking
Stalking is never the path to a long-lasting, healthy relationship. Don’t do it because if you get caught, your potential date or partner will never talk to you again and deem you looney. You don’t want that, do you? No!!!!! Unfortunately, it is all too easy to become obsessed with “checking up” on the person you like. For instance, it is never okay to check to see who your potential date or partner is talking to or whose statuses he or she is “liking.” It’s also not okay to question him or her about his or her choices in friends and/or demand that he or she not talking to certain close friends anymore. Why? Because, if you don’t feel that you can trust the person – you shouldn’t be with him or her. I know…I know…he or she is sexy, rich, smart, etc. But…if you can’t shake the feeling that he or she is “playing around,” he or she is wasting your time.
Now, if your potential date or partner chooses to stop talking to certain friends because of your relationship, then that is his or her choice – not yours. If your potential date or partner feels as if you are watching aka stalking him or her, he or she will run away from you. No one wants to feel that he or she is monitored by someone else – Red Flag! Red Flag! So…get off your potential date or partner’s profile pages and ask him or her on a date. If he or she isn’t interested, you will figure it out – quickly, especially in the beginning. And, ultimately if you don’t feel like you can trust the person you are dating, maybe it’s time to move on to someone you can.
Put Down Your Phone!!
Smartphones have led to the destruction of many relationships. Why? Well, it is easy to get wrapped up in your phone with all of its cool features like unlimited texting/calls, apps (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, games, YouTube, etc.), and camera access. There is just so much to do on your phone, am I right? Unfortunately, it can cause you to ignore your potential date or partner, in favor of seeing what someone has posted on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter. This narrow focus on the phone can cause the person you are with to feel ignored and unappreciated. And, that is not good!
I’m sorry to say that your will love life will continue suck as long as you value your phone more than you value the person you are with. Oh, and this goes for IPad, IPod, and Kindles too! So, put that electronic device(s) away when you are on a date or spending time with your partner. I promise it will be the best decision you ever make. In fact, you may finally have the relationship you always wanted – all by reducing the amount of time you spend on your smartphone.
Huffpost Tech. (2014). This is how technology is affecting your relationship. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/technology-changing-relationships_n_5884042.html
Lenhart, a. & Duggar, M. (2014). Couples, the internet, and social media. Pew Research. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/02/11/couples-the-internet-and-social-media/
Lickerman, A. (2010). The effect of technology on relationships. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/happiness-in-world/201006/the-effect-technology-relationships
Tuekci, Z. (2012). Social media’s small, positive role in human relationships. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/social-medias-small-positive-role-in-human-relationships/256346/