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Dating and Technology: What’s Appropriate?

by eHarmony Staff

Dating and Technology: What's Appropriate?

In the 21st century, dating and technology go hand in hand. And for the most part, that’s a good thing. Internet dating allows us to explore the possibilities from the comfort of our own home, on our own schedule. Cell phones allow us to keep in touch with potential partners while on the go. And texting makes it super easy and fun to stay connected 24/7.

But when it comes to dating and technology, what’s appropriate? We went into the dating trenches to find out how technology is changing the way people date. What follows are some of the most common technology-related scenarios that today’s savvy singles find themselves in. By learning to navigate the tricky terrain of dating technology, you’ll be better equipped for future relationship success. Read on and enjoy!

Cell Phone Etiquette

You’re on a date with someone new. You just sat down to dinner. Everything seems to be going well – until he gets a call on his cell phone. Without even looking to see who it is, your date answers the phone. He proceeds to have a fairly lengthy conversation about something that doesn’t sound very important. Your date hangs up, apologizes, and digs into his dinner. A few minutes pass and his phone rings again. He answers – again. He stays on the phone – again – for quite some time, apparently oblivious to your growing annoyance. (You get the picture.) Whether you’ve been on a date like this or you are the person who usually answers your phone while on a date, STOP. This is just plain bad dating behavior. If possible, turn your phone to vibrate while on a date. Better yet, turn it off! Give your date your full attention. That way, you’ll be better able to know if you’d like to see him or her again (and vice versa). And if your date is the one who continually answers the phone, call him out on his bad behavior. If he gets offended or reacts rudely, consider it a sign from the universe, cut the date short if you can, and get on with your fabulous life.

Texting While on a Date

If you’re playing the dating field, you may find yourself juggling multiple partners from time to time. And that’s a good thing! What’s not so good is the fact that with today’s technology, it’s entirely possible to be on a date with one person and still communicate with others at the same time. You’ve probably seen people on dates do this or have done so yourself: One person is sitting, waiting, while the other person texts away on a cell phone to someone else. True, technology makes multi-dating convenient. But juggling to this extreme is incredibly tacky, and this kind of dating behavior should be avoided at all costs.

The Dos and Don’ts of Blogging about your Personal Life

In an era when everyone blogs about something, what’s the etiquette for blogging about your dating life? How much do you divulge? And when, if ever, should you tell potential partners about your blogging endeavors? Unless you’re getting paid to write about your savvy single adventures (like a thoroughly modern Carrie Bradshaw), blog with caution about your personal life. Why? Because the written word is powerful, and if taken out of context—or taken personally—it can cause you tremendous grief. For example, if you’re dating multiple partners and blog about your exploits, what happens if and when these potential partners read about themselves and the other people you’re dating? How do you think they’ll respond? Some may be okay with it, but others may not. Blog about your dating life at your own risk. And if you choose to blog about it, don’t use real names or spill any of the secrets that your date told you in confidence. Not only is that tacky, but it’s sure to bring some bad dating karma your way!

The Text Message Breakup

We’ve all heard stories of celebrities who got dumped or did the dumping via text message. So is it ever okay for you to text your breakup announcement to the person you’re saying sayonara to? The short answer is no. Even in 2008, breaking up by text message is considered heartless, gutless, and impersonal. And if you spent any kind of quality time with someone, then a text message probably isn’t the best way to end things. However, there may be certain circumstances when the text message IS appropriate. For example, if you only went out with someone once or twice, and most of your communication happened via text message (for some modern singles, it’s their chosen form of communication), then maybe a text message is an acceptable way to break up. But again, consider the circumstances. If possible, practice a little more dignity and respect — for yourself and the other person — and at least end your relationship over the phone, if not in person.

So there you have it — a modern guide to dating and technology. By knowing what’s appropriate, you’re all the more likely to be successful in your romantic endeavors.

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