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7 Tips to Date Smart in a Smart Phone World

Woman on smart phone, Is your smart phone sabotaging your dating life?We all love our smart phones. It’s great having instant access to friends, family and even work all in one place.

But, there is a down-side to 24/7 access when it comes to dating.

The first 3-6 months of a relationship is mostly infatuation. So, slower is usually better. And constant contact can fast-track you right into a relationship before you really know the other person.

Here are 7 tips to keep your smart phone from sabotaging your dating life:

#1 Keep it to 3-6 Emails When Dating Online
If you’re meeting people online, communicate via the dating site. And keep it to 3-6 contacts/emails before you talk on the phone (Whaling, 2001).  Sooner is rushing it. And If you go slower, you could end up with a pen-pal.

#2 Don’t Give Out Your Personal Email
Email can be especially seductive, because it feels anonymous. You can end up sharing way too much too soon. It’s easy to see how people fall in love online. Except it’s all a fantasy, which may or may not be real.

#3 Keep Your Phone Calls Brief
Your calls should just be a few minutes of visiting and setting up each date. No 2-hour phone calls sharing your life story. Remember, in the beginning, it’s the illusion of closeness. Real closeness takes time. And don’t forget to keep your dates 2-3 weeks apart (see How to Avoid Dead-End Relationships).

#4 No Texting Between Dates 
This is probably the hardest. If you can’t stick to no-texting, keep it to just one or two texts between dates. Because, if you’re texting each other all day or even a few times a week, you’re in a relationship. And then you can’t see anyone else. When you really need to be dating lots of different people (see How to Avoid Dead-End Relationships).

#5 Don’t Accept Their “Friend” Request
If you’re just dating, it’s too soon to give them that much access to your world.  One way around this — fb now offers different categories for “close friend, “friend” or “acquaintance”. But, you have to remember to designate who you want to see what!

#6 Be Really Careful with Sharing Your Location
It’s fun to “check-in” on fb and share where you are on twitter. But, be careful, especially with places you go regularly; like work, the gym and obviously home!

#7 Don’t Put Anything Online that You Wouldn’t Write on a Postcard
A techie friend told me this. And I thought he was being a little paranoid. This would mean — email, text, chat, IM, fb, twitter, etc. Then I googled myself and saw an old email a guy sent me via my college alumni site. There it was for the whole world to read!

Whaling, A. (2000-2002). Sunday Night Singles. Pasadena, CA.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

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