By Gyna Jean-Pierre
While texting has become an irreversible craze, experts say you should text only when you need information that do not require dialogue—things like “I’m running late,” “I can’t make it,” or “I’m married.” Text messaging is not intended for conversation. People forget about why the phone was created for in the first place. You should text only to convey an important piece of information or to make a specific request that can be answered with one sentence. When it comes to dating, it’s hard enough to write something creative and witty on a greeting card when you have a limited amount of blank space. It’s even harder to convey tone, demeanor, and inflection in 160 characters or less.
On top of all that, most men are not as eloquent as John Adams or Cyrano de Bergerac. When you’re getting to know someone, you should text as little as possible. It is too easy for a text message to be misinterpreted or misunderstood. Even simply not responding quickly enough can send the wrong signals. A good general rule is don’t text ‘til there’s sex.’ At least that way there’s some intimacy established, and both people should feel insecure if the other isn’t as responsive or expressive as he/she would like. This rule also applies to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Match.com, or any other form of social networking.
My mother who is a psychologist has told me about how many times she’s counseled men and women who have come to the conclusions about people they are seeing based on who their Facebook friends are, the pictures on their Myspace page, or the mere fact that their last login on Match.com was after their last date.
I suggest that you ignore someone else’s online social networking behavior under all circumstances. Let me be clear: Ignore it no matter what. Imagine if your date dissected every post, picture, or comment on your page. Men don’t trust other men, and any interaction they see between you and other men will be threatening on some level. They may not feel guys you are talking are a direct threat to your connection, but they may feel that you are keeping your options open, playing the field, or trying to make them jealous. If you start seeing someone exclusively, you should make it known on your social-networking sites, and deactivate online dating accounts altogether.
Note: Gyna Jean-Pierre is a creative writer. She is the author of several essays on women in the Caribbean. She lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida.