Communication breakdowns happen all the time with online dating. And the only way to fight through them is to be vigilant about your integrity.
Let’s have a few rules about this, shall we?
Follow these 3 online dating “golden rules” for instant success:
1. Stay true to your word.
If you say you’re going to call, call. Don’t have any ifs, ands, or buts. If, for some reason, you can’t make the call, then call in advance or immediately afterward to apologize. Don’t just sweep it under the rug like it never happened.
2. Follow up even if it is to say, “No”.
It’s okay to disappear when you’re emailing on-site — it’s not okay to disappear after a few dates. A simple email claiming that it’s just not a long-term match should suffice.
3. Always tell the truth.
If there’s someone that you like but find yourself getting serious with someone else, tell the truth. “Sorry I’ve been out of touch, but it looks like things are progressing with someone else. I have no idea what the future holds, but if it doesn’t work out, I hope I can still call you in the future. If you’re in a relationship at that point, it’s my loss. Good luck in your search.”
It may not be pleasant to receive such an email, but it’s hard to hold it against someone with the tact to be honest.
This is all Golden Rule stuff, but it always bears mentioning. It’s so much easier to be judgmental of others than it is to shine a light on our behavior. Imagine if everyone followed the Golden Rule online; these sites wouldn’t be half-bad, would they?
How communication breakdowns ruin online dating.
1. A client wanted to know why he hadn’t heard back from a woman he’d written to online.
He showed me the email correspondence, and it was promising. There were relatively lengthy, honest, meaty emails. But upon closer inspection, I saw a few glitches that told the whole story. And this is why I’m sharing it with you.
2. There was no fun in flirting.
This is common. Yes, online dating can be a bit of a slog, a chore, or a job, but that doesn’t mean you should treat it that way. Just because you’re seeking a romantic relationship doesn’t mean you should interrogate a person you are getting to know about his past, present, and future intentions.
Even an innocuous line like “So why is a seemingly great, successful guy like you still single?” can be read as an insult as much as a compliment. For your own sake, lighten up! The part before the date is where you’re supposed to charm and dazzle us, not bring us down with tales of romantic fantasies dashed.
3. The guy played seriously as well.
Hasn’t everybody, at some point, had an email conversation that went awry? A simple dialogue that got all messed up due to the computer’s inability to convey tone, warmth, sarcasm, and eye contact?
If you’re going to talk about something serious, you’d be better off in person than laying it out in a text message. Yet, we do it all the time and wonder why people don’t understand the message.
If one party wants to talk about something weighty, the other party would be well served to recommend a phone conversation. Writing back a serious missive to a serious missive is like playing tennis with a lead ball. It may be possible, but you’ll be hard-pressed to get it off the ground.
4. Despite his best intentions, he proved to be just like all the other guys.
He wrote her an email addressing her concerns about why he was still single and told her he was going out of town for the next two weeks. He told her he’d contact her upon his return.
It seemed to him to be a sincere and responsible reply. What he didn’t factor in was she had given him her regular email address, and he was still writing to her on the website (which is a bit impersonal). Also, he told her he would be out of town, so why would she write back to him?
A week after his return, he asked me what he did wrong and why she didn’t write back.
I told him she was waiting for him to write to her. The thought hadn’t even occurred to him. Not at all. He never bothered to put himself in her shoes — waiting for him to return from his trip, wondering why he hadn’t emailed.
All he was wondering was why she hadn’t emailed him.
Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women who want to find lasting love.