The New Rules For Dating In A Digital World

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Buzz, Love

How texting and tweeting are changing our love lives.

Modern Etiquette (n.) Socially acceptable behaviors or mannerly communications from you and your iPad, Droid, laptop or anything else with a screen.

Manners have gone digital. And that means you're probably asking yourself a million little questions about online behavior. When should you text your latest crush? Is it acceptable to announce your company's latest acquisition via tweet? Should you tag your friend on Facebook in that questionably attractive photo?

Our online lives bring a totally new world of etiquette. Now, one swift keystroke can literally make or break a relationship, whether it's a crush, colleague, or friend. And though it's definitely not what your mamma taught you, that doesn't mean these 2.0 behaviors give you license to forget everything you learned growing up. The modern and old school need to co-exist. Smooching 101: 3 Easy Steps To Becoming A Better Kisser

Singles often tell me that they're disappointed that the new norm is to get asked out on a date via text. On the flip side, just as many tell me how talking on the phone seems too formal. It turns out that others agree, including Miss Manners herself.

Of course, it's ideal for your date to call and invite you out voice to voice. And you should still call, because it certainly ups the level of commitment and attention you're giving your match. But the more tech rules our lives, the more calling becomes akin to riding in on a white stallion. Consider the social norm. Do all your friends call to invite you out to dinner? It's likely that some — if not all — are texting you instead. When society's behaviors shift, your dating life follows. Because at the end of the day, dating is part of your social life. 

But don't be fooled; digital manners can be sweeping gestures. Texting 'thank you' after a date can be as polite as opening someone's door. Planning a date using the latest app can be as chivalrous as picking up the tab. And tweeting sweet nothings can be as romantic as laughing at all your dates' jokes. It's still the thought and effort that counts. Why European Women Ooze Sensuality

Of course, wooing in real life shouldn't stop completely. The only difference is that you now need to consider your online efforts as much as your in-person behaviors. One without the other simply isn't effective, particularly because actions on the web can be even more tangible than real-life happenings. Leaving a virtual trail means that those experiences can be imprinted on your hard drive and your memory.

Today, all this technology may seem like it's inhibiting your dating life and merely adding a layer of complexity. But imagine that in the future you'll be able to share memories of your courtship with your grandchildren through both stories and cyber details. From the first email you sent one another on to the gushing texts thereafter, from your engagement photo posted on Facebook to the well-wishers who commented, your online happenings can enhance the stories of your life.

The more you embrace living in a digital world, the more you'll allow yourself to create the scrapbook of your life.