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Don’t-Text-and-Date

Hello, readers! My name is Jessica Nicklos and I’m a matchmaker and dating coach located here in Palm Beach County. It’s a unique and rewarding job, full of inspiration and lots of learning opportunities. My goal for this column is to share with you my thoughts, insights, experiences and advice on love and life. I want to help you navigate dating and relationships; two of the most challenging and yet rewarding things in this world.

Today, I’m talking about texting and dating. We all know that texting and driving is a dangerous activity. Well, texting and dating can be a dangerous activity that’s affecting your relationships! I’ve recently run across numerous articles mentioning the current trend of using technology in relationships and especially the dangers of texting in dating. Not only has social media, in general, created a lack of interpersonal skills and communication in our culture, but texting, in particular causes its own problems in dating and relationships. Using text messages to communicate presents a problem because: a) you’re effectively ignoring your date, b) you’re communicating in a way that isn’t entirely clear and, c) it doesn’t require a whole lot of effort.

While texting can be an issue for all types of relationships, it’s especially damaging in romantic relationships, particularly in the early stages. Dating and relationships are all about relating to your partner on a personal level. When our go-to method of communicating is by text message, we are being totally impersonal. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not opposed to sending texts to your date, but be careful to not let it completely replace normal telephone and face-to-face communication. You can learn so much more about your date by the inflection in their voice, the words they use, and the tone they’re trying to convey.

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I’m part of the generation that texts for everything and I’m guilty, too.

Don’t-Text-and-Date-2Admittedly, we are, at times, way too attached to our smartphones. I am amazed when I see a couple out for dinner at a nice restaurant and both are concentrating on their phones instead of having a conversation with each other. In the early stages of my relationship, if I couldn’t see my husband in-person, I was elated to have a Skype session or get voice calls.

Something gets lost when we text. Voice communication seems to be more and more of a lost art. When your date or partner can listen to your voice and/or see your face, it eliminates those misunderstandings and troubles that can arise from a text message. For example, even an innocent attempt at sarcasm can be taken totally out of context and be perceived as anger. Texting lacks that special component of a relationship that shows that you care and that you put some effort into making time for that special person. This is even more important at the beginning of a relationship when everything is new, exciting, and somewhat unknown and scary.

The purpose of dating is to establish a connection. An authentic connection begins when you can relate to your date exactly how you feel. Part of falling in love is feeling like you are important, understood, and listened to. That comes with giving your date your full attention. Put the phone away as often as you can! Yes, emergencies come up, and it’s okay to look at your phone now and then, but constantly checking our phones has become a habit that is literally stealing time away from the most important people in our lives. Why go out at all if you plan to stay glued to your phone? Not only is this habit distracting and disrespectful to your companion, it’s not conducive to creating the loving feelings of connection.

It seems almost old-fashioned to pick up the phone and make a voice call these days, but that’s what makes it all the more special and necessary. Dialing your date’s number conveys the message that you care enough, and that they’re important enough, for a personal phone call or to ask to meet them for a date. Take the time to nurture your relationship or dating experiences without too much texting. Old school methods often work because they’re tried and true. Putting in the effort to go see your date or give them a call is well worth it for them to feel loved and appreciated.

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Jessica-Nicklos-WPB-MagazineJessica Nicklos is the founder of Better Half Matchmaking in South Florida. Jessica’s passion is bringing people together. Through personalized matchmaking and dating coaching, she works with singles to find their match and build a solid foundation for dating success. Jessica has a B.A. in Corporate Communication and a minor in Psychology from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Matchmaker’s Alliance, serves as director of the Premier Women’s Network of South Florida and as organizer of the Single Professionals of Northern Palm Beach County.

Jessica lives in Palm Beach County with her husband, Chad, and their dogs, Vida and Daisy.

Texting and Dating can Be a Dangerous Activity That’s Affecting your Relationships. Don’t Text and Date! The Purpose of Dating Is to Establish a Connection.