A matchmaker's survival guide for dating in a digital world
Facebook profiles, online dating apps and friendly texts can be your best friends or worst nightmares.
Daniella Rudoff, known as "The Marriage Architect," is a matchmaker from Israel who says that there's no one right way to date. "I don’t think there are definitive rules," Rudoff, a certified instructor in relationship building and marriage education, told From the Grapevine. "It really depends on the couple."
That being said, dating in the digital age is tough, and Rudoff has some tips that could come in handy. Like ...
Don't get hypnotized by options
When you're just a click away from a thousand profiles of eligible singles, it can be hard to stick with the one person you've recently started seeing. You look at other options and feel some pretty intense FOMO.
Rudoff remembered a man in his 30s who came to her to find a match. He'd dated plenty over the years, but he kept seeing flaws in the girls he was with, and he kept thinking he could find someone better.
"He said to me, 'I could have been married so many times over,'" she said.
Her advice: "Don’t look at other people while you’re dating."
Make your Facebook dating-friendly
Sometimes, going from "single" to "in a relationship" means taking down some old pictures. (Photo: Nevodka/Shutterstock)
If you're thinking about dating someone, there's a pretty good chance you'll check their Facebook. And they'll probably check yours, too. Do you really want your date to see that photo of you before you discovered anti-acne products?
"Watch what you post," explained Rudoff. "People are judging you based on what you posted."
It's also a good idea to make your profile picture one where you look good, but natural.
"It doesn’t have to be a posed picture per se," clarified Rudoff. It just has to look like you on a good day.
Develop your relationship in person, not in servers
Texts are great for arranging things like when and where to meet up. They're not so great when it comes to getting to know someone. Long texts can be harmful “when building a fresh, brand-new relationship," Rudoff explained.
If you learn all your date's personal details by text, you lose the ability to bond over them in person, through things like late night conversations, adventures through the city and outdoor dancing. Plus, texts easily create misunderstandings.
"When you’re developing a fresh relationship, it hurts when someone doesn’t respond immediately," she said. You might freak out that your date hasn't texted back in hours, even though he's actually just shopping with his mom.
The bottom line: "Don't replace dating with texting."
Keep the momentum going
After the first date, people often wait a long time before texting or calling. Rudoff thinks this is a mistake.
"I believe that, in building a relationship, there is momentum," she explained. "The only way to do that is to show that you care."
By meandering and having dates only once a week or every other week, you lose that momentum that's so important in early relationships. That doesn't mean you should harass your interest, but it might be a good idea to send her text a few hours after a first date to make sure she got home OK, and then call in the next day or two.
Put emotion into your texts
When you text, your date "can’t hear tones and feelings," explained Rudoff. That makes your texts easy to misinterpret.
"You’re losing out a lot on the personality of the individual, of the character of the individual," she explained.
Rudoff recommends making use of things like smiley faces, emojis (and there are some fun ones out there) and exclamation points to help get your message across.
Put down your phone
"When I'm in a meeting with someone, they’re astonished that, when I get a phone call, I don’t take it," said Rudoff. While checking your phone is tempting, it makes it harder for you to connect with the person right in front of you.
That doesn't mean that, if your date uses his phone while out with you, you should immediately write him off.
"You can’t just say you’ll never go out with him again. You need to understand why he used that phone," explained Rudoff, pointing out that he could be dealing with an emergency. "On the flipside, if he doesn’t know how to handle the phone and give you his attention, we need to understand what’s going on here."
Stop if it's not right
As you continue to date, it's easy to string each other along on texts. So people often continue "dating" people they're not even that interested in.
"If there’s nothing wrong, people keep on dating and wasting time," Rudoff told us. "They’re wasting each other's time."
Sometimes, it feels easier to keep texting someone rather than formally end things, especially if you think that the relationship could eventually be a good one.
"What do you mean could be good?" Rudoff said. "It has to be good right now."
She recalled matching a couple that went on seven dates, despite not being particularly interested in one another.
"They were both forcing the relationship," she remembered. After getting both of their perspectives, she advised they stop seeing each other. "They both came over to thank me a few times afterwards," she said.
If you need any more dating advice (or dates), Rudoff can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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