Today, more than ever, with our smart phones, communicating with a large number of people; is ridiculously easy. But are we actually connecting with people on a deep level? As human beings, we all need connection, not just in the business world or personal relationships, but on a much deeper soul level.
Now I must first say that I love technology and innovation. I see it as a solution to some of our larger challenges. However, just like too much good food can create health issues, too much technology can create isolation.
As a relationship coach and matchmaker, I advise my single clients to get to know a new person by meeting them face to face. When you’re texting someone you don’t already know, miscommunication is easy. You cannot read their expression or see the spark in their eyes and a slight smile to indicate they’re teasing and not being serious. Or perhaps the frown when they’re not quite agreeing with us.
It’s also easy to set up false expectations. If someone is good at language and uses just the right words to tell you that you’re special and gets into detail about how amazing they are and that they will treat you like a queen; it’s easy to have extremely high expectations. But as weeks go by and all you’re getting are text messages, mostly late at night; it could mean that one or both of you are just bored and this is a way to live an exciting, but total fantasy. If you meet a few weeks down the line and realise you have no chemistry or attraction, then you would have wasted a lot of time that you could have spent connecting with someone you actually find attractive. I’m not saying that connection is merely physical attraction, but it is an essential component; together with a connection of mind and heart.
Let’s take 2 scenarios. In the first, someone contacts you on social media or a dating app, asks for your number and you start texting. You’re asking questions to and fro and enjoying getting to “know” each other. But as the days turn into weeks and you still haven’t met, the interest and excitement starts to wane. In the second scenario, when you give someone your number, they call you (at a reasonable hour and not in the middle of the night). After a telephonic conversation, where you find the conversation fairly easy, they ask you on a date. You meet for a coffee or lunch and now you know whether the chemistry between you is real or not. If it is, you set up the next date. If it’s not, you haven’t wasted too much time.
In this world of texting, where chivalry is rare, both men and women have lots of choices. The man who is still the gentleman and asks the lady he is attracted to, on a date; behaves like a gentleman and doesn’t bring up the topic of sex on the first 3 dates; certainly stands out from the rest and will most likely “get the girl”. If you are looking for a “hook up”, then none of this matters, but if you’re looking for a meaningful relationship with a quality man or woman; then take the time to really get to know the person.
We seem to be so caught up in the busyness of life, that we’ve forgotten the joys of courtship. Getting to know a new person is the most exciting part of a new relationship. Assuming you know someone after a few days of texting is a big mistake and you are missing out on this exciting stage. Meeting the same person in different settings, allows you to observe them and really get to know the person for who they are, what they stand for, their beliefs, their dreams and their fears. It is a wonderful journey of discovery instead of a Q and A on your phone.
So ask yourself, what would you prefer? Let’s ditch convenience for genuine experiences. If there’s someone that has caught your eye, chances are he or she has caught the eye of many other possible partners. How are you going to stand out? An emoji of a rose does not equal a real rose. Talk is cheap and telling someone how you will treat them cannot hold a candle to showing them. The age old adage “actions speak louder than words” still holds true. Let’s actually take that walk together; go for that drive with no destination in mind; cook your favourite meal for someone to show them you’re actually are willing to make the effort; and all the while, the conversation turns to genuine connection, which let’s admit, we all deep down, really crave.
Kas Naidoo – Relationship Coach and Matchmaker