Remember when a guy actually called you on your private line instead of texting/Facebook messaging/tweeting at you? Well, those days are long gone (along with your hamburger phone), and we’re all stuck chatting with dates in the virtual world –whether we like it or not. And when everyone and her mother are posting everything from embarrassingly awful poems to ex lovers to equally as awful selfies, it can be hard not to join in on the constant sharing.
To save you your time, sanity, and dignity, we got in touch with a cyber dating expert to give you the lowdown on etiquette in the age of emoticons and relationships that don’t exist unless they’re “Facebook official.”
What are some things that women post on social media that have the potential to drive a date off?
Attracting Mr. Right requires the right online persona. We know you’re charming, sexy, intelligent (need we go on?), but if you’re flooding his Facebook feed with scantily-clad selfies, the only thing he’ll want to do is hit “Hide”.
Julie Spira, netiquette expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com, says that leaving little to the imagination “sends a bad message to a guy. She’ll either come off like a party girl waiting for a one-night-stand or someone that just isn’t girlfriend material to introduce to his buddies and family. Sure girls just want to have fun, but not when they’re in serious dating mode.”
And if you’re thinking of play-smooching all 15 of your guy friends tonight, don’t expect the guy you’re really eyeing to text you the next morning. “A man will see the photo and not take her seriously,” Spira says.
How soon is too soon for writing mushy statuses about the person you’re dating/in a relationship with?
There’s always that one girl who must post vomit-inducing updates about her “SsSsEXXXY BOO!!!1.” Don’t be that girl.
“Although Facebook is known as a social network, where Linkedin is well known as a business networking site, the digital lines between the two have become blurry,” Spira tells us. “Ask yourself, is this something I’d want my parents or boss to see before you post it? In other words, if you won’t kiss-and-tell, then don’t post-and-tell.”
And when it comes to photo sharing, less is often more. According to Spira, “Celebrating a first anniversary, receiving a beautiful gift, or a photo of a romantic trip is fine to share on Facebook. A photo album of 50 photos detailing the play-by-play of your love life doesn’t. Remember, not all of your friends are happy and in love. While they’ll be happy for you, they might build up some resentment when they’re alone on date night.”
If you’ve just started dating someone, and his friends/family members send you friend requests on Facebook, would it be rude to not accept, even if you haven’t met them yet?
This happens to everyone at least once in their dating careers: You’re sitting there exchanging flirty messages with your new beau and 300 of his buddies, his mom, and his dog send you friend requests. Can you say awkward?
Luckily for us girls, there’s an easy way out! Simply “let your boyfriend know your Facebook friends policy,” Spira advises. “This way if his buddy or cousin asks him why you didn’t accept their request, he can be the messenger of your social media policy.” And that’s a-OK with us!
What should you say (if anything) to someone you’re dating if he has other women writing flirtatious posts on his wall?
There’s nothing that can kill a girl’s confidence more than another woman –even if he hasn’t actually seen the “other woman” since eighth grade. While Facebook makes it easy (perhaps too easy) to flirt from the comfort of your living room, that doesn’t mean you should put up with girls messaging him about his abs (even though they’re rock hard). To avoid appearing jealous or insecure –which, let’s face it, is not exactly attractive– follow Spira’s rules.
“Ignore it if it only happened once, or for the repeat offender, approach the situation with a bit of humor,” she advises. “Saying, ‘I think someone has a digital crush on you’ in a teasing and flirty way will go further than saying, ‘Who’s that girl and how do you know her?’
What to do when he won’t update his Facebook relationship status + more up ahead!