Text Message Etiquette

Most of the time while being interviewed, regardless of whether it’s for TV, print, radio or the Internet, I find myself saying that as humans we are hardwired to seek, “companionship, love and safety.”

Awhile back I blogged about “Dating, Love and Technology.” I’m going to revisit that topic because of an angry text message I received last month from a man whom I had never even met in person. To top off the angry text message, he continues to contact me via e-mail to this very day.

I believe that respect is one of the foundations of all relationships and goes hand in hand with building safety and trust. Let’s face it, to feel safe with someone you have to trust them.

And I would think it would be really hard to feel safe with a person where there was no trust or respect. Receiving an angry text message from a man I had never met before is not a good way to start a relationship.

That being said…

Angry Text Message Guy contacted me from a dating Website about a week before we were going to meet in person for drinks. On the actual day we were supposed to meet I was feeling really busy and getting ready to leave town for business. I sent him a text message first thing that morning letting him know that: “today would not be a good day.”

This was his text message response back to me; word for word:

“Sure anytime. But maybe u r not ready 2 meet anyone. I am sure half hour for coffee would disrupt your schedule 2 much”.

A few days later I received this from the Angry Text Message Guy:

Hi there, I am getting discouraged of ever having that drink with you :)
Mike 310-999-8888
(name and number has been changed)

And just yesterday he contacted me again through the same dating Website by sending me an “e-drink” and using the same exact quote as he used before to introduce himself.

This whole situation I find fascinating and poignant in that he seems to be somewhat out of touch and hiding behind technology. For me it goes against my hardwiring; the need to feel companionship, loved and safe. Angry Text Message Guy has done nothing in my eyes to create that and I have to wonder, does he even realize how his behavior affects others, and in this case me?

Based on that, I looked up Text Message Etiquette to see if I could find anything that made real life sense and this is a bit of what I found:

Emily Post on Text Messaging

USATODAY.com on Love and Texting

I think that ultimately it doesn’t really matter if we are talking about etiquette when it comes to text messaging or etiquette at the dinner table because at the end of the day, etiquette is about being respectful, which in the end makes us feel safe and trusted.

*This post is a few days early as I will be traveling and in Flordia for the idate 08 conference on Wednesday.

De-icing

Life throws us a mixed bag of, well… LIFE.

We never know day-to-day what that mixed bag will be or become, but I think it’s safe to say there will always be a lot of hot and cold moments in that mix.

A few days ago, I flew back to Los Angeles from the bitter cold and snowy mountains of Colorado. As I sat on the Hayden airport runway in single-digit to below-zero temperatures listening to my iPod, I looked out the window of the icy small plane and actually hoped we weren’t going to crash en route due to the bad weather.

Right before the plane was going to take off; it was sprayed with a foamy de-icing liquid, enabling a safe take-off.

As the plane was being de-iced, I had a thought: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a solution included in life’s maintenance program that would keep us from getting hard-hearted during life’s icy situations and circumstances?

This liquid spray “de-icing solution” would be solely for the purpose of keeping us from becoming hardened, cold, or frozen-hearted. The solution would miraculously melt away the hard and icy edges of life in minutes, offering us the ability to keep our hearts open even when we feel like we want to shut down and become the ice queen or king.

I happen to think that along with life and all of life’s circumstances, dating and ironically the search for love can actually make us hard, cold, icy and closed-hearted. It would be during these times in life that de-icing would especially come in handy, the same way it’s used in extreme weather to keep passengers safe on an airplane.

The day before my flight home from the rural Hayden airport I was in Steamboat Springs snowboarding on a fresh powder day in 25-below degree temperatures. Because of the extreme cold, I was pretty much alone on the chair lifts, in the trees, and on the empty runs.

That morning, seeing the weather forecast and realizing that the mountain was going to be brutally harsh, I got completely covered in gear that would shield me from the severe weather. Interestingly, even my cell phone had a difficult time with the cold temps; freezing up and becoming unusable.

Sitting on top of the mountain, buckling into my board with no one around and no technology, I thought of a recent situation with a guy who lives there in town that I once dated. Sadly, I think his heart has become hard and frozen like my phone now was.

For the record, he has actually hurt me more than he will ever know. But while I have no special de-icing spray to use, I personally work hard to keep my heart open and not become hard from life and my list of heartbreaks and betrayals.

Ah, yes a quick de-icing fix would be nice, but not having one has taught me to take a higher road, to turn every lemon into lemonade and not get bogged down with the negative stuff in order to stay warm and not become frozen…

Last night I was watching a TV show and had not yet figured out exactly the best way to end this post when one of the characters on the program said:
“The truth sets us free…”

You know, I actually think the “truth” is kind of like getting de-iced (if there were such a solution for humans). You know what else? If my plane had crashed into the snowy mountains of Colorado, I’m glad that I wouldn’t have gone down with a closed, icy and cold heart.

I have learned to take life’s mixed bag as it comes, to truly forgive and forget, and I still get teary eyed watching a sad movie or will laugh at something that may not be funny to anyone else but me.

Maybe we don’t need de-icing as much as we need to be truthful to one another and ourselves, appreciate the time we sometimes have alone, and accept life as it actually comes – not as we expect it to come.

The Bold 8 Makeover

I was just interviewed the other day by The Greenville News (ok shameless plug) but… it’s about The BOLD 8 Makeover for 2008.
THE BOLD 8 MAKEOVER in The Greenville News

Dinner Date! Part 2 of 2

I’m posting Dinner Date Part 2 of 2 a bit sooner than my regular Wednesdays posts, as I will be traveling Sunday-Thursday and not quite sure how my wireless internet connection will be in the mountains.

For a few weeks I processed the night I talked about in Part One of this post…

It was interesting to me that I became so completely turned off by his picking and poking, his not sharing, and what he didn’t eat. Clearly he’s not a good match for me; however it did get me thinking about how eating meals together is a very basic primal bonding experience.

With that being stated…

For all cultures, many of life’s celebrations are built around meals. Where would a birthday party be without birthday cake? Or a pig roast without a pig? Would you really want to go a Thanksgiving dinner with no turkey, stuffing or sweet potatoes? Would it feel “right” to celebrate Valentine’s Day without a box of chocolates and champagne, or how about going out for your wedding anniversary dinner and not eating any dinner?

Of course, with all our celebration meals, there is a downside. We have just ended the holiday season where perhaps we indulged in a bit too much food at the company party or at the parents’ house (I know I did). How many of us make a New Year’s resolution to lose a few pounds like Bridget Jones here?

Food for thought…
Have you ever heard someone say, “I ate absolutely nothing over the holidays and my New Year’s Resolution is to gain five pounds, since I absolutely starved myself during the holiday season?”

Holiday indulgence aside, sharing a meal with someone is one of the oldest date activities in the book. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Do we go on dinner dates just because it’s the norm? Or are we unconsciously testing to see if we are attracted to or repulsed by our date based on how he or she eats?

Check out this Dinner Date. Even though her date is noticeably stiff and not much of a conversationalist, there is always the possibility that they will bond purely over her home-cooked meal. And who knows? Perhaps she will even get lucky later in the evening.

Cleary this woman will NOT be getting lucky on her date!

I‘m a firm believer in the old saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

For me, a great meal with people I like is one of life’s joys. When I think back to my Dinner Date experience with the Poker and Picker guy, I actually feel bad for him because I have to wonder if other people would feel the same way I did on a primal level. What do you think?

Dinner Date! Part 1 of 2

Mating rituals are not exclusive to the human race. Even a tiny-sized creature such as a fruit fly, which remarkably happens to have 60% of the same DNA as humans and survives only about two months,
Fruit Flies BBC engages in an elaborate mating ritual where the male fly vibrates its wings with a courtship song and licks the female fly while engaging in sex, which may last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the species.
Fruit Flies and Sex
The miracle here is that day after day, year after year, decade after decade, life species carry cellular DNA and genetics that are part of their unique survival and individual hardwiring – even if the species’ actual physical life span is short; and that includes us!

Historical behaviors, genetics and mating rituals can be found everywhere in the animal kingdom. Did you know that certain birds trade reproduction favors for food?

Yes, prostitution (one of the oldest professions) even exists among birds.
Birds and Mating

And did you also know that sexual cannibalism is common practice with praying mantises and scorpions?
Sexual Cannibalism PBS.org

So, what exactly does all this have to do with a “dinner date?” Well, for me – from what I have come to know about human nature, survival and evolution on every life level – a lot!

There was a man I went out with about a month ago. To start with, he ordered “a cup of hot tea.” I didn’t give his herbal tea order much thought. Hey, maybe he had had a rough night before or is in The Program; who knows?

I was not judging him or his hot beverage choice and I barely knew him. But, it was noted. Not in a negative or positive way; but noted.

Later, when the waiter arrived back at our table, I ordered the restaurant’s signature Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich with fries. My dinner date followed suit and ordered the exact same thing.

Soon after the food was served, I noticed that he was ONLY eating the chicken and nothing else on his plate. All of a sudden I’m feeling like Hungry Man Jack, capital HMJ. While I dug heartily into the delicious meal and drank white wine, he daintily sipped his hot tea and slowly poked and picked away at his food like a very finicky and picky eater.

For me it was a bit of an ah-ha moment, as it was the first time I could really understand why men get so turned off and annoyed with women who don’t eat on dates or just “order the salad.”

The more he poked and picked, the more irritated I became. Literally, I was having a basic animal primal response to his eating behavior. I finally asked him why he was only eating the chicken and nothing else on his plate. He said it was because of his “digestion.” OK, not exactly sexy, but I’m cool with that. More importantly, what I couldn’t understand was why he ordered this particular dish when there were so many other items on the menu that potentially did not affect his “digestion” or create food waste.

YUCK!

This is not a rant, I’m just being honest. It was extremely hard for me to watch him not eat the food that he knew off the get-go he was not going to eat.

The longer I sat there watching him pick over his plate of food, the more unattractive he became.

Also he never offered to share, which would have been nice since he was not eating it anyway…

Date over.

This is Part One of a two-part blog post, so please leave any thoughts or ideas you think are relevant for the next Dinner Date post.

Till then eat, drink, and be merry!
Happy New Year!

In honor if January 8 and the year 2008…

BADONLINEDATES.COM (BOLD) PRESENTS

THE BOLD 8 DATING MAKEOVER

The number 8 on its side = Infinity

The Bold 8 = You embracing the infinite possibilities of the dating world with your
BOLD 8 DATING MAKEOVER

1. In addition to symbolizing Infinity, the number 8 has a lot of significance such as it constantly evolves and revolves as should you. Let 2008 be the year that you loose any old dating habits and beliefs that don’t serve you any longer, you know what they are, and if you are not certain ask someone close to you that has seen you end up with Mr. or Miss Wrong one to many times.
2. Now take action….Move out of your comfort zone of how you normally meet people and try something new such as hobbies, hitting a different market then ask someone you think is cute “how to tell if a grapefruit is ripe” or going to a local pub or bar ALONE and striking up a conversation with someone you might otherwise been too shy to approach or may not look like your type…Feel nervous? Great. Do that what you fear and your fear will die.
3. AH! The number 3 actually has great spiritual history and if you put two 3 together facing one another it turns into an 8. But since this is not a spiritual Dating Makeover list, but a realistic one, it is time to Face Yourself, your needs, your perfect imperfections. Know who you are, what you want and believe in yourself.
4. Now that you believe in yourself, believe that you are attractive to others. Carry yourself with confidence. Attitude can be sexy. Besides no one wants to date a Debbie Downer.
5. Do not jump to conclusions about someone before knowing the facts. Ask someone to explain something to you that you question or disagree with….How can he not like cats? Maybe he is allergic. Do a bit of research before writing the person off completely.
6. Accept that with dating there comes some rejection. Use this to grow. Learn more about what you are looking for in a partner. If he or she “is not the one” keep moving so you stay fluid to attract the right people in your life.
7. Be adaptable. Remember that you are constantly evolving and revolving so get rid of that Laundry List of what you think you are looking for, height, hair color, eye color. Your match may be a brunette not blond.
8. Evolve. Revolve. It is up to you to create the Dating climate you want and remember you are the BOLD 8!

A Man’s Take on Arm Candy

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in last weeks post I would be following up this week with a guest blogger aka my go to guy Eric C. And his thoughts on Arm Candy.
Enjoy!

According to the ol’ college school book, there are two categories of rationale that explain the meaning of human behavior.

One is manifest function. The meaning of this behavior is obvious. A guy picks up a woman’s handbag when she accidentally drops it because it’s the courteous thing to do. Obvious.

The other is the latent function, which is the underlying reason we do the things we do. You might call it the ulterior motive you may not even know you had. The same guy above picks up the handbag because he wants to meet this woman and ideally have sex with her at some point.

Another example many of us can relate to occurs when a man offers his date a third glass of wine at dinner. The manifest function is catering to his date, complementing her food with a suitable beverage. The latent function is to paralyze her better judgment for the later hours to come.

Though oppositely charged, the two functions complement one another more often than not. So why the lesson in sociology? Because when you understand the difference between manifest function and latent function, it sheds some light on the whole “Arm Candy” issue.

The manifest function for Arm Candy is simple: An affluent man wants to make use of his money by providing himself with a companion. This could be just for the night or for eternity, but either way, his actions are simply based on having someone alongside him to complement his shared experiences.

The latent function however, is to bolster his ego. It isn’t having the candy on his arm as much as it is that people see him with the candy when he’s out and about.

Just like the guy driving down Santa Monica Blvd in a cherry red convertible. The “candy” enhances a guy’s perceived status, which proves more worthwhile than the candy itself. A guy doesn’t necessarily want it nor need it, but he certainly enjoys people knowing he has it. She is an accessory; nothing more.

To be considered true Arm Candy, there’s nothing real in the relationship. The only ‘substance’ the two have usually consists of bickering spats that are the result of lingering angst the two have from using one another for such shallow intentions. This is plainly evident if you catch the two when they think no one is watching, as Jennifer did with the couple at the pool in Mexico.

We can play manifest/latent function here, too. She nags at him because he brought her the wrong drink (manifest). But the deeper cause for her anger is the fact that she knows he’s just using her for the time being.

Because of this lack of genuine substance, there is no reason for a woman to be afraid to approach a man engaged in an Arm Candy scenario.

If you spark his interest, you may just temporarily relieve his itch to be ‘seen.’

Establishing a connection with the man in question, along with a slight stroke to his fragile ego will distract him from whatever dime piece is lurched onto his arm.

Remember, that $10,000 appearance fee that got her down to Mexico works just as well on a return flight home.

Eric. C

About Jennifer

Jennifer Kelton

I have created this blog and social dating community to turn negative dating experiences into positive ones. In fact, it’s the exact opposite of what the name implies. It was my own life’s multiple combo plate of bad date experiences that inspired me to create this supportive community. In the midst of my own search […]

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