Matchmaker’s Dating Dilemma: Blackberries/iphones…oh my….

Are our “communication devices” helping single love seekers connect? Or are they getting in our way?

Well….the answer is….Both. Tips here on how to use ’em or lose ’em in dating.

Lots of comments in my email box this weekend about how these handy and helpful devices are actually keeping men and women from communicating and connecting with each other. Puzzling, isn’t it? Examples…..

Candice got bent out of shape because Jonathan texted her when she would have preferred to hear his voice. She thinks texting is lame and rude….

Sam was really jazzed to meet Caroline and called her to ask her out for dinner and instead of reaching her or a recording of her sweet, welcoming voice he got the “voice mail has not been set up” roadblock.

Traffic was keeping Mark from being his typically punctual self for Friday’s first date with Jennifer. Wisely, he had her cell number with him, but when he called it to let her know he’d be late the call went to voice mail (the darn Crackberry didn’t ring for some reason) and she sat there at the cafe for 30 minutes….stewing….getting more anxious by the moment. She didn’t think to check her messages.

I sent Gloria out on a flirting expedition on Saturday morning to practice smiling and holding eye contact with the adorable men in her neighborhood and she was defeated by the competition — all the cute boys’ eyes were locked in on their iphones and she couldn’t catch attention from….anyone.

Catherine was thoroughly excited about her second date with Mike and it was beautifully orchestrated — the perfect al fresco dining experience overlooking the yachts in Marina Del Rey. She won’t get a third date. Wanna know why? She had her iphone on the table all evening and every time it buzzed she couldn’t resist; she had to check it. It buzzed…a lot… The impression Mike took away? She’s not really interested in him. Her email box is more important to her than finding a meaningful relationship with a man — a man who is right there with her, courting her, ready and eager to connect with her. She missed her chance to develop relationship with this man, who is…was….a really fitting and motivated suitor. Does this make your friendly neighborhood matchmaker a little bit sad? Yeah….it really does.

The worst part is, folks, she IS interested in him and she’s just fallen into the trap that our communication devices have become for us.

Tips for how to keep your cell phone from ruining your love life:

Turn it off. Completely. When you are on a date, turn the darned thing off altogether. Got kids? Got work challenges? Me too. Check in with those pesky interruptors just before your date (or any important appointment) to make sure they’re OK and let them know you’ll be out of touch for an hour or so. Create these healthy boundaries with the special people in your life. 98% of these oh-so-teasing calls, texts, and emails are not in any way urgent. Let them go… with them later….. Give your date the present of your presence. Works like magic. I promise.

Learn how to use your phone. Ask any teenager to help you figure out how to set up you voice mail, check messages, retrieve your messages, send and receive texts….if we’re going to have one of these “magical” devices we have a responsibility (to ourselves and to the lovely people in our lives) to learn how to use it.

Is your NAME in your voice mail greeting? Is it your voice speaking? It should be. Otherwise how will Jack know he’s left his message with the right Jill? Have you listened to your own voice mail greeting lately? Do you sound cold or annoyed? I surely hope not!

Most importantly, cut each other some slack. Accept the reality that each of us has our preferred methods of giving and receiving communication. Practice being flexible and understanding with each other. Let people know what works for you. Do you like text messages? Do you need to hear a real live voice? If the buzzing cell phone on the dinner table is bugging you, can you find a way to communicate what you need and want, instead of just getting grumpy about it?

Carol did it this way — After she lost Bruce’s attention to his iphone several times during the first 10 minutes of their date, she playfully swatted it (like a fly) and he responded instantly by turning the silly thing off. Smart move, Bruce! The rest of the date went really well and Bruce and Carol will be meeting again for dinner…tonight…at her place. YAY! Humanity wins over machinery. I love it.

Got tips to share about how we can keep our cell phones from running and ruining our lives? Send them on to me.

About Julie

Julie Ferman is the Founder of Julie Ferman Associates. As a personal matchmaker, dating coach, media personality, professional speaker, dating industry consultant and events producer, her mission is to dignify and simplify the love search process for selective, relationship-minded professionals. Julie Ferman Associates provides personal matchmaking services and a full menu of dating coaching services to single men and women throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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