Manner Monday®: Texting and Dating Etiquette

As seen on:
by Carey Sue Vega in Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Channel 4 recently asked me to help with a segment on Texting and Dating Etiquette. To see the segment, click on the video below.

Before the appearance, I put a question out on my FaceBook page asking for opinions, and wow – did I get responses! The question was:

“Is it ok to be asked out via text message?”
My response is, on a first date, absolutely not; down the road in the relationship, yes.
The majority of the others commenting on the post agreed, but few brought up the fact that generations change, and the times change. I totally agree and get that point, but I don’t think we’re completely there yet. By asking someone out either face-to-face, or verbally over the phone; that takes some guts. It shows that the date is important. And it sets the tone for the relationship.

Here are some other questions we covered during the segment:

What about using your smart-phone during the date?
If you know you may be expecting a call; if you’re a teen and you’re parents may check on you, or you’re a single mom with a sick kiddo at home – that’s totally understandable and expected. Tell your date, that you may need to take the call. Then if it happens, excuse yourself and be QUICK about it. Don’t leave your date hanging.

If you are looking up an answer to a question or showing them something that supplements your story – do so with caution and only if your date truly seems interested. You don’t want to bore him with funny cat videos all night – only to find out later he hates cats!

But definitely no texting or posting via social media during the date. That can wait until after.

What about taking pictures during the date? For some teens, if it isn’t on Instagram… it didn’t happen.
Don’t take a picture of your date unless they ask you to. You don’t want to start things off on the wrong foot by being self-centered and taking ‘selfies’ with your date right off the bat. Save those for down the road.

Focus on the date and the moment. You want your date to think they’re more important than how many likes your post is going to get.

Teens need to understand this important and basic rule of etiquette, as it will carry over with them in the business world. They need to understand that the person in front of them should receive 100% of their attention, not their phone and not their InstaGram likes.

We’ve all heard about someone who got digitally dumped. What are some other ways to wreck your reputation through texting?
First of all – do not break up via social media. If you’re mature enough to date – you’re mature enough to end the relationship verbally, not via text. That person you’ve been seeing deserves the common courtesy of a break up in person. That’s part of the process and that’s part of what comes with dating. And realize if the person is that big of a coward to break up with you electronically, you don’t want to be with them in the first place. Look at as they did you a favor and showed their real colors and saved you some headaches down the road.

Texting is black and white, no tone, and no voice to show inflection or empathy. Yes, teens use emojis to replicate those things, but in reality, sometimes we can’t read between the lines and we mistake a text for its intended purpose and we get our feathers ruffled.
If that happens,
– Don’t send long rambling texts asking why
– Don’t Machine Gun Text while you’re upset
– Wait until you are calm, then make an old-fashioned phone call so you can speak ‘in person’ to clear up the misunderstanding.

What if the relationship is over? What should you do with the angry texts or maybe even inappropriate pictures (yes it happens!) you received while the relationship was good?
As hard as it is, you need to let it go – Delete them and move on. Don’t dwell and drag things out. Delete them so you can move on. Period.

Copyright 2022