Dating in the Common Era Part 2 – Relearning human clues
So how does one establish, much less maintain, a social life based upon clues only acquired by technological means? It’s called adapting. We simply adapt to rapidly changing technology even though some evolutionary psychologists say that we’re still stuck in our ancient mindset–thus entitled the Savanna Principle. This Savanna Principle basically states that our brains are just as evolved as any other body part from the plains of Savanna (think fertile crescent) and we’re driven by the same needs, wants and desires no matter the technology we live in. In a book I read a couple years back titled ‘Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire– Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do’ the authors give their evolutionary psychological reasoning for how this Savanna Principle works. While I agree the basic needs of a human being are the catalyst for many actions we still have to rely on certain clues with which to judge an environment–even a romantic one.
When one covers the plains of today which involve social networking at its prime (or is it?) the idea that where you are physically versus who you are seems to be a good catalyst for romantic intentions. Look at match.com who has recognized that even with thousands of romantic interests to choose from that location and physical proximity is important as they have begun to add match events. While eHarmony hasn’t added the physical piece, they believe that there are certain compatibilities that can be easily identified in each person and subsequently match subjects based on those values. Who needs chance when science has been able to discover who we’re compatible with?
I’ve tried both systems–and others. Match and eHarmony seem to be the apparent winners if you are judging solely on media campaigns. They are the most polished and while Match seems to cater to younger, just wanna have fun, professional types while eHarmony tends to draw in the family oriented person who isn’t playing around with the dating game; it’s serious folks! Either way, with a few questions and the ever present cell phone self portraiture you are on an adventure in the human technological experience. For candidacy Match wins hands down – but that is also a negative because Match would serve up Dusty the Spotted Terrier if it had accidentally chosen “woman looking for man” instead of “Canine looking for Kitty Kat”. With eHarmony it’s more getting served with good manners and the likes of persons, who once you decide you might want to communicate you can open the door, ask the suitor to enter the room and have a seat for the onslaught of questions about to commence.
In the end it all (this electronic element) falls back to one this: ultimately we will be communicating with a 2D depiction of one self (i.e. photographs at the best angles and years we choose) and written (electronically) verbalization’s that we hope are true depictions of who we are. Are they true depictions? No. While I feel that there are certain facets, albeit positive ones, that get viewed during an electronic exchange you would never really offer up things like arrest records, financial issues, a messy home, and nervous ticks. A photo taken at the right angle can hide pounds and quite often a few years of age can be missing.
So, those clues you get to all of those things which can usually be ferreted out in one date (okay maybe that’s just me-the analyzer) you have to spend time examining photos and emails through a secure exchange system to find out. In the end, when disappointment is overcome by excitement you recognize the time you invested in responding, sending photos, texting, and even-yes even-phone calls because the voice even drew you in. I was told once in an email that I should give up my phone number because how else can you get to know someone without the human voice? While at first I agreed I now am in complete opposition to that notion. What’s the human voice do? Do deaf people have problems getting to know someone with the human voice? No.
Remember when the human voice actually had a voice with the plain old telephone system (POTS)? You could hear intonation, timbre, modulations in a voice that, quite frankly, you cannot hear in today’s cellular digital voice technology. Argue with me if you must but analog did me just fine when it came to voice communication on a telephone. I would kill for a copper line and an old phone versus the hand device I currently use to get work email, personal email, facebook alerts, twitter updates, news items, text messages and a various sundry of life’s purpose.
So, to the topic at hand, relearning human clues. I’m going to surmise that we’re still in the Savanna and you need my advice to get through the wranglings of online romance. Here are a few basic rules that you must follow should you desire success:
- Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) – In any profile summary, E-mails that respond or initiate conversation KEEP the topic SIMPLE. Don’t go into ideologies you believe in (okay that’s just me), your extended family’s issues, how you like your oatmeal, religion, sex, and politics. Really, is it that hard? Stay away from sports topics, good God, do you ever want to get laid?
- Keep the E-mails to a MINIMUM – If you find someone you like or God forbid, they find you, exchange a few basic E-mails to get a little more info and then get to phone conversation or MEET face to face for coffee. DO NOT, by any means, ever continue an electronic conversation unless you know that 1. You’ll never meet, 2. It’s just illicit cyber lust, or 3. You can’t help yourself.
- DO NOT give your personal E-mail address out so quickly! Wait until you see signs that this is who they say they are, this is someone who you truly are interested in, and finally, are you really single? (You thought you’d get away with that; didn’t you?) Those systems provide an anonymous E-mail system; USE IT. Save personal information for when it counts. Trust me on this.
- Don’t lower your values just because the photos really do it for you. If this person you are looking at has things in their profile that are in direct opposition to who you are and what you value don’t, for the love of God and all that is good and sweet, allow a conversation to take place between you and said beautiful person who appears in front of you. It’s just not worth it.
- Know that if a person takes 2 weeks to respond that they are either just not that into you (see? relearning clues…) or they have a hectic life.
- Responses like, “Thanks! Have a great day!”. And nothing else? Mean, just stop. Don’t ask a person why they don’t like you or what about you wasn’t up to standards. Have some dignity. Walk. Away.
- Repeat #2. Do not keep going on forever with E-mails, texts and facebook exchanges. You still are only getting what that person allows you to get. Face to face is the ONLY discernible human clue you need to know whether or not you want to give more investment or not. It’s that simple. Living on electronic means does not work. Long distance relationships rarely last. It’s true. They can after establishing a fundamental, heart stopping, emotional and physical connection but they are not for the weak of heart and they will not last if you base everything you know on a person from what they wrote or pictured of themselves.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. There are some successes; but for every one there is probably 1000 misses – just like life.