Communication – something new: friendships, relationships, and acquaintances.
September 15, 2017
I’ve written before about the barriers to finding a meaningful relationship online.
One of the most important aspects of contemplating meeting someone in this environment, besides the honesty and integrity, is effective communication.
I have taken many communication courses; written and verbal in order to be a more effective leader. Couple that with 20 years of military service and think that I have a pretty good idea how to get my point or idea across successfully without being too overbearing if I can help it. 🙂
This is one point of contention I have when talking to someone online. To me, it shows something about their character.
I for one grew up with some really basic manners that I have found lacking in others.
Saying “Please”, “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry” tops my list. This shows appreciation for the other person taking time to assist or listen to you. It is one of the first things I taught my own children besides “I love you”.
If I am talking, messaging, or texting that person has my full attention. I normally will put off whatever I was doing until the conversation is over. It would be the same as if they were right in front of me.
I am finding that others do not believe in this. Texts or messages are just left open and not completed.
So then I’m just left there wondering “Okay, are we done talking to each other?” If the conversation needs to end for whatever reason, then say so. It will be okay and I’m sure the other person would appreciate it.
If the person you are talking to doesn’t value your time while talking online, then why would they be any different in person?
The other issue I’ve been running into is questions right off the bat about age and marital status. I know, there are people out there running amok from their relationships, and you don’t really know what their current situation is because you are relying on them, to be honest.
If they contacted you, then why are they asking those questions? It has to make you wonder if they are searching for something particular. The last two scammers I dealt with were searching for widowed or divorced single moms.
All I know is that I was always told that it was rude to ask a woman her age. (Maybe that’s just a southern thing here in the US) As for relationship status, the person asking is equally relying on you, to be honest too. Maybe I need to add that to my profile because apparently, people can’t tell by my picture how old I am but then again I’ve had the same problem in person as well. I don’t know whether to feel flattered or annoyed.
Looking for love.
The next issue is just coming right out and saying that you are looking for a forever love. Talk about putting the brake on the flow of conversation. Now, it’s awkward and the person you are talking to may only be looking for someone to chat with on occasion. So the conversation is either going to keep going or end before it ever started.
Not everybody online is looking for a marriage proposal. There are special sites set up for that kind of conversations and the people on them are looking for that forever relationship.
Sorry but Instagram and Facebook isn’t really the best place to start those kinds of relationships. I know that there have been people who met through these social media sites but usually they had a mutual friend or interest in common, to begin with, so that was the starting point. Just a random out of the blue message to someone you just started following probably isn’t the best way to go.
Being too forward and sometimes flattery doesn’t get you anywhere.
Now, I am a very forward and a sometimes in your face kind of person but only if we have known each other for a very long time. By then you are comfortable with it and know that it is a part of my personality and vice versa.
Now I learned my lesson, the hard way, about being overwhelmed by flattery, terms of endearment, and the fairytale romance that I always dreamt about. My feelings got hurt but also knowing that the emotions were heightened by the depression and anxiety helped heal the wounds I received.
These now seem meaningless and somewhat pointless since the person isn’t in my presence. I don’t believe in love at first sight, lust maybe but that is not the same thing. 😀
General questions about yourself.
You cannot judge a person’s character by what they post online. It also doesn’t tell you really anything about them except that maybe you both like similar things.
General basic questions such as the kind of job and their general location without asking specifics are good to ask. Do they have any family, pets or other hobbies?
If the person is vague or refuses to answer then that’s probably a good sign that something is not quite right with the conversation. Better bail then than later after you have invested time.
I have become this pretty open book to questions. Years of counseling, facing fears and opening up will do that to you. My children are very concerned that my profiles are public and open but I see it as not something negative but in fact positive.
I spent my whole life being closed off to others. This led to being afraid of everything and not open to the life I had before me. I am now at a point in my life where I want to experience, within reason and not illegal, things that I had always thought about.
To face the doubts I put on myself and find the truth in who I am. To become more comfortable in those tough situations and conversations with others. To become more capable of handling them without worry.
Finding mutual ground.
Starting something new whether it is friendships, acquaintances or relationships is always going to be hard. Adding to that stress, not really knowing the person, due to the limitations of being online doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t work.
Just like in real life you will run into the same obstacles. Not everyone is going, to be honest, have integrity or is a good person.
The only way to build a better foundation is through honest and open communication.
Beginning with basics and general knowledge of each other could lead to more evolved conversations. This, just like in real life, slowly builds that trust needed for it to continue.
So, I haven’t given up on relationships beginning online completely but know that even the best of conversations may not go anywhere.
It’s in this truth that I find solace that I am still on this path to bettering myself as a person.
That I can be open and honest with another.
That what I think does bring value.
That I am worth something to somebody somewhere.
I may never find that person to spend my life with that it but will be okay. Some things are not meant to be. Some people are meant for something greater. They won’t know what it is until they reach it.
So keep moving forward every day with the same motivation, positive thoughts and dreams that we have for ourselves. It’s really all that we can do.
Thank you for stopping by.
Have a great week!