Tag Archives: Technology

FOR SINGLES: Ten Rules for Using Technology to Date

Guy texting girl madText, Email, Facebook, Twitter give the appearance of instant access to your lover. A way to stay connected. But it’s a clever trick. The very things that are designed to keep us closer, if used incorrectly, can brutally tear us apart.

To understand what I mean, let’s think about the things that keep a low-tech relationship sharp — plenty of face-to-face time, long conversations, great sex (with foreplay and after-play), and intimate activities like Sunday morning toe-touching in bed with the New York Times. These practices are the workhorse of intimacy, and they are irreplaceable.

Now let’s consider a modern “high-tech” relationship. A few texts or emails sent during the week to firm up weekend plans. A rendezvous on the weekend that may or may not involve sex (or may involve only sex and no date) and then a Facebook status report on Monday that confirms that your partner is indeed “in a relationship.” You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? Not a bit. People write to me all the time with questions about the meaning and protocol of Facebook’s “In a Relationship” descriptor. And during the week, those same people hang onto their electronic device like it is a life-line to love. They reread the texts. They count the texts. They interpret the texts. They depend on a string of impulsive digital communications to determine how secure their relationship is!

Sadly, this isn’t compassionate love. It’s a crazy mind game. And it is not communication. It is a poor replacement for healthy communication.

I used the example of text because most people are oblivious to how dangerous a weapon it can be. With text’s brevity and it’s inability to gage the mood of the receiver, those 140 characters can be packed with a power to inflict great pain if taken the wrong way, and read at the wrong time. Of course, email has it’s on list of transgressions. A longer format and a safer place to express feelings, email is still void of eye contact, touch, body language, and voice tone. Could you imagine listening to a recording of your favorite band, with most of the instruments missing? That’s what email is to human communication.

With all that said, in the busy world of convenience and multi-taking, is there, in fact, a way to use technology to grow love verses extinguish it? Well, thank you for asking! Yes, there certainly is. Here’s Dr. Walsh’s list of Do’s and Don’ts for high Tech love:

Ten Rules for Using Technology to Grow Love:

1. Make sure phone calls outnumber emails. Emails are not a substitute for voice-to-voice communication. They are just a side dish.

2. Send texts regularly, every other day or so. If you are dating and growing a relationship, a short, brief text can help you stay in his or her mind. If you are married and/or living together a text every now and then can help keep love alive.

3. Don’t bombard them with texts! (or emails) That’s stalker behavior.

4. Only say positive things in a text. 140 characters is no room to criticize, complain, offer advice, or explain your complicated life. Stick to greeting card slogans: “Thinking of You” and “Wish Your Were Here.”

5. Use tech to schedule a more intimate phone call. This is what all boys and girls like to read in a text or email: “Missing You! What time can we chat?”

6. If you are on Facebook and see that your date or mate is also online, it is always polite to send a IM of hello. In the real world if you both turned up at the same party, you wouldn’t ignore them, right?

7. Tech is meant to be a two-way conversation. If anyone you care about sends you an email or a text, and you are swamped, you still must respond! Even the most busy of us can find a second to send at least a happy face. Keep the line of communication going and the next phone call will be a happy one.

8. Even if you have a good excuse, do not flirt with anyone on Facebook if your status reads “In a Relationship.” That’s a bonehead move.

9. Never Tweet or Facebook Post any information about your real-world relationships (Especially the one with your Ex!) To do so would be inviting a forum to enter your tender relationships. Intimacy must grow in privacy.

10. Never break up using technology. Period. If you were brave enough to enter the relationship with your voice (or any other body part) you can find the cojones to break up with grace and class. Use your words, people. And say it out loud.

For more watch my youtube:

Four Tech Mistakes Single Women Make

FOR SINGLES: Does Your iPhone Cause You Attachment Anxiety?

article-2363956-1AD2F66D000005DC-651_634x424Lynn stared at her iPhone. It had been exactly nineteen hours and eight minutes since her date’s last text. She scrolled back to check her math and his pattern. His text bursts were at least twice a day, sometimes three. Never a gap more than seven hours, unless he was sleeping. And he always pinged after each date to make sure she’d gotten in safely. But last night he broke his rhythm. No text. No text this morning either. It was nearly lunchtime already. She reran the date in her head. It was a third date so things were getting playful. Had she teased him too much? Did she say something that hurt him? Was he running away?

Intent on getting back into communication, she remembered a silly bet they’d made during the evening. She’d bet that his morning golf game would be rained out. He had taken an optimistic stance against the local TV’s botoxed, perma-tanned meteorologist, and bet the skies would be clear over the first green. That was it! Lynn jerked around to peer out her office window. A spectacular September sun washed across blue skies. Perfect. The bet was for one cupcake. After a quick call to a delivery company to sail a cupcake and cute note to his office she relaxed, knowing his call or text would come within the hour. He’d have to at least thank her, right? The dude has basic manners.

At six pm, her stomach felt absolutely sick. No word. She called the cupcake courier and confirmed that the little temptation had landed on his desk at 1:30 pm. Back to her iPhone and more calculations. Four and a half hours, three minutes, forty five seconds. Oh god, had she been a fool? Was she so offensive as a date that he defiled Emily Post? Now she had totally embarrassed herself by sending the cupcake.she felt her chest tighten and her breathing quicken. Her fingers fumbled on her phone. She pointedly tapped one sand colored gel nail on the top power button and had half a mind to shut down and go off radio, just to show him up. But she couldn’t bring herself to miss his next text. Then with a giant sigh, she composed a careful text to inquire if he had received her little gift. It was her olive branch really because, clearly, they were on the outs if hadn’t connected with her in 24 hours. Her stomach churned and she could feel hot tears trying to escape from behind her eyeballs. But she was determined to appear calm and get him to communicate….

I wish I could tell you what happened to Lynn’s date. But as a doctor of psychology who specializes in human attachment, I’m far more interested in Lynn’s reaction to this brief lapse in communication with a stranger she’d met only three times. Why such a degree of anxiety? Why the self blame? Why the urge to turn the chase around and begin pursuing him? Why the inability to contain herself or remind herself how lovable she is? In this tiny rupture, a talented business woman with an MBA had morphed into an infant with critical needs. This is what psychologists call an attachment injury. Or, more specifically, an opening of an old wound.

In the next few months, you’re going to hear me talk a lot about attachment style. I’m going to explain how our attachment behaviors can bring us security or emotional and even physical pain. But most important, you’re going to learn how attachment styles can be changed. How your mind can be trained for healthy love. Keep reading my blog to learn more.

FOR WOMEN: Virgins Don’t Make Sexy Click Throughs

teenage_girl_at_computerIf you’ve read the recent New York Times article “Sex on Campus. She Can Play That Game Too,” you might not know that the hook-up culture is mostly a myth, or that alcohol is responsible for date rapes masquerading as hook-ups, and you might have even missed this heart wrenching quote from a female co-ed who didn’t keep her virginity covenant in her sophomore year:

“It’s kind of like a spiral,” she said. “The girls adapt a little bit, because they stop expecting that they’re going to get a boyfriend — because if that’s all you’re trying to do, you’re going to be miserable. But at the same time, they want to, like, have contact with guys.” So they hook up and “try not to get attached.”

The reason you wouldn’t have known about the sound science that reports the negative health and emotional consequences to women of anonymous sex, isn’t because the New York Times didn’t print it. They certainly got the story right. But in a competition for online clicks, they buried the truth in the last few pages of a seven page article. If you are like most attention deficit click-through addicts, you probably didn’t get past page one. There you found prose that glorified hookups told through spicy anecdotes from one emotionally avoidant student who preferred to remain anonymous. She says she couldn’t even tolerate having coffee with the man she’s currently hooking up with, and preferred to focus on studies over relationships.

“Instead, she enjoyed casual sex on her terms — often late at night, after a few drinks, and never at her place, she noted, because then she would have to wash the sheets.”

It is journalism like this that contributes to the grossly exaggerated sexual narratives that mislead young men and women. A sexualized media hurts both genders because it forces each into a very narrow bandwidth of acceptable sexual behavior. Young people who believe the hookup culture is everywhere, (which is unlikely considering that 40% of college grads are virgins or have had only one sexual partner, according to sociologist Paula England’s Online College Social Life Survey) feel subtly pressured to conform to a myth that can hurt them. Monogamous men feel pressured to become players and, because of the sexual double standard, women are forced into a very narrow bandwidth of “have plenty of not too much sex.”

This is not feminine sexual freedom. According to the new book Challenging Casanova by Dr. Andrew P. Smiler, only about 3% of men are players, defined by those who have had three or more partners in the last year. Yet, when this is the primary model of male sexuality presented in the media, women are forced to practice “defensive sexuality,” that is saying yes or no to appease a man, instead of having sex based on her own needs and wants.

In my book The 30-Day Love Detox, my advice to practice slow love isn’t some old fashioned ploy to manipulate men. It’s a wake up call to women who have been unknowingly programmed for sexual behavior that their neither biology, nor the biology of men, is wired for. In our hunter/gatherer past, a sexual opportunity with a free-range hunter who didn’t smell like a woman’s brother was, indeed, a rare thing. And The New York Times is guilty of proliferating the messages that all sex is good sex and more sex leads to happiness. In truth, secure relationships contribute to happiness, even long-term love, where sex has been replaced by cherished companionship.

FOR SINGLES: The Facebook Factor in Love

quien-ve-mis-fotos-en-facebook-1If you saw the movie The Social Network, you know that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s big stroke of genius came when he decided to post users’ relationship statuses along with their pictures.

I wonder if he could have envisioned how much Facebook has influenced our love lives today.

That pesky “relationship status” has come to haunt as many philanders on the make as women hoping the man they are sleeping with will publicly declare them. And the question of when to let a new acquaintance into your online social landscape has given pause to those who wonder about social rules. Finally, Facebook postings have replaced girlfriend-to-girlfriend research when it comes to researching a new male conquest.

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