When you meet someone when you’re out and about or in a bar, you use all your senses to determine whether someone has partner potential. On the internet, you start a conversation without seeing each other. So, should you stick to the computer keyboard or should you ask for a phone number?
Parship Singles Coach Marcus Ernst sees advantages in the fact that online dating limits the senses you can use. “In the normal course of life, people tend to be heavily reliant on visual cues,“ he says. On the internet it all starts with the written word, so superficial visual factors that could limit your possibilities don’t come into play.” If you are writing to each other, you rapidly get down to the essentials about a serious relationship: What values do we share? What do I expect from life? What am I looking for in a partner?
What’s in a word?
When email is the medium, even people who tend to take two hours to think of a witty verbal riposte - or who are initially a little reserved - are in with a chance. They can show potential partners what they are about and also have an opportunity to discover new sides to themselves. That can also be an advantage for people at the other end of the scale. Not every party animal is a natural for the dating game, while ‘still waters’ can turn out to be what you are looking for in your life.
Giving it a voice
Once you get on the phone, new factors come into play, representing an important step from the virtual world into the real word. Marcus Ernst, who is both a psychologist and a psychotherapist, points out one of the advantages of verbal communication: “On the phone, one is able to react directly to what the other person has said. Things can be explained immediately, before the other person starts to get the wrong idea about anything.
Don’t miss any chances
Not everyone likes using the phone, especially with someone they haven’t even met yet. This can make phone calls sticky, so you shouldn’t draw too many conclusions from the tone of the other person’s voice or the way the conversation went, advises Marcus Ernst, who as a Parship Singles Coach has lots of experience of talking to relative strangers on the phone. “When I’m sitting facing somebody in person, their voice can seem quite different. If everything else seems to be stacking up nicely, then you should be open to the idea of keeping up the contact,” he suggests. A person’s voice and the way they write are just parts of the whole.
Words help lead the way to love
Whether you’ve read something interesting in an email or just enjoyed a sparky conversation on the phone, your contact with your unseen recommended partner is likely to get your imagination going. Details of his or her life, a friendly voice or a photo with an air of mystery are often enough for us to start forming a picture of Mr or Ms Right in our mind. This can be dangerous - so try not to read too much between the lines. Weeks of emailing and hours on the phone are not going to tell you whether love really is on the cards. The proverbial chemistry can only be tested if you meet each other in person, but words have a vital role to play in getting you there.