So you’ve just met someone online and you’re hopeful. Great! But be warned – you best get up to speed with today’s technologically-guided dating etiquette or you and your prospective suitor might just stumble over an unfortunate but common ‘communication via text’ starting block. According to a recent survey, the dating world is now awash with new communication do’s and don’ts.
The survey of over 820 singles, conducted by Australia’s largest online dating site – RSVP, shows that if you are under 40 years old, in the early stages of dating and upset because ‘he’ or ‘she’ didn’t call you, you need not fret.
Most 18-to-40 year olds prefer to text than call. So it’s not just you that she hasn’t called – she probably hasn’t called a prospective partner on the phone in the last few years.
On the flipside, those aged over 41 years say they prefer to pick up the phone and call.
While these modern day statistics are all well and good for those matched partners who fall in the same ‘preferred communication’ dating box, there may be issues for a pair if they don’t.
In the 18–30 year old group, 55 per cent text but 32 per cent want to communicate on the phone. And then there’s the six per cent who don’t want to adhere to either method of contact because they much prefer to chat via Facebook.
Around 46 per cent of those aged 31-to-40 will make contact with a text, 34 per cent want to hear their prospective partner’s voice over the phone, and 19 per cent want to read their words in an email.
The 41-to-50 year cohort contains 54 per cent who would like a call, 23 per cent who want to talk over email and 20 per cent who will only be satisfied with a text.
For 51-to 60 year olds, 61 per cent call, 24 per cent email, 11 per cent text; and of those aged 61+, 62 per cent call, 35 per cent email and only one per cent text.
Relationship expert for RSVP and psychologist, John Aiken, says technology is changing the way that Australians initiate and manage relationships.
“There are a number of factors that influence our dating etiquette in 2012,” comments Aiken.
“Younger Australians have grown up with technology and more relaxed social conventions and these are just some of the reasons they are more likely to text.
“Text messaging is also less a confronting option for some people – there is no threat of awkward silences or nerves getting in the way.”
“The very nature of dating online means you are introduced to new people who, if there is a positive connection and mutual interest, you meet in the real world.
“Online dating helps people have more face-to-face encounters and expand their social circle. It may sound straightforward but dating increases real time spent with others and is one important way for single people to feel connected in today’s society.”
RSVP estimates that more than 450,000 people it’s dating site every month and every day, around 1,000 to 1,200 people sign up, while only 40 people take their profiles down (for various reasons).
Of those surveyed:
- 63 per cent use social media every day
- 60 per cent think social media and technology has made it easier to manage personal relationships
Social media, technology and online dating are enabling more introductions to new people.
- 58 per cent think these tools have made it easier to meet new friends.
- 62 per cent think it is easier to meet new romantic partners.
Respondents to the survey confirmed that although it might lead to more cyber-meetings, social media does not lead to more face-to-face encounters.
- 79 per cent of people said their use of Facebook has not lead to more face-to-face meetings than they would otherwise have.
- Yet 69 per cent indicated that online dating, specifically, has lead to more face-to-face meetings than they would otherwise have.
The most common reason indicated for using online dating was:
-Not meeting new people via traditional avenues such as through friends, cited by 41 per cent of respondents: 47 per cent female and 35 per cent male.
When newly dating, the preferred method of contacting the object of one’s affection greatly depends on your age.
-For 18-to-40 year olds, text messaging is the preferred contact method
-Those aged over 41 years said they prefer to pick up the phone and call.
Top three most popular methods of contact in the early stages of dating, per age group:
-18–30 years: 55 per cent text, 32 per cent call, six per cent Facebook
- 31–40 years: 46 per cent text, 34 per cent call, 19 per cent email
- 41–50 years: 54 per cent call, 23 per cent email, 20 per cent text
- 51–60 years: 61 per cent call, 24 per cent email, 11 per cent text
- 61+ years: 62 per cent call, 35 per cent email, one per cent text
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