Getting your message through to your online partner

Whether you like it or not, communication is vital unless you want to lock yourself away in a lighthouse on your own for the rest of your life. My guess is, as you’re reading an article on a dating site, that’s not the case.

Each and every day, you’re involved in levels of communication that can take on very different characteristics. Before you leave for work, you could be dropping your child off at daycare, kissing a loved one goodbye or trying to get one of your teenage offspring to brush their hair or, even worse, put a coat on.

When you get to work, likewise. You could be embroiled in an argument with your logistics manager, have to smarm to a boss you’re not so impressed by or even watch your p’s and q’s if you’re summoned by the MD.

However different all of these confrontations or pleasantries may seem, they all have a similarity that is uncommon with any conversation you may have later with someone on your dating site: in each and every instance, the person with whom you’re holding that tête-à-tête knows you.

The art of communicating love over the miles of cyberspace on your chosen dating platform requires a different angle altogether, purely down to the fact that you’re trying to attract someone (or drop them like a housebrick) who hasn’t got the advantage of being able to read your body language, which, according to many experts, can count for up to as much as 90% of any given signal that you’re sending out.

Although you may not realise it, your bosses, children and even parents are constantly analysing the mood you’re in before approaching you, assessing the situation based on your pre-existing relationship and then adapting their tone, accordingly. Don’t believe me? Ask them. Or better still, when next you’re opening a conversation with someone you know, see how much time you spend appraising them before you commit to your opening line and how much their demeanour affects your tone, even affects what you actually say.

Take that onto your dating site when you’re sending private messages or e-mails, look at what you’ve written – even better, think about it before you write anything – and read your text and how it will be interpretted by the recipient who’s not got the advantage of being able to translate your body language before they open the correspondence. Does it say what you mean? Worth thinking about, no?