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The Dating Report

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Hi, I'm Louanne Ward.
With 25 years of experience as a dating expert and matchmaker I'll share the latest tips, trends, truths and myths so you can master modern dating and relationships in the digital age.

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The Modern Love Story: Singles and Emojis

Advice, Articles, relationships March 22, 2021

1. Technology changes dating

It can be defined by: 😊👀😘

A flirty smile, side-eyes, a ‘kissy’ face. 

The new wave of dating is one where little icons can replace much of our face-to-face communication. Emojis reduce our facial expressions and feelings down to a small picture on a screen and can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to online dating. 

From ‘over texting’ to radio silence, modern love and courting have come a long way from corded phones and pick up lines in a bar. But has it changed things for the better or worse?

Indeed, technology can enhance so much of our lives; bringing us together and uniting us with strangers across the world. Yet at the same time, it can tear us apart, reduce our interpersonal skills, and fracture relationships. 

In the days of modern dating, often all it takes is one wrongly received text message or emoji to bring it all tumbling down. 

So let’s explore the role of communication, texting and emojis in modern dating, and why all three have the power to both enhance and challenge a blossoming relationship. 

 

2. What you don’t say matters

Communication in every relationship, not just romantic, is important. In fact, it’s the most crucial aspect of human interaction. From airing grievances to affirming with a compliment, the ability to engage, connect and interact with others effectively remains a highly desirable interpersonal trait.

Yet we often forget this simple fact. And perhaps even more so, we forget communication is more than what we say. It’s in the way we move, the gestures we use, the facial expressions we make, and the tone we convey. 

All of these communicative tools make face-to-face interactions an immersive, multi-sensory experience. In fact, there’s a science-based model to prove it.  Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 communication model states just seven percent of communication comes down to what we say, 38% lies in our tone and voice, and 55% in our body language. 

Texting takes away 93% of that, making our interactions one-sided, one-dimensional, and reduced to letters on a screen. It closes the door to emotion and opens it to miscommunication. 

 

 

3. Why dating apps aren’t working?

Even the best dating apps won’t work if your dating style, personality and communication don’t stand out. If you’re looking for a reason dating apps have lost their shine, these stats might shed a little light. With the convenience of communication and contacts in our hands, 75% of millennials now say they’d rather text than talk in person. Even further, they avoid talking on the phone, with 68% saying they’d prefer to text than call any day. 

Given we just established how vital communication is, it’s no wonder texting is one of the reasons singles struggle to move beyond the apps and into a real-world relationship. Texting and the masked vulnerability this brings hinders their ability to form a real connection and often spells disaster for dating, romance, and relationships. 

Think you’re immune? Why not think back to a time in a previous or your current relationship where you’ve argued over a misunderstood text. You’ll find these conflicts arise so much more frequently and intensely over text given over 90% of our communicative ability is removed. 

This is the primary reason dating apps aren’t cutting it when it comes to making love blossom beyond the screen. Couple this with endless choice, convenience, and lack of social etiquette that leaves us ghosting the minute things get awkward, those crucial communication skills are well and truly gone. 

And relying on those emojis to salvage things may not cut it. Let’s talk about them.

 

4. The secret power of emojis

The emoji represents one of the most significant advancements in human communication and it’s now the fastest growing language in history

With its first iteration hailing back to the ‘90s, the emoji was an attempt to restore expression and emotion into the online communication we rely so heavily upon. Decades on and they’ve been wholeheartedly embraced, with a real-time counter proving just how much they’ve become part of our digital day-to-day. Dr. Owen Church even discovered we react to emojis the same way we react to a real face. This makes them vital to communication when much is left to the imagination beyond words on a screen. Emojis are a positive, powerful addition to our online interactions, and can help replicate that personal, face-to-face connection we all crave.

 

5. The positives and negatives of text messages

The frustrating cycle of modern dating is the reliance on technology to do the heavy lifting.  A common problem with emojis is they have become a replacement for in-person communication, rather than an enhancement or occasional alternative. We now live our lives and relationships online, even forming them completely online with people across the world. Emojis were introduced to restore social rapport and support our communication, but they become particularly problematic when left out completely, overdone, misunderstood, sent without any supporting words or used in an overtly sexual manner. One wrong or overused emoji can impact our mood, perception of somebody, and how we respond!

But it’s not all bad, for all the potential negatives of misunderstood emojis and how they impact the dating world, we cannot underestimate their usefulness in filling the void left behind by lack of facial expressions, tone of voice and humor. Particularly considering the evidence an emoji can increase your chances of potential matches on Tinder, dating Apps and online dating sites. They could be the secret ingredient to landing a first date with the person of your dreams. 

It means communication has changed forever, and moving with the times to sharpen those digital communication skills will be the secret to restoring our faith in dating apps. 

Daters have been left clueless to what they’re doing wrong or how to replace the voids technology and covid have taken away.

 

 

5  tips to dating success in a text message

Use emojis to your advantage on dating apps or online dating sites, and secure that first, second and third date, here are my 5 of my best tips:

 

  • Learn what each emoji means

… and in different contexts! You don’t want to be caught out using this one: 🍆 at the wrong moment. 

 

  • Don’t overuse or underuse

Be selective about when you incorporate an emoji into your message. A good rule of thumb is no more than one per text or paragraph. 

 

  • Focus on the common facial expressions (at first)

A cheeky smile or playful laughing emoji is light-hearted and helps convey a positive tone. Don’t pull out those sexual emojis too soon!

 

  • Gauge the other person’s usage and mirror this

If you can’t mirror in-person body language, at least focus on mirroring their texting behaviours. Following this can establish similarity. 

 

Learn from the mistakes of others and benefit from the scientic evidence and research. Like them or not emojis are proven to improve communication. 

 

 

Emojis have immense power in the online dating space. 

They can enrich our communication experience and help us form bonds quicker, yet can simultaneously bring even the strongest relationships down with the slip of a misinterpreted ‘smile’ icon. But the bright side is with just a little quick wit and selective use, anyone can master using the emoji to drive connection and navigate a digital-first dating world 💖

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