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POLL RESULTS: Rules of Engagement: (7 comments)

POLL: Rules of Engagement

Friday, January 08, 2010 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q:A reader writes... Q: A regular reader has submitted some of his New Year dating resolutions for 2010 to help would-be lovers understand more quickly when someone's just not that into you. He had some decent-enough suggestions such as: If it takes more than two hours for someone to return a text, they are not interested. With e-mails, he suggested that if it takes days to get a return e-mail, that's another sign that someone isn't interested in pursuing dating relationship. Some of his other suggestions are: If there is no hand holding on a date, chances are there is no interest. If a good night kiss is not on the lips, forget it. You're a friend. Accept it and move on. If they say they can only meet early and for an hour, then you're not worth it to them. If they ever say, "We can do this as friends," bail quick, you're getting nothing but frustrated. Remember the phrase, "they are letting you know." Because if you see or feel any of these things, be aware, unless you want to be just a friend.



POLL: Do you agree?
 
32% (267) Yes!
 
14% (120) No!
 
52% (427) Um... a couple of those are right...
814 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Azerik
Lover

Posts: 35

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 08, 2010 - 02:08 AM (#50794)

I cant attest to the usefulness of any of these, but I will take issue with the email and text. I equate text messaging with an Instant Message on the computer, and it can easily take me more than two hours to respond to a message and I don't even have a "real" job.

A phone call demands instant answer, you are talking to them live. A text is similar to leaving someone a note. The response can be instant if someone gets it right away. Their phone could be in their purse/coat/briefcase. Their pocket could have turned the volume to zero (up one setting from vibrate, my wife does this all the time). They could be in a meeting. They could have left their phone at their desk or forgotten it at home.

Email is also easily lost or put off. I sit down at my desk in the morning and open my email. There is a note from a woman I am interested in. I open it up, but want to take some time to think of a good reply. I'm really interested and I don't want to blow it. Besides, if my boss walks in while I'm replying to a personal email I'm gonna get chewed out again and after that thing last week...

Lunch time rolls around and I can reply, but the boss just reminded me that my TPS reports are due before end of the day. I'll email her back later. Time passes, TPS reports devour my soul, spam builds up, the email is lost. A week later when I am cleaning out all the important letters from Nigerian oil companies I find it and dash off a reply.

Am I interested in her still? Certainly. Did I mean to ignore her for a week? No way.

This is the essential fallacy of rules like this. There is always a situation that is perfectly innocent that can come up and spoil them totally. Life is pretty stubborn about not fitting within neat rules.

Rules like this might be a good guideline, but if you want to follow any of them you have to be prepared to be flexible and not count someone out totally simply because they got busy and couldn't find a quiet minute to compose a thoughtful reply.

Communication is the key. Don't rely on one form, especially not a faceless one like email or a text.


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DanialArin
Lover

Posts: 92

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 08, 2010 - 08:55 AM (#50798)

I'm not a fan of cell phone text messaging myself. Depending on the person's phone, it's clumsy and awkward to write them. And depending on the person's phone plan, it can be bloody expensive. I don't have a "texting plan", and AT&T hits me for $.25 every time I send or receive one, even though I have no control over the receiving part. I consider them useful in two cases: (1) if you're somewhere where you can't talk (or where cell reception is good enough for data but not enough for voice); and (2) if you *have* to deal with someone who's a big fan of texting but won't actually *talk* on the phone. On the other hand, on most phones they're hard to erase accidentally. Personally, I've been known to reply to incoming text messages by just calling back.

Even more so than e-mails, IM's can get lost. Hit the escape key one time too many on something, and you've lost the entire conversation, including any indication that it ever existed, permanently. The upshot, though, is that once you have a back-and-forth going, you can take your time in replies if you need to. Helps a lot in the office when dealing with people in either your or their second language, and lets you refer back to earlier parts of the conversation at will.

E-mails can get buried in an inbox, especially if the recipient needs time to formulate a reply. E-mails which contain a phone number, however, can potentially be responded to much more quickly; less time required to formulate the complete response. They may also indicate an escalation of interest... an upgrade from plain text to verbal. If you've gotten an e-mail from someone you're interested in as a follow up, and you don't have time to properly formulate a reply, especially to a detailed and lengthy message, you do have the option of sending a quick response like, "I'm looking at a crazy day at work, but if you're free after ..., I'd love to talk." and add in your cell phone number or something, or suggest meeting somewhere... Basically keep the reply e-mail small and center it around an invitation to a more direct conversation method.

Voicemail messages get lost or forgotten, completely accidentally, more than anything else. There's often no indication that you've put one aside; and in a crazy day it gets forgotten. Also some people I know have had problems where a voicemail may not appear in their cell phone inbox by as long as three MONTHS. I can't say for sure what proper protocol is for following up on an unreturned message, but a retry after two days seems reasonable to me unless there's something time-sensitive... in which case, use your best judgment on how quick to retry, and don't overdo it.


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Mutt
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Aug 2008
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 08, 2010 - 09:06 AM (#50800)

Like Azerik, I have to agree that email and text are more like notes and less like instant communication and should be treated as such. My boyfriend lets his phone run out on a regular bases, especially while he's out doing chores and won't notice until the next day.

Levels of physical touches can vary, even for me this long into my relationship. Sometimes skin is too sensitive for constant touching or I'm trying to avoid passing my cold on by kissing (which seems to be the 100% cold-passer in my experience).

Sometimes we can only meet up for a short period at an awkward time because both our schedules look like they've had chickenpox and acne siamotainously. But we'll still try to grab some cocoa or something.

I hate it when rules try to oversimplify people. Everyone reacts differently, and even the same person reacts differently time-to-time. Bailing quick is only going to make you look like someone who only wants instant results. Some people need more time than others. Some need more space than others. Some don't want you texting them every quarter of an hour.


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Caffeine
Lover

Posts: 46

Registered:
Feb 2009
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 08, 2010 - 11:16 AM (#50802)

Concerning this textmessaging/email thing, go to

http://emailsfromcrazypeople.com/2009/08/11/backpa cking-through-europe-is-treacherous/

and learn. (It's hilarious. It really is.)


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Wbird
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
Dec 2009
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Friday, January 08, 2010 - 12:54 PM (#50804)

I have to agree about all the comments about text/email. People do not always have their phone around them or have access to a computer. I also find that these communication methods are also poor indicators of interest because the replies give prepared answers. Someone can give the reply a great deal of thought then return the message. With person to person not only is it instant but you can also read other signs from the person. But you can also see if they hesitate before they answer.
The other indicators I believe to not be that good either. All people are different and interact differently so one indicator could just be how they act in a relationship.
An recent example for me is someone who I went out with who really liked me and wanted the relationship to develop quickly. I preferred to take things slower so she decided I was uninterested because I did not respond in the way that she decided all guys do.


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NunyaBidness
Lover

Posts: 83

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 07:17 PM (#50821)

I don't text, and don't respond to texts, ever. If it doesn't offer a way to return a call by voice, it's in the trash and done. I utterly refuse to sit there thumbing buttons 2 cre8 a msg no 1 cn red nls thr a ttl duch.

Whoever came up with the stupid concept should be raped to death by rabid yaks.

Oh, and that person texting in front of me at the concert? What's txtspk for "The guy behind me is about to brain me with a blackjack"?


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Mutt
Lover

Posts: 12

Registered:
Aug 2008
Re: Rules of Engagement (Score: 1)
posted Monday, January 11, 2010 - 12:28 PM (#50841)

Another thing I remembered, more to do with mobile tech.

There are some studies on how relationships are being changed because of cell phones. Primarily the idea that you theoretically cannot be NOT reached at any given time (hence, issues with things like the back-packing story).
This has a good and bad side. It's been reported to make relationships between lovers harder, especially where someone expects an instant response and gets upset when it doesn't appear. On the other side, it has been reported to make life for families easier because kids can check in and adjust their plans on the fly.

Wish I could find the link, it was an NPR story a long while back. There's always the video "Everything is amazing and nobody's happy".

@ NunyaBidness On the subject of cellphone dependency, I recently earned my Bachelors, and AT the ceremony, people were texting and talking on their phones. This wouldn't have bothered me much, except that it was my classmates, who were IN the ceremony doing so. And for the most part, they were talking to the people sitting in the stands talking about how bored they were while the PhD students were receiving their degrees.


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