4 EASY Steps on How to Survive Online Relationships

Chatting online in car

We live in an era where our phones and computers have become some of our main tools for communication. Private messages, texts and emails are often what we use to communicate our intentions, emotions and expectations and are how we converse with our partners in general. While this advancement in technology allows continuous dialogue and a feeling of constant connection to your loved one, it can also cultivate an environment of misunderstanding in online relationships. Being sure that you are saying things in a way that your partner will not misinterpret is imperative to the success of your relationship.

4 Easy Steps on How to Survive Online Relationships:

1. Proofreading

online relationships on phone

One of the perks of utilizing technology as a means of communication in online relationships is that you have the time to really think about what you are going to say. You have the time to choose your words carefully and say precisely what you want to say to her. Part of that careful communication should include quickly proofreading your messages before you press the “send” button. The addition or subtraction of even one letter can change the entire meaning of the message. This can be off-putting and can potentially lead to confrontation, especially in the early stages of romantic relationships. When you are typing out your thoughts, however simple, make sure that device isn’t automatically correcting what you’re saying to something else or confusing your message.

2. Use of Emoticons and Abbreviations

online relationships with emoticons

Emoticons and abbreviations are helpful when trying to communicate a mood or emotion. These helpful additions to textual conversation can let your partner know when you are being playful or affectionate. However, overusing and misusing them can make it easy for your message to be interpreted differently than you meant it to be. Putting a winky face or “lol” at the end of every message is confusing to the person receiving the message. She has no idea if you are serious or if she is supposed to respond humorously. These misconstrued messages may make her anxious to respond and cause the conversation to lag. Miscommunications can lead to disputes and unnecessary arguments. If your message is comedic, then tack on an “lol,” but if the message is more serious or informational, you should probably leave it off.

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3. The Tone of Text

A mistake in tone happens in verbal conversations all the time. It is even more likely to happen when using written messages because the person receiving the message can’t hear if certain words are being emphasized or see facial expressions. Be sure the intention and tone of your message is crystal clear. There are a lot of things that cannot be communicated electronically unless they are spelled out. Sarcasm is one of the many tones that is commonly misunderstood when using technological communication. When you say something sarcastically, the person receiving the message has every reason to believe that you are being serious. A simple sentence can be completely misread just because the reader put the inflection in a different place than the sender. Communicate any emotions or humor behind your words. Your partner is not a mind-reader. It is your responsibility to correspond with her in a way that makes your point and your tone easily understood.

4. Remember to Talk

It is easy to primarily rely on technology as a means of communicating with your partner. Especially if you live in different cities or have conflicting schedules. Emailing, messaging and texting have become a social norm in romantic relationships and a part of our daily lives. There are a number of reasons these communication tools are helpful, specially in online relationships. Just remember that despite all the time spent using computers and phones to connect to your partner, you are in a relationship with an actual person. Make time to talk to her face-to-face. If you have something important to say to her, maybe you should save it so that she can look in your eyes and hear your voice when you say it to her. If seeing her in person isn’t a possibility due to distance, at least call her so she can hear you laugh or detect the seriousness in your voice. You can even use internet video chats to talk over long distances. It’s not that technological communication isn’t important or useful, but it doesn’t take the place of actual human connection.

Technology has afforded us constant access to the people that we love and care about. Distance and schedules have never been so easily addressed as they are now. Sending a “good morning” text, a thoughtful email or a flirtatious message through social media or online dating sites make it easy to say exactly what you want without having to be put on the spot. Just make sure that when communicating, your real message gets through.