How Well Do You Really Know Me?
I have found that the internet and all of our virtual communication has spawned a dangerous falsehood. All too often we are led to believe that we know someone far better than we actually do. This has become grossly apparent to me in dating. I am finding more and more often that even after just a couple of email exchanges and a phone call or two, when I am meeting a guy in person for the first time, he is about a hug and a kiss. As Charlie Brown might say, “Blech.” I don’t know you that well!
Last week this was hilariously horrifying. I met a gentleman (so I thought) for dinner (I don’t do drinks or coffee, if I don’t get enough of a feel for you by phone to invest a couple of hours over dinner, it isn’t worth it.) I walked into the restaurant and clearly extended my hand. He took it but instead of giving it a firm and friendly shake as I wanted and anticipated, I was mortified when he pulled me to him for a hug and a kiss. I couldn’t figure out a way to stop it without embarrassing us both a great deal so I simply extricated as quickly as I could. Being very careful to avoid any close contact the remainder of the night, including veritably bolting for my car at the close of the evening.
Now, lest you think I’m some sort of cold fish, far from it. In fact, inside a relationship (by the way, I am a serial monogamist) I am very affectionate. Heck at risk of ruining the professional illusion you have of me (oh and I know you do have that illusion) I’ve been known for the occasional grand display of PDA with someone I am truly and genuinely involved with. There now you know too much! LOL.
But honestly, here is the rub. The internet whether it is dating or business gives us all this false illusion that we “know” someone when in fact we don’t. Don’t make this mistake either professionally or personally. Each of us has personal boundaries (and if you don’t, you need to create some, it is healthy!) Until you learn what those are in someone else, don’t try to breach them, wittingly or unwittingly. It is better to err on the side of professional and friendly instead of personal and intimate when it isn’t warranted and may not be welcome.
On a level, I don’t even look at my first dates as dates. We’ve never met before except virtually. There is no basis for physical contact beyond a handshake. And, yes, I am old fashioned, and while I appreciate that it can be very confusing today for Mars and Venus, if in doubt, ask before you hug, (and unless you are truly “dating” skip the kissing all together.)
What have you found to be true of virtualships vs. real time relationships?
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