#2: Respond Too Quickly
On the other hand, there’s something to be said for allowing a little bit of mystery to creep into the proceedings. More adages, articles and pop songs than we can count make the analogy of love being a ‘game.’ Well, there is some truth to that when it comes to relationships in general and online love affairs in particular.
Whether it’s chess, poker, or—as this is an article dealing with the online world—the enormously popular Facebook-i-fied version of Scrabble, Words With Friends, a winning strategy almost always involves some mixture of leading the other player on (ie, bluffing) while keeping your actual feelings and strategy a secret.
If that sounds somewhat similar to dating, you’re not far off, and responding too quickly can make you seem anything from desperate to clingy to downright controlling and demanding. That applies not just to online relationships, but to relationships in general.
It’s an even greater issue in the case of the former, however, for a few reasons, not the least of which is the oh-so-nightmarish online awkward pause. You know the moment—that moment when they answer, you answer back immediately, and then you wait…and wait…and wait…and (as described above) you start to wonder, have you screwed this up…or bored them…or tired them out…
And while it’s a harsh truth to face, the fact is, you might very well be doing so. To be fair, your intentions are probably good. You don’t want to blow your partner off, so you’re going to remind them of just how close the two of you are…
Every. Five. Minutes.
That not only gets old in a hurry, but it diminishes the power a message can reap delayed just slightly. What’s the old performer’s adage? ‘Always leave them wanting more.’ Imagine yourself as a performer, and your lover your audience.
Start the show five hours late, or blow them off completely, and you’ll find your career’s as short-lived as Chris Tucker’s post-Rush Hour series career.
Repeat the same show over and over and over, nagging guests every step of the way as they enter and exit, and you might well find yourself on the business end of a ‘Bye Felicia!’ yourself (to again reference the oeuvre of that American treasure, Chris Tucker.)