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Dating Expert Addresses – To IM or NOT To IM, That Is the Question….

Online dating sites are a subset of the Social Media/Social Networking sites.  They are specific subgroup of the Web 2.0 sites.  I know, I know.  My Silicon Valley Internet roots are showing.   I was an early adopter with some of the sites, and an early adopter for my age group at some others.  Well a lot of the sites keep adding features or changing the look and feel (aka GUI – Graphical User Interface) and focus.  So what might have been your favorite application and game to play at one site becomes nearly a hidden feature in 2 weeks time, much to your frustration.

The Millenials have been dealing all of this frankly since most of them were in Middle School.  But that also means that the very singles whom they are bonding and mating with right now quite often have seen extraordinarily personal details of their personal lives from over several years.  Additionally, the Millenials are a dating generation where often there are a lot of opposite sex friendships.  So putting up romantic boundaries to keep more of your personal life mysterious to a Prospective Date, well, it’s too late.  They been a secondary level friend for a couple of years and have seen your 8th grade graduation photo and your Junior Prom dress for a couple of years now.

And now you’re all out on Facebook.  You’re Friends.  And Facebook added, awhile ago now, an Instant Messenger Feature.  Whenever you are online, it immediately shows to all your FB Buddies that YOU are online.  There is no chance to duck or appear mysterious or busy.  It’s like broadcasting when you wipe your nose with a tissue.  Just the scrutiny is a BIT close.

What can you do?
To IM or NOT to IM, that is the question…..

IMing is fine when you sort of get caught being online.  Be brief.  “Gotta dash!” And get offline quickly.  You want to aim for actual dates in person to gauge chemistry and flirt and not do faux dates via Instant Messenger.

Additionally, there have been studies done that when singles start instant messenging each other that the IM exchange segues to cybersex within, mmm, nano-seconds.  Not to be a prude whatsoever, just, you now really cannot gauge how interested you are actually in this person when you are doing cyber sex via IM.

If you can skirt IM completely, all the better.  However, the Millenial generation texts like crazy and it is totally totally normal for them.  They meet and are exchanging facebook friends contact information and phone numbers so they can text each other just about as soon as they meet.

You still need to establish connecting communication which is best done, yes, in person, where you can flirt and banter and display open body language or closed body language and Pan for Gold with your Conversation Skills.

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell

Las Vegas Baby Boomer Dating Expert

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Keri Eagan October 12, 2009, 12:01 AM

    I’ve always been reluctant with IM. Feels a little invasive to me being so available. I used to hide my status but now I don’t go there anymore. Nothing has to be that instant in my world.

    Keri Eagan

  • Lynn Lane October 12, 2009, 1:35 AM


    “IMing is fine when you sort of get caught being online.” That is the only time I’ve used it. I agree that we can’t make that connection unless we are face to face.

    Lynn Lane The Warrior Of Success

  • Robert Martin October 12, 2009, 6:50 AM

    It gets annoying when you are trying to get something done and someone keeps IMing you. Hard to get away without coming across as rude.

    Robert Martin

  • Rob Northrup October 12, 2009, 7:15 AM

    I have never sent an IM. I use email, twitter and the phone. I am a hopeless dinosaur.


  • Martin October 12, 2009, 11:03 AM

    IMs are kinda fun, but they do mess up your productivity. Haven’t tried IM cybersex yet – that definitely sounds fun – sod productivity!!

  • Mister P October 12, 2009, 11:15 AM

    I don’t think IMing is that bad, but face to face is absolutely necessary.

    Bert (alter ego- Mister P)

  • Lisa October 12, 2009, 1:32 PM

    I’m a bit surprised at how fast it can lead to cyber-sex! But I can see it as well since the internet has a way of making everyone feel more anonymous and bolder.

    I personally LOVE IM and chat. I like how low commitment it is. Say hello, don’ say bye, start a convo, don’t reply –it’s all up to you. This is good for friends, but I agree, when it comes to dating not the best idea.


  • Martin O'Connor October 12, 2009, 3:57 PM

    What in the hell is IM and what was this post all about?

    Martin O’Connor


  • Jose Escalante October 12, 2009, 3:58 PM

    You make a great point April. Nothing can replace face to face contact

    Jose Escalante

  • Hezron October 12, 2009, 6:48 PM

    Just my humble opinion…IM-ing for dates is not cool…..comes across as cheesy. I have heard people cancelling dates using this method….again just my take.

  • Steve Chambers October 12, 2009, 7:52 PM

    As with all things related to dating this is a personal choice and entirely dependent on the situation. While IM can never replace face to face it is a tool for quick communication and can be effective in establishing a relationship.

    Steve Chambers, Sale Trainer Speaker

  • April Braswell October 12, 2009, 8:41 PM

    Hi Hezron,

    thanks for stopping by and commenting at my dating and relationship blog. Yup, there is a lot that is tacky which goes on via texting or IM these day which is just much better done and classier to do F2F. However, for the Millenials, GenY and GenXrs especially, Text and IM is De Rigeur and totally part of their lives. *Sigh* I just know to encourage people to connect and communicate more in person to be mature and to develop their relationship building skills.


  • Pam Schulz October 12, 2009, 9:42 PM

    I agree with Keri – Im’ing seems a little invasive to me – but then again I’m not a millenial and it’s not “normal operations” for me.


  • Katie October 13, 2009, 4:19 AM

    Yeah, IM dating is terrible. it sets up the wrong expectations and pseudo-intimacy. You feel like you know a person because you’ve seen so much of them, yet, you know nothing.

    It’s like thinking you know all about a movie star, but in reality, you know only what’s been reported – not all of which is even necessarily true.


  • John Ho October 13, 2009, 6:47 AM

    I still remember how the fax sped up communciations and add pressure to give “instant” response about 20 years ago.

    Then emails and now IM does the same trick again.

    Original a productivity tools often degenerate into a half monster.

    John Ho

  • Lisa McLellan October 14, 2009, 7:56 PM

    This is really valuable advice. It is so easy to go right from friendly chat into sex text on IM. I wonder if this is why it is so prevalent among the preteens and young teens. Anyway, great advice as usual.

    Lisa McLellan
    Child Care Expert,
    Babysitting Services, Babysitting Tips, Babysitters, Nannies

  • Kate McKeon October 15, 2009, 6:10 AM

    Absolutely no to IM and no to setting up dates by Text. If she’s not worth calling, don’t bother. Ladies if he can’t pick up the phone, he not interested.

    Even a very busy man can find 5 minutes to call if he’s interested. if he can’t he’s just not that excited to talk to you, keep moving.

    Mastery and Team Building, Kate McKeon

  • Darryl Pace October 15, 2009, 6:32 PM

    This is timely advice for dating in the digital age we’re in now.

    Health, Fitness for Working People — Darryl Pace

  • JJ Jalopy October 21, 2009, 2:47 PM

    That facebook instant message thing caught me off guard the other day!

    There’s nowhere to hide!

    I’m not a big fan of IM simply because I find it leads to distracted conversation. I’m kind of old-school in the fact that I expect the person I’m talking to to give me at least the *majority* of their attention…

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