By Michelle Y. Talbert, Esq.
OK, OK, before you click away thinking that this is a post suggesting that you swing or cheat, take heed. In addition to meeting people who you may not otherwise encounter, online dating is a great way to get to know someone and connect based on shared interests and attraction or, as I will discuss below, RE-connect with someone; like that spouse who you don’t get to spend intimate time with now that life has gotten in the way.
Social Media Can Be Sexy
Fear not, social media and smart phone to the rescue! When discussing the benefits and pitfalls of online dating with our audience, we always advise meeting sooner rather than later. Why? Not just because of catfishing with regard to looks, but honestly it’s because words matter and impact us deeply. And ‘emotional catfishing’ is worse, in my opinion, than your date having a few more pounds or being a few inches shorter than she or he let on. While physical touch is a key component in healthy romantic attachment, so too are kinds words and acts of kindness (regardless of your dominant love language).
In our busy lives we often are like ships that pass in the night with our spouses and significant others. Also, many African Americans are in the military and stationed for extended periods of time away from home or travel extensively for work, or just work long hours. Written words and pictures (although beware of the Cloud) can be used in ways to make people feel as connected as if they were touching one another daily.
Four EASY Tips to Release Some Oxytocin
The following are four simple tips taken straight from the best practices of online dating to jus up your marriage and extend or recreate the honeymoon period and let the love chemical oxytocin flow freely:
- Mind your business – There is nothing better than knowing that someone is thinking about you; that you’re top of mind for them. Grand gestures like flowers sent to the office or brought home are wonderful, but a simple text or two to say, ‘thinking of you,’ ‘can’t wait to see/hold/touch/kiss you,’ or ‘last night was BOMB.com!’ throughout the day goes a long way and will bring a smile to the recipient’s face.
- Use what you got – Skype, Tango, FaceTime and other video call products are awesome tools for connecting and actually seeing your beloved’s face. I won’t suggest what you can do for one another with such visual technology, I’ll let you use your own judgment and imagination for that!
- Meme it – We always tell ladies especially to beware the ‘electronic roses’ sent by prospective suitors met online prior to the initial face to face. However, when you’re married or already committed to one another, you’d be surprised how lovely it can be to receive a loving meme or meme that expresses how you’re feeling after an argument. Let’s face it, we communicate in ‘meme’ these days, so it won’t even require a Google search to come across something suitable—although extra points for Googling something special to send or creating your own!
- You’re just a phone call away – Believe it or not our phones actually do still make phone calls! Gasp. In between meetings or as you’re running to catch that flight, take a minute to dial up your hunny bunny, ‘just to hear his voice.’ Even if you get voicemail, leave a quick message. Often we only call each other to relay information, ‘don’t forget to pick up the kids from practice,’ or ‘I’m working late tonight.’ How cool is it to get a call from someone you love just because she’s thinking of you?
Often we forget the art of dating in our marriage because, let’s face it, dating can be grueling and time consuming, but so can discord and divorce. Love is not passive, it is an active emotion, a powerful force, and requires work and thoughtfulness to flourish. Try one or two of the above ideas, which are low hanging fruit in terms of energy expended, and watch what happens next.
Your turn. I’d love to hear ways that any of the above tips have worked for you and if you have tips to add please drop me an email or put them in the comments below. Here’s to your marriage!
Michelle Y. Talbert, Esq. is a DC-based, NY-bred relationship strategist and social media content producer. She produces and co-hosts the popular weekly podcast “They Met Online…,” in addition to writing about successful relationship strategies in business and in love. She’s a passionate non-techie startup founder and was a member of the 2014 Lean Startup DC contest winning team. Michelle is in love with love and believes that when our home life is in balance and happy we can face all that the world throws our way. Connect with her on Twitter @BlackLoveRules and LinkedIn.