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Just pick up the phone!

It wasn't the conversation content that shocked me, it was the fact he called. Out of the blue. For a chat! Of course it was my mobile - I'd have to be practically engaged to a guy before I'd give him my home number, but still!

I did what any sane women would - I got him off the phone fast, and didn't pick up the next time he called. However, worse was yet to come.

In February this year, I dated a guy who not only didn't have a facebook page, but also hated skype, only used email for work and turned his cell phone off at the weekend.

What was I to do? I couldn't text him on a whim - and he certainly wasn't flirting with me by text! While he did email me during Monday to Friday, if I sent him a witty repartee at five ish, I didn't hear back until he checked his email in the morning. What was this? The ICE AGE???

To my surprise, once I got over the shock, I found I loved it. For a start since he didn't want any part of online life, I could mention him on facebook all I wanted. I had somewhere to splurge my happiness!

I also found I was getting real interaction with a guy for the first time in a long time. Instead of electronic communication, this one went for phone calls, dates and face to face talking - and I loved it. It was so retro cool that it worked. I even gave him my home number after the second date. And I picked up when he rang (though I admit I still screened some of my calls with my beloved caller id).

While the relationship didn't last, the love of real communication did. I'm still a social media queen. I spend hours on twitter, facebook and I am a compulsive email checker. My phone is with me everywhere and I'm likely to have a panic attack if it falls to the base of my handbag. But if I like a guy, and want to date him, when he makes an effort to communicate without a pile of electronic communication it really counts with me.

It feels good to connect with a real voice, to see a real face. It especially feels good to miss someone a little because you aren't in constant contact, then have that lovely leap of pleasure when you final see them again. Always being on tap doesn't always create a strong sense of desire (unless of course there is some heavy duty flirting going on with that texting)

Of course in the initial stages talking by text, email, and facebook is how most of us start. And there are important guidelines.
If you're internet dating, talk on the dating site as long as possible. It's the safest place. Before giving them facebook access a phone call is wise (to check they are the gender they say they are) I personally prefer to meet someone in real life before they get my email and other details.

With new interests on facebook start by commenting on their status, then commenting direct on their wall, then private messaging, than finally facebook chat. Going right too facebook chat may come across as too pushy.

Once you are emailing a lot through facebook, try to get them off that and onto your email account. People with something (or someone) to hide prefer facebook mail/chat and twitter direct messages as it's more removed from their "real" life.

Hooked on texting? That's fine. But it's not real, it intensifies feelings even if you wouldn't have them face to face, and they might not really be available. Lot's of people multitext potentials while dating someone else. If they like talking on the phone they are INTERESTED.

Girls, if you're always the one initiating the conversations he might not be that interested. Pull back and don't text, tweet or comment for a bit. If he re-initiates he's thinking about you. If he doesn't then he's just not that interested.

Real life rules over electronic. If you want to move it into real life and they aren't coming to the party, then pull back, don't answer them and see what happens. The interested ones will up the communication and tend to phone, whereas the ones only flirting for fun will generally back off and stop. (this fits for both sexes)

Social media such as facebook and skype, gmail chat and msn is great for instigating playful fun. But as soon as you like someone and you hope they like you, then make it clear you expect that old fashioned phone call. I now tell men if they want to ask me out somewhere because they like me, they have to phone and ask. If they text I assume they just want to be flirty mates. Who needs screeds of those?

Men need to stop using your emails and texts as a security blanket and talk to us voice to voice, face to face and actually relate to us. Who knows, they might actually discover they like it.

By Rachel Goodchild

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