How to Keep Momentum with Someone You’re Talking to Long-Distance
Maybe you went into the quarantine with a love interest already who is now “long-distance.”
Or maybe you just met someone online during isolation.
Either way, my guess is you want it to actually go somewhere and not fizzle out during this time while you can’t see each other.
So how do you keep the momentum going? Today’s brand spanking new video (woohoo) shows you exactly that, with something blindingly obvious that 99% of people are not using to their advantage.
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Dating today is making people invisible. People meet online or through an app. They exchange messages through an app. They then graduate to exchanging phone numbers. They begin texting and most people never graduate from that point. And if you think about it, all of these exchanges are all happening on the screen, through texts. This is making people invisible because it’s really hard to compete with everybody else when everyone’s doing the same thing. How do you stand out in a world like that?
I think there is a resource that is so underutilized it is ridiculous that would enable you to stand out, to truly make a connection, and to make yourself much harder to ignore: The voice note.
Imagine that someone sends you a message that says, “How are you?” and you write back, “I’m good. I just left the movies with my friends. What are you up to?” That’s fine. That’s the kind of message that most people send. It’s not that funny, entertaining. It doesn’t matter even if it was, because, at the end of the day, it’s still just a text message. Someone doesn’t really feel like they’re getting to know us. They’re getting to know the text version of us.
But if someone sent us a message that said, “How are you?” and instead of sending a text message, you literally picked up the phone, hit the voice note button, and said, “Hey, it’s good to hear from you. I’m good. I just left the movies with my friends. We saw that movie, the Mr. Rogers movie It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but, well, I may have cried a little bit, or a lot. But I’m on my way home now. What are you up to? How’s your night?”
In that moment, think about how much I’ve done.
I want you to think about voice notes in three different benefit categories.
Number one, it’s different. It’s different. Everyone else is texting. In a sea of gray text messages, your voice represents color. It leaps off the screen and into someone’s ear. You’re literally attacking a different sense than everybody else.
I may have cried a little bit, or a lot, but I’m on my way home now. What are you up to? How’s your night?
A voice. On the telephone.
Secondly, you can say a lot more. Think about how much more nuance, how much more context, how much more of myself I was able to show in that 20 seconds, which is probably shorter than it takes most people to write a text message.
And number three, we get across our humanity, our real, micro-personality moments. Those moments where we have a little nervous laugh, where we have a slightly awkward silence, or an um, or an ah, where we’re trying to figure out what to say next, or a moment where we say, “That movie made me cry a little bit, or a lot.” We’re showing ourselves, our humanity. And I don’t care how great your writing is. In a short text message, that is impossible to get across.
I’m not saying that you should leave a voice message in response to everything someone sends you. That would be annoying and it would miss the point.
The point is the contrast. Once in a while, instead of sending a message, send a voice note. Let them get a taste of who you really are and what you really sound like. Because today, connection is the game. Everybody has options. Everybody can get online and speak to another 10 people. But when you can actually connect with someone, you’re using the greatest asset you have, and that is you.
People on a screen are replaceable, but the one thing someone cannot replace is you. But the asset that is you will never come across if you’re not willing to make yourself visible or audible in three dimensions, instead of what everyone else is doing, which is texting in two dimensions.
Is it just me, or do we look f****** fantastic?