Decades ago, the phone company used, as one of its advertising slogans, “Reach out and touch someone.”
This was primarily aimed at Long Distance communication…and today’s post here is also aimed primarily at Long Distance communications, although it applies to local ones as well.
Despite the “reach out and touch” slogan, the phone company had not then and still has not yet come up with a way to actually, physically touch someone telephonically. But back then you couldn’t see the person at the other end, either. Now you can. FaceTime and Skype are the chief means through which you can “reach out and see someone.” We’re going to talk about Skype, but what we say basically applies to FaceTime too.
If you’re just trying to get a long-distance relationship started,and in some cases even when the woman lives near you,you and your new interest might not yet have met each other face to face.In these days of internet dating, not to mention good old-fashioned fix-ups, people often meet by email or phone before they meet in person. And if she lives at a distance from you, or if she lives nearby but her work hours or other commitments don’t mesh with your time, you may not have met in person yet.
It’s likely that you have already exchanged photos, but a still picture can’t convey one tenth what live action can, nor can words on a screen compare with the sound of each other’s voice.If you haven’t yet talked to each other by phone, this will be your first chance to hear what each other sounds like. Tone of voice, pitch, and so many more auditory clues can convey much more than mere words on a page. And the sound of each other laughing is so much more personal that emojis like J or even <g> on a page.
Here are some hints to help you make a good impression by Skype—especially if it’s your first Skype call with her and up to now she knows you only by email:
- Dress nicely! This is a date! Don’t think it isn’t important to look sharp, and don’t think she’ll see only your face so it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. It matters for two reasons:
– She might ask you to let her see all of you so she can get a clearer mental picture of you. Do you really want to refuse? Or let her see you in your ratty old t-shirt and torn pants the first time she sees you?
- Along with dressing nicely, be sure you are well groomed: hair combed, face shaved, teeth free of particles of your last meal, face washed, no dirt under your fingernails.
- Remember you’re on camera. It’s great to be relaxed while you’re talking to her, and we sincerely hope she will put you at your ease and you’ll relax. But don’t start digging in your ear, picking your teeth (or your nose!), or yawning broadly without covering your mouth. (It’s best not to yawn at all. The woman may think she’s boring you. But if you must yawn, cover up that Grand Canyon!)
- Smile! This is soooo important! We know a first date (or early date) is serious business, we know you are intent on making a good impression on her, and we know you have a million things on your mind, but “a smile goes a mile” in helping her feel at ease (she’s probably nervous too!) and in showing her your best side. Of course, smile only when it’s appropriate. If she tells you she just had to put down her old dog, that’s not the time to flash a grin. But smile whenever it’s appropriate to do so. Smile because you’re happy to be talking to her.
- Make a list beforehand of things you might want to ask her and things you might want to tell her.Don’t feel you have to cover the entire list in one phone call—although you might do just that if it’s a short list and/or a long call. Hopefully there will be other calls, and you can certainly save some of the items on your list for next time and the time after. But you don’t want to end the conversation after three minutes because of being unable to think of what to say next. So make a “crib sheet” of conversation topics, and if there’s any kind of lull in the conversation, refer to your list and ask her a question that’s on the list or tell her something you’ve jotted down that you think might interest her.
- Offer to show her your home. Make the offer whether you live in a palatial mansion or a trailer, a sprawling house or a tiny apartment. If you have never met face to face, she has never seen where you live—and where, if things go well, she too might live some day. Besides, she will get a clearer impression of you if she sees the home you live in. Of course, if you’re Skyping over a desktop computer, taking her on a tour of your home is problematic. But with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you can easily walk around the house and let her see it.
- Prepare in advance. Make sure your house is presentable. No sink full of dishes. No unmade bed. While your house doesn’t need to “pass a white glove inspection,” as the dust will be hard to discern via Skype unless it’s an inch thick, you don’t want her to see your underwear on the floor or last night’s dinner dishes piled up on the TV table next to your recliner.
- Besides the house in general, is there anything else you want her to see? Your bowling trophy? Your “Person of the Year” plaque from the organization you’re active in? The watercolor you painted, framed, and hung on your living room wall? Don’t hesitate to show her these things. Without being boastful, you can still point with pride. It’s an important part of who you are and what’s important to you.
Next time we’ll talk about Skyping when it isn’t your “first date.”