It makes for a striking headline: most people would rather spend the night talking than having sex. That’s the takeaway from a recent study sponsored by dating app Plenty of Fish, and it may surprise you.
But ask yourself this question: what does a relationship mostly consist of, sex or conversation? As I see it, lack of healthy communication is a more common cause of divorce than sexual issues. You will learn more about a person over the course of a 3-hour chat than if you spent that time in bed (unless you were talking the whole time).
Conversations tell us about a person’s values, what makes them laugh, what they find offensive, what kind of music they like, what they like to do on rainy evenings or sunny Saturdays. If you come home from a tough day at work, exhausted and irritated, will that person comfort you or irritate you further? That’s important to know before you make a commitment.
Imagine working overseas and being physically separated from your spouse by thousands of miles. What might help keep your relationship healthy? Lots of conversations. Hearing the longing in your loved one’s voice that tells you that you’re needed and missed. Hearing his or her laugh, saying “I love you” and meaning it.
Don’t get me wrong: good sex is a wonderful thing. And finding a partner who’s compatible in bed is important. The human touch is powerful, and can communicate on a level beyond mere words.
But conversation can enhance intimacy, if it’s good. Establishing an emotional and intellectual connection can make sex more satisfying, in the end. In fact, more than 80% of people in that study said they’d found someone more attractive after a conversation. Here are some easy tips to improve your online conversation to lead to a better offline conversation:
1. Read his/her profile
Take time to read a profile thoroughly. It is a turn-on if you demonstrate that you read their background and highlight what interested you.
2. More than Hi
Although messaging with a “Hi” is indeed friendly, it doesn’t establish any connection or show your personality, which is often what a person uses as a gauge when deciding whether or not to move an online conversation into the real world. Consider commenting on and/or asking a question about one of their interests, and use that to demonstrate mutual interests.
3. Grammar counts
Spelling errors and typos are easy to make, but slow down and take the time to proofread your messages before you hit that send button – because it can make or break the conversation if you don’t have spell check on.
4. Be authentic
Sometimes in an effort to stand out, people tend to exaggerate a bit or misrepresent themselves and it’s much easier to do online – so resist the urge to overcompensate and be your wonderful self.
5. Take it offline
If you are having great online conversations, chances are that they will be great offline, too. So, don’t be afraid to make the first move and ask him or her out to coffee!
Enjoy the bonds you create through conversation, because they just might make your future relationship, and sex, that much better.