Are you a fanatical Facebooker or a constant texter? We don’t have to step out of bed to remain connected any more, but has life become a virtual reality?

At Ideal we experience many examples of potentially successful relationships falling at the first hurdle due to miscommunication, typically caused by misinterpreted text messages. I’m going to tell you how to avoid that.

Once upon a time we used to have to leave the house to meet someone, and men’s efforts to deliver a chat-up line or a good conversation had to be perfectly honed if we expected to make any kind of romantic connection.

So let’s say you go on the first date after all that cyber communication and are slightly delirious that you have found a real normal human being with a terrific personality, you really fancy her and she seems to fancy you back. But then there is the delicate issue of communication post-date. Text-iquette.

What is too much and what is too little? How risqué should you go? When, if ever, should you start exchanging picture messages?

Communication between the first and second or third dates is delicate, especially because text messaging is an unforgiving sport. It is essential that you send a message following the first date. An example, if you really liked her: “Hello, really great evening! Loved your company, really enjoyed the conversation, the story about XXX was hilarious…would love to see you again. Have a great week!

What happens next needs to be controlled carefully. Stop, think and read each text message before you send it. Is it light, friendly, happy, energetic? Not demanding a reply? Remember that text messages are often ambiguous. They don’t capture humour, sarcasm, or emotional tone effectively. Hence, you may send a quick-witted text message that your lady-friend reads as being rude, aloof or just plain weird. In an ideal world, texting would be kept for simple exchanges of arrangements, or a quick hello. Anything emotional, whether positive or negative, is better handled with a phone call.

In addition to misinterpreted texts, there is also the danger of becoming too communicative too early. The best relationships evolve when you are comfortable in your own skin and have a mature, open and balanced dialogue. So if it’s been a while since you were in a relationship or you have recently had a bad experience, start out as you mean to carry on. Joke in person about what you and your potential partner likes and hates when it comes to digital communication — including texting, emails, WhatsApp, Skype and posting online