Ever sent a sexy text to your boyfriend… and then realized it was actually to your boss? Do you know your partner’s email password? Are you constantly checking your Blackberry—even when you’re on a date? Even if you’ve never experienced these tech troubles, it’s likely that you’ve encountered the intersection of technology and relationships—and maybe you’ve wondered how to set some rules for yourself and your partner. Below, 20 dos and don’ts when mixing love with the latest technology. What are your rules? Let us know in the comments.
1. DO plug in your significant other’s iPhone, Blackberry or computer in when you see the juice is low.
2. DO share the joke with your spouse if you laugh out loud at something on your Blackberry or phone.
3. DO text and email your spouse with the same care you did when you first started dating. Grocery lists and forwards don’t count as correspondence. Make time to send sweet-nothings to each other over Facebook, IM, and email.
4. DO upload new music to your honey’s iPod and new books to his/her Kindle. New tunes and words will be a sweet surprise and will show that you’ve been thinking of them while they were away.
5. DON’T exchange email passwords with your partner no matter how good of an idea it seems.
6. DON’T hack into your partner’s email or phone, read the messages, assume they are cheating on you, freak out and post your suspicions on a social network or a web site.
7. DO save cute texts, email and voicemails.
8. DON’T send flirty text messages or emails on your company Blackberry unless you want to explain “gr8 morning sex!” to the Director of IT.
9. DO set a time limit for internet surfing while you’re hanging out together.
10. DO give technology as a gift, but not for a romantic occasion. Note! If you need to charge it up, plug it in or program it, it probably doesn’t make for a good (read: romantic) anniversary present.
11. DON’T email or browse the net while talking to or on the phone with the other person. You may think you’re a multi-tasking queen (or king), but it’s distracting for both of you and it makes it seem like you only half-care about what he’s talking about.
12. DON’T bring up important topics in a medium that your partner is uncomfortable with. (Don’t text him that you’re going to miss dinner if he’s a bad texter. Don’t IM him that you’re mad at him if he prefers to hear your voice.)
13. DOhave a discussion with your partner about what technologies are OK for big discussions. (IM can be a great way to talk about emotional topics, for example, since you have time to formulate your thoughts before typing and you’re less likely to blurt something out in anger.)
14. DOrefrain from using emoticons and/or tech lingo (eg. LOL, ROTFL), if it annoys your partner.
15. DO put away your Blackberry or phone on important occasions—like when you have a rare date night without the kids—and ask your partner to do the same.
16. DOkeep tech snobbery to a minimum: “Fine, I’ll do it, that brick of yours doesn’t even have a video camera.”
17. DOat least try to figure something out before asking him or her to teach you a second time.
18. DO bring tech to bed—for recreation only! No work.
19. DO use texting at parties to let your partner that you want to go.
20. DO make every other Twitter about your partner… or Demi Moore.