Dating In The Age of Text Messages

If you’re not already a veteran texter, you’ll probably succumb to the trend eventually—it’s just so convenient.

And if you have kids still at home, then you know how texting makes it easier to keep track of them and remind them of what you think should be important. But what about dating and texting? A new study reveals that a woman who’s been texting with a guy before meeting him is apt to find him more appealing. That makes some sense to me—if the guy is articulate and comfortable being charming electronically. But it also concerns me that some of us are starting to rely on text messages more than actual conversations. When the whole goal is to say what you want to say in as few words or characters as possible, how can you really expect to communicate the emotional subtleties of dating? An emoticon will never be a substitute for an actual smile shared across a table while his hand lingers on yours.

There’s no hope for the youngest daters among us—texting is just how they’re wired now. But for the rest of us, there is much nuance in language that’s worth preserving and guarding. Even when sending an email to someone you’re dating, it can be tempting to use a sort of shorthand, especially if you really are feeling rushed. However, if that’s the case, why not wait until you have more time before dashing off some quick message that can’t possibly communicate accurately the breadth of your reality? Besides, texts and emails can live on forever—and be read again and again, dissected, and even worse, shared among his pals. These are not always the best forms of personal interaction when they are so easily abused.

Sure, electronic communication has it’s place—and maybe I’m just old-fashioned—but I dare you to ask yourself before you hit SEND, if maybe a phone call would be nicer, more personal, more intimate, more apt to further the relationship than cold words on a glass screen? It wasn’t so long ago that people who were dating would actually take time out of their days to meet in person for a cup of coffee. Flirting could ensue. Laughter would ring out. You’d have opportunities to study his body language. The encounter might end with a warm hug. The quick coffee encounter might inspire a date for dinner later that day.

Hey, I’m no Luddite—I have a blog, I tweet—but I also hope I never lose my love for true one-to-one communication and all the delights that can only flow from that.

Do Love and Life Differently: Dare to take your time and value genuine communication with the man in your life.

R U w/ me? (Had to have some fun with this, but seriously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject…please comment below.)

One Response to “Dating In The Age of Text Messages”

  1. Anita Appleberry Pie Says:
    February 28th, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Giving yourself time to articulate and edit texts messages is a blessing of the modern day commuunication tools. The emotion and intention can be felt exactly how it was meant to feel and perceived as if you were speaking the words directly. Another advantage is the person receiving the text will read the message for certain, word for word. Its like the new age talking stick. You can have your say uninterupted. I’ve embraced the whole texting thing but then I am incredibly grateful the man I love is educated and likes to read lol. And I have sent him some doozies … affectionately known now as ‘lil epic text of me’ … he loves them

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