I set up a couple of friends a few years ago. They seemed like a good fit, and there was chemistry on their first date.
There was never a second date.
Why? Because after the first, they started texting. Miscommunications abounded, they read into what each had written, and things said nonchalantly became incredibly serious. All of a sudden, when I spoke to each of them, I realized that things began to fall apart and they had never had the opportunity to pick up the phone and clarify where it had all gone wrong.
Texting is poison for relationships. As someone who dated my husband long distance, I know how tempting it is to want to feel connected at all times, especially when you're far apart. But funnily enough, our texting usually centered on making plans to talk on the phone or meet up in person. When texting is used as your main medium of communication, especially at the beginning, about a billion things can go wrong.
Take this example: "I don't know what you mean." How did you hear that in your head? Was it a genuine question, or was it laced with sarcasm? When you've first met someone, and even after you've been in a relationship for a while, you don't always know what the subtext of a text is. You can read whole worlds of meaning into something that was completely innocuous. The only good thing about having been in a relationship for a while is that you can ask your partner to clarify. But miscommunications are so easy when all you have to go on are the words in front of you. You're lacking all of the major components of a conversation: facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. And all of a sudden, that cute conversation that started off flirtatiously becomes something you hold over someone's head for no reason at all.
Another issue? The amount of time between answers. This is bad for two reasons. First, if you were in the middle of a conversation in real life and your friend were to walk off in the middle with no warning and return two hours later to pick up where you left off, how would you respond? I would guess not well. But that is perfectly acceptable in the world of texting. You are having a fun conversation with someone when all of a sudden he signs off. Two hours later, you get a response. You're excited that the flirtation is picking up where you left off, but you've been waiting for two hours, checking your phone every two minutes to see if he wrote back. So you sort of resent him. Then you calculate when you'll do the same to him. "He didn't text back for two hours? I won't respond for two hours and twenty minutes!" In what way is that natural? And you've built up resentment toward a person who you've barely gotten the chance to know.
So what's the second reason timing is an issue? You and he have time to think of your responses. You said something funny, and he wants to respond with witty banter. Well, now he has thirty minutes to think of something. Would he have that time in real life? Of course not. You are communicating with the best version of a person when he has time to think of the best response. It's not real, and yet now we've decided it's perfectly normal.
Here's another thing. It is SO easy to be charming over text. All your crush has to do is end a text with a little heart, and you think he's fallen head over heels for you. It is so much easier to write something cute in a text than it is to say it to someone's face. And if he can't say it your face, when you can see all those aforementioned things that make up the major components of a conversation, then you don't have any idea what he's really feeling. He has all this time to craft the perfect response to you, and he has a million emojis to make his words more meaningful than they really are.
But all of this is now taken for granted. Texting is just a part of the fun, and it's nice to have someone always on the other end of the phone, like two paper cups connected with a string.
So here's my suggestion: don't fall into the trap of texting. Meet your date in person and get to know him for real.
Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!