This picture is seriously me every single time I end up on a date.
A few years ago, in all of my long-term-relationship-glory, I sat in on a conversation with a bunch of long-term-single-ladies. They were talking about dating.
“You know what I heard?” I asked them, eager to add to the conversation, despite the fact I hadn’t been single in over seven years. The women swiveled their heads to look at me. “I heard that people ask each other out on text!” I exclaimed.
This was followed by. Awkward silence. One woman looked away from me. Another woman nodded vigorously.
“Oh, I only go on dates with people who ask me out on text,” she said firmly.
The next woman opened her mouth: “I prefer texting because I can control the conversation that way.”
Woman #3 said matter-of-factly, “Yeah, if someone called me and asked me out? I’d probably say NO because I’d be so shocked.”
At this point, I was shocked. More shocked than Woman #3 would be if some guy had called her on the phone. Later, I ranted to anyone who would listen to me: “What do these women do on their dates?? Text their dates under the table?? How do you control the conversation on a date without texts?”
Fast forward to last month. My buddy, a veteran of a 10-year relationship, said to me: “Elisa. REAL men don’t text. REAL men? They call you.”
I shook my head knowingly at him. “Oh, friend. You haven’t been dating for a loooong time.”
I said it in my last post, but I’ll marvel at how out-of-control texting has gotten. In my mind, there are only TWO reasons to text:
- To communicate basic factual information;
- When your text is an exclamation that does not require a quick reply, or ANY reply. (Example: “Happy Hour beer is only $3 here!”)
Here is a list of, in my opinion, extremely WRONG things to text:
- Conversation openers, ie. “How do you feel about ________?”
- Serious decisions, ie. “Do you think we should get married or not?”
- Introduction of personal emotions and feelings, ie. “I’m really upset with you because…..”
- A discussion that requires many, many text exchanges, ie. “Should we surprise Grandma with a birthday party, or do you think that will give her a heart attack?”
Incidentally, the above is also a list of ALL the things people have texted to me this year. Y’know. Since I’ve been single for the first time in the 21st century.
Don’t get me wrong. I love writing. But what goes down over text is usually what should be said aloud. We can’t gage tone, intention, or personality through text.
What goes down over text are ALSO the things that people are too scared to say IRL, but SHOULD. (If you’re like me and avoid texting as primary communication, you had to look up “IRL” to figure out it means “in real life.”)
Here is a short list of things I have been texted this year, in the 21st century. I swear to you I cannot make this shit up.
1. How do you feel about turning our dinner plan into a date? 😉 (note: sent from someone I had previously considered to be exclusively a buddy)
2. I don’t have a car, but if you come over, I have Netflix at my house.
3. Will you be my girlfriend? (note: asked for the first time on text)
4. I still love you (note: the word “love” was used for the first time here, and YES, ON TEXT).
5. The reason why I am hard to know is because my dad left me when I was young, and my mom was an alcoholic…..(insert a very, very, very long childhood-trauma story here)
6. I have been thinking we should not see each other anymore. (OMG)
Here are my responses:
1. Can we talk in person?
2. (no response)
3. Will you ask me this in person?
4. (no response; lest you judge me, let me tell you this was already long over)
5. I think you’ll be okay because you have good friends who care about you. We can talk in person about this?
6. Can we talk about this in person?
And, the outcomes of each of these scenarios?
IRL, everyone pretended like they had never sent those texts in the first place.
Lesson #2. “Control the conversation” over text? Learned.
PS: If you are a seasoned single-person and laughing at my oh-so-obvious “lessons,” or, if you are in the same boat, let me know by leaving me a comment or a message!