Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Art of Texting

Is it just me or does modern technology make dating very difficult? Between texting, bbm’ing, gchat, facebook, twitter and myspace (do people still use this?), the means to communicate with your potential new boyfriend or girlfriend are endless. Most would think the development of this technology is just a natural progression of our society’s incessant need to communicate with other humans at all hours of the day. Mass conglomerates are simply offering more menu items at the restaurant that is human interaction. But, if anyone is anything like me, I feel extremely overwhelmed and frustrated when presented with too many options. It’s like going to the Cheesecake Factory all over again, 39 menu pages are not necessary!

It’s hard enough trying to master the art of casual flirtation without seeming too forward or too virginal while my date stares at me from across the table, presumably judging. Yet, I then have to go home and decipher whether the “I had a great time….” text should remain unanswered until the morning, what I should say in response and what the fuck the“…..” means. I mean come on; I don’t have time for that sort of analysis at 9 am in my Friday morning meeting with clients.

It is not as though I, or anyone else, sits at home, in peril and worried when responding to a “what are you doing” text. However, everyone should realize that there is a fine line to instant chat at the beginning of a blossoming relationship. In some cases, the incessant communication or lackthereof can make or break a spark. I do not agree with this irrelevant and absurd custom. I am personally of the belief that if my dates would use only the telephone to talk to me when we’re not together, I’d be a much less annoyed and anxious woman. However, modern technology is a perpetual cock block and must be recognized.

After a brief Google search regarding “the art of texting,” I found a plethora of websites devoted to teaching singles how to text new potential mates appropriately. While I don’t believe that any of my readers would waste their time researching or reading such fodder, I decided to give you the overall synopsis of countless websites from my personal experience and information.

Good Experience:
I briefly met a handsome single at a football game. We did the usual introductions, discovered a little about one another at a tailgate and parted with a spark. He tracked down my number from a mutual friend and inevitably texted me that he had a great time meeting me, wanted to get to know me, but was going out of town for a few weeks. We kept in touch, texting only occasionally but talking on the phone nightly before bed. It was 3 weeks before the two of us were in the same state and made for a great way to get to know the other person. It is important to remember that while texting is nonstop communication, it is not a conversation.

Bad Experience:
This past fall, I again briefly met someone at a mutual friend’s cook out. It was the same; we did the usual introductions, discovered some shared interests and parted ways with a yearning for one another. I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. We went out and had a great time. Some days, he would text incessantly and others he would not call or text at all. I was confused as to why on Monday we would talk all day long. However, a text from Tuesday morning would remain unanswered until Saturday. While most people do not spend their days anxiously waiting by the phone, there is nothing louder or more irritating than a silent cell phone. The text rapport inevitably echoed our relationship. Too hot and then at times, too cold. Constant texting can cause confusion in a relationship when it suddenly stops, not to mention, get annoying when I’m on a date with someone else.

So is there an art to texting? Some happy medium for the perfect text relationship, as well as real relationship? I am sure there is. However, it’s bizarre that modern day singles put so much pressure on themselves to send the perfect witty response to their potential boyfriend or girlfriend. I am not suggesting that I don’t participate in this circus; I just also understand and appreciate why the crowd is laughing at the show.

So what is the art of texting? What is the key that unlocks all doors? I guess it’s a personal opinion. For me it would be seeing and speaking to the person I am newly dating only occasionally. While I do get those butterflies in my stomach each time I see a lover’s name appear on my phone and easily fall into the daily text pattern, I don’t want that to be the case. A little mystery is good for men and women.

And don’t even get me started on all the other modes of stalking and communication. Just be advised that writing on someone’s Facebook wall who you are casually hooking up with is NEVER a good idea.