Memo to Guys: Texting Is Not the New Talking!

Guys, textingIf you stretch your memory back real, real far, you might be able to recall a time before cell phones, social media, and text messaging, when guys and gals engaged in actual conversation without the aid of character limits and specialized indicator tones. It was just y’all and the phone, unless one person wanted to send the other a handwritten, pen-and-paper letter. And unless you were locked up or breaking up, chances are that didn’t really happen.

Remember those long, marathon, talk-about-nothing conversations that wore on into way past the time when you should’ve had your butt in bed? Can’t do that over text, that’s for sure. Fool around and get carpal tunnel just from one chat. I appreciate the convenience of technology, but sometimes I kinda miss those days. I know this much for sure: texting is not the way you should be communicating with someone you just met. 

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You need time to get to know somebody, feel out their personality and sense of humor. Figure out what makes them chuckle and what makes them want to spit fire. Without that information beforehand, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of miscommunication. And stupid little, petty arguments. I’ve had guys try to crack jokes with me over text that came off completely wrong. Granted, in person they probably wouldn’t have elicited any hearty ha ha’s from me either, but at least I wouldn’t have cocked my neck, scowled at them like I did at the screen, and fire off “what is that supposed to mean?”

My last two relationships have been kicked off largely via text. And although the second one has been — so far, so good — pretty successful, it was easier for my now-boyfriend (yep, he made it!) to shoot me a text message than it was for him to actually swallow his nerve, pick up a phone, and stumble through those first awkward conversations.

Whenever he had something tough to ask — could we go out again? Did I have a good time? — he did it over text. It’s like a godsend to the fragile male ego. Lady Rejection, should she happen to show up, doesn’t hit nearly as hard in a three-line message as she does when there are awkward silences and weird comments during the course of a phone or, even worse, face-to-face conversation.

As I’m writing this, The Man is sitting next to me, reading my every word. He must be either a) bored or b) waiting for the battery on his iPhone to charge. But ever ready with a wise word to interject into my writing and these types of conversations, he has cheerfully offered that texting allows him to multitask in his busy man world. Without being hampered by my ramblings on the phone, he claims he can play video games, watch movies, and scratch his man parts if need be without being chastised for not listening. (Yes y’all, that was his real answer.) He can answer at his leisure and hive me his full, undivided attention for the few nanoseconds it takes to read and respond to a text.

Had I read that over text, by the way, I can guarantee he wouldn’t have gotten this far.

If I had it to do all over again, I would make him call me more often by texting less often. If he wanted to communicate with me—which he obviously did—he would’ve had to dial my number and sit through those agonizing few minutes to actually hear my voice.

Texting made it convenient for both of us to stay in touch during the day when we couldn’t talk while we were at work on weekdays or our running errands on the weekends, but it didn’t really allow us to get to know each other like talking on the phone did. Granted, being in a long distance relationship (he lives in Delaware, I live in D.C.) made it a little harder for us to just hop in the car and hang out like we wanted to, but texting is no substitute for the quality time we could’ve been having on the same cell phones we were using to shoot messages back and forth at lightning speed.

For all of the LOLs we were exchanging via text, we could’ve been having real ones by reaching out and touching one another. By phone.

Do you text with your boo? Do you think it helps or hurts a relationship in general? 

Image via kiwanja/Flickr

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