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Is Texting the Death of Dating?

Updated on December 11, 2014

The dating scene has changed tremendously thanks to the advancement of technology. Mobile technology has truly changed how daters communicate with each other. Making a phone call to ask someone out on a date seems to be a thing of the past. In today's dating culture, it is all about communicating via text messages. Studies show that millions of daters from age 18-34 communicate with one another via text messages before their first date. Some daters argue there are a variety of benefits to texting someone compared to calling a person on the phone.


Lost in Translation

However, it is too easy for a dater’s true intent to get lost in translation when texting. Not everyone is gifted at written communication, so it makes it harder to communicate through text messages. I recall one of my girlfriends telling me how she received a text message from a guy asking, “Do you want to have breast?” Of course he meant “brunch”, but due to the auto correction feature on his phone my girlfriend will always remember him as the guy who asked her out to breast versus brunch. As you could imagine, they never went out for brunch! Although texting allows for daters to increase the frequency and speed to connect, the intimacy is lost by the less than personal experience. Not taking the time to use the phone to have a verbal conversation to get to know a person dehumanizes the dating experience. Imagine every time you try to call someone they do not answer the phone, but instead they send you a text message back.

A major mistake daters make is becoming too comfortable too soon. Sending lengthy text messages that read like a novel can be overwhelming. The reader can miss the intent of the message and can be completely turned off due to the wordy text message. Also, far too many people send pictures of themselves with an ex boyfriend/girlfriend, revealing outfits, or inappropriate poses! You barely know the person’s last name and you are already exposing more of yourself than necessary. If you are still getting to know the person, then keep it polite, upbeat, and short!

Also, the tone of the text message is very important, as it conveys the message in a particular way to the reader. We probably all experienced a person texting a message using multiple emoticons or punctuations. Imagine receiving a text message, “I had a great time!!!!!!!!!:):):):).” Use your words to get your point across versus too many emoticons. When using emoticons there is a fine line between flirty and fun, and just plain annoying!


The Right Balance

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying stay away from text messaging completely, but during the initial stages of getting to know someone takes the time to pick up the phone to have a substantive conversation. As a dating couple progresses, it is crucial to have those important conversations face-to-face or over the phone, so you can truly connect with your partner. Research shows that over 50% of daters report they text their partner multiple times a day. However, over 50% of daters seem to be on the same page as me that serious conversations such as disagreements, sharing major news, discussing major milestones in the relationship, or breaking up should be handled in-person or over the phone. Imagine receiving a texting messaging stating, “It’s not you, but I need space to reevaluate my priorities”, this is just classless and heartless! To be on the safe side, I suggest keeping the sweet and light stuff for texting and everything else should be discussed in-person or over the phone!

You have to ask yourself, “Are you really getting to know the person you are dating or considering to date via text messaging?” If the answer is no, then you should consider what type of text messages you are sending and how much time you spend face-to-face with the person in addition to sending text messages. Also, just like most things in this world, men and women view texting differently. Research shows that men see texting as a casual interaction, or a way to distance themselves from their dating partner; and women see texting as a way to connect to their partner. So, it is important to understand your partner’s communication preference. If communication methods differ between the two, then the couple should discuss how to compromise.

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Communication is Key

I am definitely guilty of riding the text messaging bandwagon. When I first started dating my boyfriend we struggled with talking on the phone versus texting each other. I recall mentioning it to him and he said “Oh, I did not realize!” The following week, he made sure to call me a few times a week and setting aside time for us to consistently have lunch or dinner. It truly means the world to me to know that we both have hectic schedules and it is so easy to text each other, but he acknowledged and acted upon the fact that we should use a variety of methods to connect with each other. Also, when we are traveling and know we will be apart for an extended period of time, we like to have a Notebook movie moment by mailing each other love letters. Some may consider a love letter old fashion, but to know my guy takes the time to sit down and express his feelings with pen and paper definitely makes me blush every time!

The bottom line, it is all about keeping a healthy balance!


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