Texting Means Never Having to Say, I Never Want to See You Again

3 years ago

I can’t tell you the countless number of times a girlfriend of mine has said they went out on several dates, had a great chemistry and then, he just fell of the face of the earth and all communication ceased and texts went unanswered, until he sent a "how are you" message months later. The blatant disappearance act (as with anyone or anything) that has them and me so baffled.

If you didn’t show up to work, you would call to tell someone. If you had to miss a football game with your buddies you would send them a text. If you decided to move out of your apartment, surely you would give your landlord a heads up. These are social obligations, found in most non-romantic relationships, that most people adhere to. So, I’m not quite sure why these considerations don’t apply to the dating world.  Why not? Because texting means never having to actually say what you think. It means never having an obligation to actually talk to another person. It's never having to say, I don't want to see you again.

I met Jeff in November at a bar in New York City’s West Village. I didn’t plan to go out that night, but Autumns’s warmth was lingering and I wanted to take advantage of it before December’s cold set in. My friends and I were sitting at the crowded bar when he approached me, making some corny jokes about the vase next to me and how the flowers in it must have been delivered directly to that bar just for me. We soon were laughing our way through the hour. Too good to be true, I said to myself and reluctantly gave him my phone number.  I never expected to hear from him again, but we continuted to keep in touch by texting each other and a month later set a date to meet. We went out and sparks went off.  It appeared we had chemistry or did we? Can you really know when you are connecting with someone when you are texting and not talking? Does your imagination fill in the blanks of what you think that person is? Or do all those enthusiastic emoticons simply make it easier to say something that you are not truly feeling? Nonetheless, our first date roared with our unstoppable laughter. We shared a smoke and talked and laughed and made out some more until the wee hours of the morning.

We talked about seeing each other again.  And seven months later our second date never happened, but we still texted about it. Every few weeks I woke to that familiar sound. My phone buzzes, illuminates, with a message that beckons me to swype it until I do and it disappears again into the night.  Hasn't this texting bit jumped the shark? Without a real face-to-face connection all the cute messages and smiley faces seem irrelevant, insincere. 

Has texting ruined romance by blurring those once standard boundaries? I’ve learned that convenience tends to rule over love.  Sure texting made courtship so much easier, putting in heart-to-heart phone calls is now reduced to a couple choice words and the send button. Yet how easily, when in the wrong hands, sincerity can be thrown out the window with a few messages. When you can text, you don't need to call or show up, ever. But it leaves untied ends so if you want appear randomly, you can, at the drop of a simple message. It's easier to cancel. It's easier to let a dying relationship linger on forever. It's easier to string someone along. It's easier to drop off the face of the earth without any consequences.

 

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