Texting & dating: how much is ok?

Hi, cute boys.
Hi, cute boys.

I have always suffered with this texting thing — mainly when it comes to dating. I feel like we were forced to accept it, and it’s ruined basic communication skills. Texting has made it easier for folks to lie, cheat, and just be downright rude.

To years ago, I wrote a column for Dig magazine that discussed this exact problem (you can read the entire article here), and here’s a particularly juicy excerpt:

In the last few months, all I get from guys are text messages. One text message did lead to a pizza date that suffered from poor conversation – a problem that could have been detected with a phone call. Regardless, he asked me on a second date. When I politely declined, I received 32 text messages from him in the middle of the night.

But the fact of the matter is, texting is here, and it’s not going anywhere, so how can we exist and date in a world where texting is the #1 mode of communication?

Deciding how much you should text in a new relationship, or perhaps when it’s not even a relationship yet, is one of those questions that’s completely relative to the guy or girl involved. Some people like to text… A LOT. Others, not so much.

I fall into that second category, but that’s not to say I haven’t made a complete ass of myself via text. It’s safe to say I’ve ruined entire chances with guys by saying the wrong things via text message. So, for that reason, I’ll go with this piece of advice: less is more.

In general, it’s safe to live by the rule of sending one text at a time. You send a text, then you get a reply, then you reply to that one, and so forth.

When/if you don’t get a reply? Then I’d say that conversation is over. SEE: Surviving the Fade

One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to texting and dating is when people try to have serious conversations. For starters, I don’t like to sit there and type paragraphs on my phone. I’m a writer. I type on my computer all day, and sometimes, I write pages and pages in my notebook. The last thing I want to do is fit my fat thumbs onto the phone keyboard and talk politics. That subject — or anything financial, or religious — is a conversation that needs to happen face to face.

And if you’re dumping me? You’re required to at least call. But that’s an entirely separate blog post.

Someone’s preference with texting is probably in direct relation to how much they’re glued to their phone/how much they enjoy texting.

Personally? I don’t have my phone by my side all the time. Right now? I don’t even know where my phone is. I don’t have it on my desk when I’m writing, especially if I’ve got a deadline. I don’t have it with me at the gym, and if I have a retail shift, we’re not allowed to have our phones in sight. So, it could be 8-9 hours before I see a text.

I went on a date with someone from OK Cupid about a year ago, and I decided to be honest with my preferences on texting. My job at the time was very hectic, so I often went to work around 8am, and possibly wouldn’t even look at my phone until 5pm.

“If I don’t respond right away, please don’t worry about it,” I told him.

He ended up canceling our second date because he didn’t think I liked him, due to the fact that I didn’t enjoy text conversations. The thing is, honesty will always win with me. I did enjoy his company and I wanted to go on the second date, but I didn’t want to get to know him via text, and I told him that. So, guess we’re not a match!

Hannah Barbakoff wrote an article for The Huffington Post last year, “Texting: The Relationship Killer,” which has tons of great points in it — “We’ve all been frustrated at somebody for not responding or annoyed by how often someone texts us. Whether we like it or not, texting is a whole other world of miscommunications and misunderstandings that we have to navigate in order to hang out again.”

And maybe that’s why I hate it so much — a world of miscommunication adds in another thing to make miscommunication easier. What gives? What are your personal rules for texting and dating?

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