Ah, text messages. The fast paced impersonal and electronic conversation that is turning into a relationship litmus test well before the two individuals ever meet in person and exchange actual human emotions. What does all this mindless chatter being typed endlessly into our devices amount to? Or is it a lot of used(or wasted) data and strain on the muscles in your hands and in your heart? Let’s break a few things down:
There are numerous positives to texting, regardless of your favorite app to do it on. I find sending someone, or a group of people, a text is a lot faster and more direct than sending an email of any kind or picking up the phone in hopes you actually catch them when they also have a moment to chat. I know now it is becoming more acceptable even in the work place/professional enviornments to text your boss versus having to call him or her for anything at all. Calling out sick? Text. Schedule change? Text. The list is endless. Technology is really driving a lot of industries to completely change the way they do business these days. This whole process has spilled into the dating world as well. That is where we find the illustrious Text Message Warriors.
You may be thinking – But I’m just waiting for a text back! A lot of us are. Stuck in the same cycle with different players inserted on the other end of that phone number. The usual scenario goes as follows: Two people have connected. Two people play cat and mouse until exchanging phone numbers. Two people go through a mused text based relationship until one party decides to bail (whether or not the other person knows about this). However long this all takes depends on a lot of factors but this is the general flow. We often wonder why that other person wasn’t enamored by all of our perceived awesome traits and decides to drift off into the technological nothingness. Or frankly we lose interest because we met someone else who seems to match up better with you and we start looking for reasons that the previous person wasn’t right for us. It is as if the smoke finally cleared and the signs are now telling you how wrong you were for considering to see that band they are into now. Sometimes it can be irrational and with the multitude of blocking features available to us, we can disappear from someone’s life as fast as they appeared in ours.
So what’s the whole catch?
My rule of thumb when it comes to fate deciding to smile down on you and sending a compatible morsel your way is if you are comfortable enough to exchange numbers, you and this other person have within 48 hours to make definitive plans to meet in person. I don’t mean a 2 hour dinner followed by champagne and roses. I mean a casual, let me make sure you are who you say you are meeting in a VERY public place. Always let three different people know all of the details of who the person you are meeting (not just their name but forward a picture of the person as well) and where you will be meeting them. With the way things are going now in the world, your safety is the number one priority. It is important to not let technology come in the way of what we need as humans. We need to physically feel that vibe with another person. It helps us process emotions, thoughts, and can let us release stress whether we realize it or not. There is no app or device that can replace that. I don’t care how close science seems to get. Let’s start minimizing our screen time in favor of quality time.
When the other person starts talking in circles or listing excuses that seem to pop up at every turn, it’s time to cut them loose. They may have an intention of meeting you but are not willing to act upon it. They mainly enjoy the banter between the two of you via texting and aren’t looking for much more than that. I’m not knocking having a buddy to chat with through your day. Sometimes having that mild distraction can help your day be more productive. But let’s be real – those people are not the ones you are hoping responds to your well thought out block of words followed by the appropriate emoticon(s). Let yourself off the emotional rack and stop wondering (or searching the internet) on why that other person is taking so long to respond to you, if at all. You do have a life that is filled with awesome stuff and do not deserve to play the emotional tug of war in an effort to meet someone great let alone meet new people. Let yourself get attached to someone real, someone respectful of your time, and someone willing to put in as much as you are so you both are rewarded.
You can always tell when it’s bullshit – stop telling your intuition to pipe down because that other person is just really busy right now and things will totally get better in another month. Utilize that time frame to invest in yourself and invest in someone worth it. Be your own warrior ready to blaze a new trail of excitement and wonder. The world is a big place and always one plane ticket away from a new experience.