It all begins the moment he asks, “Can I get your number?” At the utterance of this simple question, the mind game we call texting captures our attention as we nervously anticipate receiving that first text. Our minds run rampant from then on out. Is he going to text me? Its been couple of hours now, why hasn’t he text me yet? Maybe he didn’t like me? Ugh, forever alone! *phone rings* “Hey whats up? This is (insert name).” Ahhh! Yay! He text me! Life is good again!
Texting has become our generation’s first step into dating. It’s a comfortable, easy, and rapid form of communication that helps blossom a newly formed relationship. It gives way to familiarizing ourselves with this new person of interest. Yes, texting is great for the fast paced world we live in, but it has forever changed the dating game.
Never did our parents have to spend unnecessary amounts of time deciphering the meaning of a simple “heyyy” or worried that they might come off as annoying if they send a consecutive text. Lets face it, calling and even face-to-face communication has become unchartered territory for some of us.
When did texting become a detrimental part of forming a relationship? It seems, cell phones have become our lifelines as we make each attempt at hacking the ins and outs of dating. This understood texting language that we follow can leave us confused on where we stand in a relationship and can even cause conflict.
When asking a friend for their opinion on the potential in your relationship, that all too familiar question, “Well, do you guys text all the time?” is always at the forefront. Dating has a new added ingredient called the texting phase and it is quite evident it has made an impact on the way couples communicate.
The back and forth banter between newly acquainted people loses its natural flow, causing some disconnect in communication. We are given room to plot out what we want to say and hesitate before sending a risky text. We can’t do that in any normal conversation. Rather, face-to-face communication comes out organically with little thought on its after effect.
Texting gives us a jolt of confidence as we hide behind the comforts of our small screens, flirting and communicating in ways we might not have had the guts to do in person. And not only does it give way to a somewhat falsified confidence, but it also gives you the power to stretch the truth. To make yourself sound more interesting, you might say you are at a concert being social, but in reality you are in your bed watching every episode of Gossip Girl on Netflix (no shame, we have all done this).
We get wrapped up in the sensations of texting that we lose touch with the real world that lays in front of us. We lose the raw emotions that give us those warm feelings that confirm that he’s into you. Because we can’t hear their voice or see their facial expressions, we become blind to the emotional aspects. Nonverbal cues are nonexistent to us via text. We receive a message with no exclamation and jump to the conclusion that he’s just not that into you because he didn’t seem too enthusiastic in that last text.
Deciphering texts is a science that is near to impossible to master. If I don’t put lol at the end of that text, will I come off as cold and uninterested? Heyyyyy or hey? The mixed signals are ever present with texting and become even more complicated when emoticons are factored in. Smiley or no smiley!? Should I put a winky face? Wait, would that come off as creepy? The list of confusing innuendos that couple with texting complicate the beginnings of relationships and fog our minds with worries of if we are communicating in the right fashion.
We feel as though our world is crumbling around us when he doesn’t immediately text back and battle with whether we should send a second text just in case something was wrong with the first. But we don’t want to seem too eager, do we? So we erase it all and abort our consecutive texting spree that was about to ensue. It is quite obvious that texting sometimes causes us to neglect the rational thinking that he might just be busy with life!
The texting phase has warped dating for all millennials. It has birthed the infamous booty call, covered the dangerous territory of the drunk text, and rolled its dice in the mind games we call dating. Texting has presented us with a challenge and obscured our minds with too many lol’s, jk’s, and ;). We need to cut back the time we spend rewording sentences, decoding hidden feelings, and fixating on every second you don’t receive a text back, and instead revert back to a time where these problems were not a make or break part of dating. Because if we are truly honest with ourselves, do we really want texting to be the new love letter?