Dating and relationship has never been the same since the beginning of texting in the modern world. In this guide, I'll show you how texting has changed online dating and relationships.
Let me share a quick story about texting in relationships and how the concept of texting has changed perception and feelings of dating couples.
confused in her seat, Serena perched, eyes glued to her phone. Poring over the text she’d just sent, she pauses on each word.
"Do u want to go for a drink this weekend ?"
Two minutes have passed and she still hasn’t heard back from Martin, but in her mind it’s been an eternity.
Did he not want to make plans with her?
Has her message scared him away?
As more time goes by she starts questioning every little detail.
Should I have written ‘you’ instead of ‘u’?
Should I have put a smiley face at the end?
Does asking to meet for drinks rather than coffee imply that I’m looking to hook up?
Battling with her thoughts, the emotional turmoil of waiting for his response rages like a whirlpool in her stomach.
Then it appears.
Breathing a massive sigh of relief, Serena can’t help but laugh at how foolish she feels for doubting her text message.
Why did I overthink it so much? she wonders to herself. After all, it’s not like we haven’t been playfully flirting for weeks now.
Smiling now, she slowly stands from the chilly park bench to start the short walk home.
But as she strides along, her light step grows heavier again as the next wave of worry bursts like a grenade.
Should I suggest a time and place to meet for drinks, or should I hold off until he mentions it? How long should I wait before responding to his message?
Is he only agreeing to go out with me because he feels like he has to?
And thus, the texting game has begun.
A brief history on texting in recent times.
Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that texting has radically changed the way we date.
On par with the birth of the automobile in terms of its impact on romance culture, an estimated 8.5 trillion messages will be sent in 2017 as more than 4.2 billion people text worldwide.
As the most popular form of communication for teens, young adults, and Gen-X-ers in today’s modern world, it’s no wonder texting plays such a big role in our dating lives.
Think back to fifteen years ago when text messaging wasn’t all the rage. In those days (before Twitter and smart phones that told us the news) people didn’t wake up and check their phones right away.
When it came to instant communication, men and women had two main, culturally popular options: face-to-face conversation or speaking over the phone.
Both of those methods involved keeping a verbal conversation going, with little room for premeditated thought.
Yet, when text messaging made its way onto the scene, it put a spin on the way we date by giving us a few things we didn’t already have, the most impactful of those being time.
Time to think about what we might say to the guy we were into, and to properly craft the perfect messages to him; time to reflect on what he sent in return; and time to stir up anticipation in him, to make him want you.
Since verbal conversation requires a steady, on-going exchange of words between at least two people, it can be tricky to keep things lively for any length of time—especially where feelings and attraction are concerned.
With text messaging, that issue was no longer relevant; it quickly became normal for a conversation to span hours or even days over texts.
All this, and texting awarded us the physical distance to be daring in our responses—a screen to hide behind that makes for a casual, non-threatening way to communicate with a potential lover with lots of potential for flirting.
We all know how terrifying it can be to speak your mind and share your feelings with someone you’re romantically into, especially if you’re not sure whether or not the feeling is mutual.
Not to mention how mortifying it feels to be rejected face to face.
To a great extent, texting removed this fear—or at least lessened the discomfort of saying sweet nothings to someone and tripping over your words, or straight up being rejected. This is especially true when it comes to flirting.
Picture this scenario:
You’re in a work meeting. Sitting across from you is the guy you’ve been crushing on hard lately. While you’re trying to fight the temptation to stare, you can’t help but feel your eyes drift in his direction.
When they land on the object of your interest, you notice, by now lost in trance the way his brown hair waves just inches above his bright blue eyes, and how his shirt hugs his shoulders in just the right spots.
The way his toothy grin lights up the entire room, and how he wears his zest for life like a badge of honor . . .
He is, in every sense of the word, perfect. And the smile slyly growing on your distracted face confirms that you’re feeling smitten with this man.
The two of you have been exchanging playful banter lately, but nothing serious has developed yet.
You want more than anything to tell him how breathtakingly handsome you think he is, but you’re worried that you’ll get tongue-tied, sound insincere or silly, or that your words will come across cheesy.
Luckily for you, your pocket-sized device has your back. It makes it easy to relay these messages in a cool, confident way.
Best of all, when done properly, these written messages can create intimacy and enhance your blossoming relationship.
Texting benefits and drawbacks.
Like most things though, there are two sides to every coin, which means that texting does have its share of drawbacks, too.
For instance, where dating used to require a fair amount of genuine effort and courtship, much of this has been replaced with a process that’s much more quick and casual.
Also, since texting has become the norm, there is a good chance that you’re not the only woman the guy you’re into is messaging.
If this is the case then he might not consider the fact that he’s texting with you a big deal (whereas if he were picking up the phone and calling you, or tracking you down to chat in person, the feelings implied would be far more specific and dedicated to you).
Of course, this is just the reality of the way society has changed with the times, and how the frequency of dating, having also increased dramatically in the wake of technology, has become less formal and more non-committal.
All this means that texting has not only affected dating; it has also changed our expectations regarding communication in relationships.
Since it’s so easy to blast off a message to the person you’re seeing, it has for most people become an expected element of their daily partnership.
Let’s say you and the man you’re seeing have a habit of texting throughout the day.
If one afternoon you don’t hear from him for several hours longer than you’re used to, then you may start to wonder if something is wrong, or wonder what he’s doing, or who he’s with.
Has something bad happened, or is he hiding something?
This need for constant connection can be lethal to a relationship, which is why it’s crucial that you know when and how to text your man, whether he’s a long-term partner or a new date.
The idea of texting has changed that way we look at relationships in the modern era.
Sure, we may connect with others more over text than we would without it, but when it comes to relationships, remember this: in the days of carrier pigeons, lovers were satisfied receiving word from one another every few months, and survived just fine.
You really don’t need to be texting him every few hours . . .
Also when couples—brand new or long-term—get into the habit of having all of their conversations via text, problems are bound to arise for two major reasons.
First, because it’s practically impossible, not to mention time consuming, to clearly communicate complex feelings and issues through text messages.
Second, because texts are just words on a screen, left to be interpreted by the person on the receiving end who comes to the reading with any number of biases, insecurities, or expectations.
In other words, they lack a sense of your tone. In fact, I’d actually go so far as saying that texting is less about the words you see and more about the feelings you get when you’re reading them
Before hitting send on any text message, it’s important that you ask yourself whether or not what you are trying to communicate is coming across clearly, and if there’s any way that what you’re sending could be taken out of context.
Keeping your messages short and following up with a call should they grow longer or more complex is a helpful trick for this.
The less you write, the less chance there is that he will misinterpret what you are saying.
Also, avoid using words like “sure,” “fine,” “whatever,” or even “I don’t know.” These may sound innocent to you, but if read in the wrong tone they can seem dismissive and be detrimental to your relationship.
The key here is to send texts that are straightforward and clear, and to not use the medium when feelings are high or your relationship is at stake.
When it comes to dating, texting can be an amazing means for building a bond with a new or potential suitor. When done correctly, it can even ignite a spark that turns into a passionate partnership.
In a relationship, it can be a great way to be playful, flirty, or loving when you’re separated during the day or the workweek.
In order to ensure you’re successful, though, you’re going to need to understand how men communicate— and specifically, how they text.
I hope you loved reading this brief article on the concept of texting in relationships in the modern era.
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