Let’s get one thing straight: there’s nothing wrong with texting.
Text messaging is a fast and efficient way of communicating with anyone who has a cell phone.
However, if you’re on a quest for love and partnership, it’s worth taking a step back and evaluating if texting is keeping you from finding the love you want.
By: Ajableu Oldham
I like to believe that the right partner will show up whether you speak on the phone, email, text, or use carrier pigeons to communicate. The right partner will appreciate you for you — not for the method you communicate.
However, when you’re first getting to know a man (or woman), it’s important to establish boundaries in order to develop a solid foundation of trust and intimacy.
In my view, text messaging creates liquid boundaries – or vague and undefined parameters – about attention and intimacy in your relationship.
A relationship in its early stages is fragile and requires proper time, attention, and care. During this phase in your relationship, your focus should be on learning about each other and building trust.
How the heck can you build trust and intimacy through texting?
6 Reasons To Stop Texting In The Early Stages Of Your Relationship
1. Texting creates a false sense of intimacy
Texting is still a relatively new form of communication. I don’t think we realize how much impact our smart phones have on our attention, emotions, and time.
For me, text messaging feels like I’m having a real conversation. But it’s not a real conversation: there’s no eye contact, no hand gestures, no voice inflection… It’s not real! It’s just a digital message that you get through your phone.
Therefore, you fill in the details of who he is and what he’s about with your own impressions – not letting Mr. Potential earn your attention with his real presence.
More on KimberlyElise.com: When Is It Okay To Date A Friend?
2. Text messaging is just way too easy
Texting is speaking without actually speaking.
Think about it. How much work is it for a man to text, “Hey, how’s it going?”
Not very much work at all.
Now, how about picking up the phone, dialing, and having an actual conversation?
A reasonable amount of work…
If a man doesn’t call you, then chances are he probably isn’t really interested in putting in any work to capture your heart. That’s a good thing, because you’ve filtered out the riffraff from your dating life.
The man who is truly interested in getting to know you will filter through and call you when he’s ready.
More on KimberlyElise.com: Does He Respect You? Watch How He Treats Others…
3. Text messaging violates your boundaries — you have more important things to do
For me, when I get a text message, I can’t help but look at who it’s from – thus stealing my attention away from what is directly in front of me. You’re probably the same way. None of us can really help it.
Whatever is right in front of you is actually there. Therefore, it probably warrants your full attention, time, and energy.
But with a simple text, some unknown sender who is x miles away has injected him/herself into the center of your universe. Unless it’s an emergency, that person can wait until you’re ready to speak properly. It’s nothing personal; you just have things to do.
More on KimberlyElise.com: The Chakra Series: Throat Chakra
4. Text messaging violates his boundaries, too
The same principle applies to your suitor and his life. Men are extra sensitive about all of the demands on their time these days. By refraining from texting, you are demonstrating complete respect for his time and busy schedule.
Most importantly, if you simply take texting out of the equation in the early stages, Mr. Potential will not feel like you are taking up his attention.
I have found this to be particularly important when dating men who have very busy work schedules. Men (and women!) with demanding work schedules appreciate saving the chit-chat for when you two are together, gazing into each other’s eyes, and holding hands… not texting.
More on KimberlyElise.com: If Your Love Is Meant To Be, He’ll Come Back. Here’s Why
5. Not everyone shares the same “rules” about text messaging, making it pretty confusing
There are so many silly rules…
- Some people like to wait five or 10 hours before texting you back, in order to seem busy (even though they’re not)
- Some people are irritated by emojis (even though they’re cute)
- Some people are repulsed by spelling errors (even though everyone makes them)
- Some people prefer one word responses while others prefer long, detailed paragraphs
- Some people prefer to share sexy bathroom selfies in order to flirt with strangers
You don’t have time to interpret any of this.
Again, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, the focus should not be on playing text messaging games.
Your focus should be on getting to know each other through real communication in order to foster trust and intimacy.
6. Innocent texts can lead to miscommunication, arguments, and text-love vomit
Miscommunication It’s easy to be misunderstood through a text message. The recipient reads your message through their own lens, without the context of your tone or the inflections in your voice. For me personally, I have gotten into many ridiculous texting quarrels with my own family because I didn’t put a happy face at the end of a text message 🙂
or because I used a period at the end of my message
Arguing Likewise, it’s way too easy to flip out and say things that you would never say if you were actually speaking to someone in person. Texting emboldens people to say what they are really feeling, including those flaring, passing emotions. Again, it’s because you aren’t actually speaking: you’re spewing words into your electronic device and sending them into the ether.
Perhaps you’ve had a fight over text message that completely ruined a relationship. I certainly have. For this reason alone, it’s not worth texting anything beyond, “What time are we meeting?” and “How far away are you?”
Text-Love Vomit When we get a little too comfortable with texting, it’s easy to send intimate messages that destroy developing attraction, especially when two people aren’t on the same page about what the relationship means.
For example, just today, I received a direct message from a guy who likes me that read:
Once a man sees the most beautiful woman on earth his first time, you know he can’t take too long off from seeing her again. Im suffering from withdrawal! JK
It’s too much! It’s too much! Please don’t text me that!
7. You win without ever playing any games
I think the most powerful benefit of the “no texting game” is the fact that you aren’t playing any games.
You allow the relationship to go at a steady, appropriate pace and you receive the information that you need to determine if Mr. Potential is Mr. Right.
Maybe he calls all the time, but you realize that you aren’t attracted to his voice. Or, maybe you’re crazy about his voice, but he never even calls. Or, maybe he really likes you, but he’s super busy at this time in his life and ultimately isn’t ready for a relationship.
All of this might not be discovered if you’re texting each other hot air all the time
How To Communicate Your Boundaries About Texting
Here are ways that I communicate my boundaries about texting with guys. Give it a try and adjust to suit your own communication style.
Method 1 When you first give your phone number to Mr. Potential, simply say something along the lines of, “Please call, don’t text. I find texting “distracting.”
Method 2 If he’s a gentleman, he might call. At the end of your call, simply say, “Listen, I’m not a big texter, especially at this point, so why don’t you call me when you’re ready to speak again?”
Method 3 If he texts you, call him immediately and say, “Hey, I don’t really like to text and thought it would be easier to speak for a few minutes.” Your phone call doesn’t have to be more than 3 or 4 minutes long, but you’ll probably gain a lot more information than if you were texting all day.
Method 4 If he texts you, wait about 10 hours (okay now we’re playing games) and then respond to whatever he said and add, “Listen, I’d really prefer to speak over the phone. I prefer not to ever text because it’s distracting for me during the day. Call me [insert availability here].”
Real relationships are built on communicating with words and body language, not phone messages. However, it’s really important to be gentle when communicating your boundaries. Any high-quality man who is truly interested in you will appreciate your boundaries and will respect them.
Tell us in the comments: What do you think about texting in the early stages of a relationship?