3 mo

Your phone isn't the enemy; it's YOU

OlderAndWiser u
Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU

There is an essential aspect of communications that young people overlook because of a horrible assumption that they make. Most young people looking for a partner rely on texting to communicate and that can be a fatal mistake in a relationship. They assume that texting is what is expected and that actually talking on the phone would be perceived as weird or even stalkerish. I don't know why that attitude is so prevalent but it is a blight on the dating scene!

Texting is fine for "honey, can you pick up a gallon milk on the way home?" It is a simple request, there is no room for misunderstanding, there is no emotional component to be conveyed in the tone of voice, volume, intonation, or pace of a spoken message, and, in all likelihood, when I arrive home, I will have a gallon of milk in hand.

Compare this with, "Hey, do you wanna hang out Friday night?" Is this a request for date, or is it a request from a friend who just wants to get together with a friend? The tone of voice and pace of a spoken request probably would have made it obvious if the guy was asking for a date, but there is no tone of voice or pace in a text message. How many times have you had a misunderstanding when texting?

If I wanted to ask a girl for a first date, I would either call on the phone or ask her in person. And I wouldn't ask her if she wants to hang out or chill; that is a non-committal way of asking for a date.


I would ask her if I can take her to dinner on Friday or Saturday night, and if she says yes, I will very specifically say, "Great! It's a date!" At that point, she has no doubt about my interest and intentions.

Of course, if she says "no," I may be uncomfortable for a minute or two, but I've been rejected before, and I always survived! But if she says "yes," she has made a stronger commitment and she may also be impressed with my confidence in asking her in this way.

Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU

Let's get back to the girl who received the text: will she think the guy lacks confidence because he relies on texting rather than calling and making the request directly, voice-to-voice? Maybe . . . but if so, she probably won't express that impression with the guy, and he may assume that he's making a great start with her when he really isn't.

Suppose the girl thinks that he is just wanting to get together as friends, and she already has plans. "That sounds good, but I've already got plans with another friend. Brian and I are going out for pizza; would you like to join us?" The guy may assume that the girl has given him an excuse and is trying to blow him off, so he declines the invite, stays home and feels rejected.

Doesnt look like a fun Friday night!
Doesn't look like a fun Friday night!

Suppose they do have a first date (although, again, they probably wouldn't call it a date; they are just "hanging out" or "chillin.'") The next day, she sends him a text, "I had a good time last night. Hope we do it again soon." She doesn't know that he is at work and can't use his phone while he is on the clock, so he doesn't respond. Her standard expectation is that a guy should respond back to a text within 5 minutes. When he doesn't respond immediately, she assumes that he isn't interested and becomes dejected.

I would call a woman the day after a date to tell her I had a good time and to ask if she wanted to plan something for the following weekend. Yes, talking to her again risks rejection, but if she doesn't want to see me again, I'll come to that realization sooner or later, and there's no down side to finding out now instead of later.

Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU

If she doesn't answer when I call, I just assume that she isn't available and try again later.

By the time our second date is over, either we realize we are not a good match or we are beginning to feel some emotions stirring inside of us, like affection and liking and a desire to spend more time together. Because our communication has been direct and effective, we have a better understanding of our situation and we feel some connection starting to form.

The guy and girl who do everything through texting and have proceeded with a very non-committed approach aren't that far along. She is telling her best friend, "He seems like a decent guy, and he's cute, but "I JUST DON'T FEEL THAT WE'RE CONNECTED IN ANY WAY." Why do you think that happens?

Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU

The problem isn't your cell phone. It's your decision to rely on texting rather than conversing directly. Some people would think that represents shyness or unwillingness to expose yourself to possible rejection or emotional hurt, but here's an OlderAndWiser truism for you: you've gotta take a chance if you wanna find romance!

Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU
Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU

You can continue on with your cell phone/"chillin'" routine and, eventually, you may stumble into a good match that develops, but why not try something different that may even increase your odds of finding a satisfying relationship.

Inevitably, some of you will tell me that I am older and just don't understand how dating works now. Well, I've been on this site for over 8 years and I constantly hear young people tell me how dating doesn't work for them. Yes, I know this is the 2020's, not the 1970's, but human nature hasn't changed. People still want to be loved and appreciated. Most girls still want a guy who makes them feel safe and secure, and guys who are dating still want a girl who is affectionate, who makes them feel proud, and who makes them feel like a man. Exactly what people wanted back in the Stone Age when I was dating!

Your phone isnt the enemy; its YOU
Your phone isn't the enemy; it's YOU
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