Agreeing not to text could build a better relationship
Play-by-play texts of your day can take away from the tension and mystery of dating
Last month, New York Magazine’s website The Cut ran a story by Clara Artschwager about a new, promising relationship that was nearly sabotaged by texting — Artschwager was too busy to text, so her date assumed she wasn’t into him — and saved by an agreement to just not text each other, minus logistical communiques. No dinging good nights and good mornings; no interrupting check-ins. Artschwager described the new paradigm as “thrilling.”
Isn’t it? To be without the phone, and its most disruptive function, is as daydreamy as a crush. The best dating advice I ever got, long before I started dating at all, was “When in doubt, don’t call.” I now dispense the smartphone-updated version “When in doubt, don’t text.”
The problems of “texting Texting less is both a practical return to the point of everything and a dating power move, argues Kate Carraway.
and dating” are just “texting” and “dating.” Really, “texting” is a straw app for social technology that connects people so easily that we unfairly expect constant accessibility, attention and interest from each other — dates, friends, whoever. “Dating” is a vanilla milkshake of a word
that really means the entire sphere of potential, of love, of relationships, and mostly, of sex, and how they slide around the sociosexual continuum without much formality or differentiation. This is especially true for millennials and gen zers (zed-ers?) who get together, get off, and fall apart over waves of Wi-fi. Together, “texting and dating” are responsible for accommodating enormous swaths of the 2018 human experience, but they’re both mostly bad at it.
What texting and dating need, in this moment, is to be “less.” Texting is great when it’s limited to details, updates and check-ins, but when it goes long-form or gets constant, it undermines its own utility. (It also means that an entire generation, those Zers, arrive at their first jobs not knowing how to make a phone call.) Dating wants intimacy alongside curiosity, expansiveness, distance, tension and mystery — none of which is possible when you’re updating a potential makeout bud on the boring-er vagaries of your workday.
This, to me, is the real problem, the one Artschwager writes of solving: daters have traded in the acute, excruciating pleasure of desire, of literal and figurative “wonder,” for a dopamine one-hitter.
Read on at thestar.com/life