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

StarMetro Halifax - - DAILY LIFE - Kate Car­raway SPE­CIAL TO THE STAR

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. HER STORY AT THEKIT.CA/STYLE Af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing in­jury, Carolyn Pioro re­fused to give up style. “Be­ing told I was go­ing to live in sweat­pants was about more than fash­ion. I’d had so much taken out of my life ... I was not go­ing to let any­one take any­thing else from me,” she says.

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