Their relationship started after a late night out with friends. Jenny was 23, Jay a dashing 28. Jenny had her share of meaningless romance, but she now wanted something real, something lasting. Jay had a successful career in real estate and was well-respected and involved in his small church community.
So what happened after that first night? If you’re dating or have dated in the last two years, you know the answer: The texting started.
They talked about everything from family and vacations to pet peeves . . . over text. Quickly, they were saying goodnight, good morning, and texting all day, every day. A few weeks went by, and Jenny wondered when Jay was going to ask her on a date.
It felt confusing when Jay would text Jenny “I’m falling for you,” “I can’t wait to see you,” or “I miss you”, but didn’t seem all that interested in getting together.
The texting continued for months, interspersed with an occasional dinner, late-night rendezvous, and group hangouts. Jenny still felt like she was always waiting around for the next time she’d get to see Jay. But Jenny reasoned, and brushed off concern that maybe his texts and his intentions didn’t quite line up.
Then all of the sudden, Jay broke it off, citing that they didn’t share much in common. Soon he was dating someone else. Jenny was heartbroken and angry, feeling that he’d led her on for six months, most of which she waited around and made excuses to see if he’d come through. Haven’t we all been there?
Jenny’s story may be a modern romance, but it’s wasn’t going anywhere. After hearing from thousands of people over the past year and observing through my own dating mistakes; I have learned that relationships fueled by text chemistry don’t recover for 4 main reasons:
1. Mr. Text often disappears and vanishes into thin air. Why? Because he made a very low commitment—texting is easy—which doesn’t prove much. If he’s willing to text you incessantly and not make plans with you in advance, then he probably doesn’t have the courage to come out and tell you he doesn’t want to see you anymore.
2. Text chemistry doesn’t translate to real-life chemistry. Words on a screen won’t tell you if you’re “meant to be.” Spend time getting to know him in person to see if you have a real-life connection.
3. Texting should always lead to face-to-face interaction, not take away from it. There’s a crack in the foundation if texting is replacing real communication. Texting is the worst medium for an argument, talking about the future, or having deep, heart-felt conversations. Put down the phone and pursue a real relationship.
4. Texting often provides a false sense of security. Texting makes physical intimacy easier because you already feel like you are connected emotionally. We all know about the late-night text that only means one thing. Or the sleaze who simply texts “Send me a pic.” Beware of men who take advantage of the ease of a few keystrokes to make an inappropriate move.
To avoid the downward spiral of a texting relationship, ask yourself, Are we communicating more over text or face-to-face? Do we feel comfortable having an uninterrupted deep conversation in person? Is physical intimacy easier than emotional intimacy?
Don’t let Jenny’s fate be yours. For an authentic relationship, your conversations will require more than your thumbs.