Finding the Romance in Texting

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Ever since Joe Jonas went and dumped Taylor Swift over text, the art of texting-while-dating has gotten a pretty bad wrap. Experts claim texting your partner will impact pretty much everything about your relationship – communication, intimacy, attentiveness – in mostly negative ways. “The text is the pygmy of communication methods. It’s a Post-it note, a P.S. It’s minimum investment, minimum effort. It’s often cowardly — a way to avoid face-to-face contact — and invariably lazy,” argues columnist Mandy Appleyard, writing over at the

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Daily Mail.

Could texting really be so nefarious?

For all the criticism, it’s easy to ignore the fact that in a lot of ways, texting is among the most romantic forms of communication out there. You put so much thought into those early texts with a partner. You eagerly await every message from him or her, and then spend hours trying to come up with the perfect response when it finally arrives. You send silly (and sometimes sexy) pictures, little jokes, and share all sorts of small things you might not deem worthy of a phone call or an email. Eventually, you even develop a shorthand. What starts out as a joke or casual abbreviation eventually becomes part of a language that’s unique to how the two of you communicate. Sure, you’re not doing the language in which you’re flirting any favors, but that’s because you’re too busy coming up with your own. You make up or reassign words. You combine languages. You speak in acronyms. If aliens came to earth, opened your texts, and asked for an explanation, no one on earth but the two of you would have anything whatsoever to say. What could be more romantic?

Texting your partner can be silly, it can be sexy, or it can be serious. It can also be efficient. In other words, texting is just a new way to communicate. Like all other forms of communication, it can be executed to many different effects depending on who’s doing it. So while it’s true that getting dumped via text can’t be a fulfilling dating experience, it’s also likely that any perpetrators of this behavior were not going to be the best partners to begin with.

There’s another thing that’s great about texting: Unlike with many other forms of communication, texts are automatically saved for posterity. Almost every message you’ve sent and received is out there somewhere – be it on a mobile device or in the cloud – like a digital record of your entire relationship. Just scroll up a few bars and see how your relationship has evolved over the last 1, 2, 10, 20, years. It’s kind of amazing. If you’re using Couple to communicate with your partner, there’s even more to look back on: Your goofy drawings, videos, lists, and photos, all saved in one place.

So the next time you’re dealing with the darker side of texting – a delayed (or worse, never sent!) message, a text of indecipherable tone, a note that’s blatantly rude or hurtful – remember that a text is only as good, or bad, as its sender. Then go back and look at some of your favorite messages from your friends, happily stored forever just a few clicks away. After all, we remember such a tiny fraction of our day-to-day interactions. It’s nice to have some of those smaller, sweeter moments in life — moments we might have otherwise forgotten — so readily accessible as little reminders of all the people who love us.

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