Remember what it was like to go out on a date with someone, only knowing his or her name, among other basic details? Remember what it was like to find love notes on your car? Or learn about a person's hopes and dreams by becoming emotionally saturated through gripping conversation?
Our generation, one that lovingly relishes in the concept of instant gratification, has single-handedly managed to undermine the art of dating by means of technological evolution.
How, you ask? Via speech bubbles that appear on a 2 x 4 screen. Yes, texting has become a necessary means for communication, but it is that element of convenience that has led to dating's downfall.
Long gone are the days of daydreaming and waiting for your rotary phone to ring. The mailman won't roll up to your house and implant an envelope laced with his cologne into your mailbox.
Most likely, that "Hey, what's up?" text you receive at 11:45 pm on a Saturday night isn't posed as an inquisition that will lead to discussing your future goals.
What was once a classic and exploratory-like rendezvous has morphed into something that is routine and expected rather than treasured. When texting is abused in the "getting to know you" stage in the dating processes, it's like leading the cart before the horse.
Why should he take you out to dinner when he feels he can adequately entertain you [for free] by sending intriguing text messages? Think about it and let me give you the 411 as to why texting has tainted the beauty and pleasure that encases the dating process:
1. The details are spoiled through text
There is no fun in sitting down and getting to know someone if you already know the majority of the details about him or her.
Personal anecdotes become stories that you've already heard; there is no extremely new and interesting knowledge that is garnered as you casually sip your coffee or swirl the pasta around your fork in a desultory manner.
It's one thing to cover the basics through phone conversations, like family life, occupation, location, education. Once you uncover the juicy, fun details about his favorite color, why Wednesday is his best day of the week, how 137 became his lucky number or how he takes his coffee black with two Equals and a sprinkle of nutmeg, what else is there? Sheer boredom, that's what.
Too much talking without seeing each other in person is an unequivocal in-person tragedy. There is no air of mystery, no details that have been left lingering in the wind, making you hungry for more.
Instead of being equivalent to a tight-lipped, perplexing character like Cinderella, you're like Elsa; people haven't seen you — only heard about you — yet they have a proclivity toward your hidden powers.
2. Mass communication = death by dialogue
For starters, talking to someone through the phone all day every day is fun. Your endorphins are flying high, you're at a peak of happiness and your phone vibration signals a cataclysmic reaction.
Speaking from morning to night is defined as cute, interested and invested. It also leads to reliance on communication and a nasty habit of dependence on constant conversation.
It results in unhealthy relationship barriers right out of the gate. If the momentum isn't kept on either end (and after some time, you can be guaranteed that it will be sorely lacking on one end), the conversational orgasm to which you have grown so accustomed will surreptitiously fizzle out.
3. Constant availability
Remember the unwritten "three-day rule?" A guy would take a girl out on a date and then would wait an entire 72-hours before contacting her again — even if he really likes her.
Despite being hated and keeping girls hanging for all ages, this action was probably more effective in the long run.
It provided a short window in which both parties could really think about their experience with the other person and whether they would be willing to invest spending their time with him or her again.
These days, it is pretty normal to have a brief tête-à-tête via text after the conclusion of a date. If not at night, it's pretty likely that you'll get a text the morning after, if either party has some semblance of interest in future encounters.
There is no wait time and no time to relish in the inevitable; everyone is constantly available. You didn't have to wait one week to travel three towns over by foot to take your girl to the ice cream parlor or the church dance.
Instead, you can shoot her a "Hey, do you want Taco Bell?" and chances are that she will respond and be sharing a Cheesy Gordita Crunch with you in 15 minutes flat.
4. Late-night texts
My mother once told me, "If a guy texts you after 9:30 pm, do not answer it until the morning." This is a rational thought that seems easy until the man you really like shoots you a text at 10:00 pm and you're dying to answer it.
I've spoken to many people about the stigma that surrounds late-night texting. Personally, I think it's cute if you're in a relationship. If you're in the "getting to know you phase," say goodnight early enough so no messaging can become misconstrued.
The illusion that is all-encompassing of the classic "booty call" text has the ability to become too routine. If a guy only communicates with you between the hours of 9 pm to 3 am, you know what his intentions are.
He couldn't care less about what your favorite ice cream flavor is or if you're visiting your grandma the following day. In the past, if a guy wrote you a love letter at 1:45 am, he didn't have purely sexual intentions with you; he was simply thinking about you and couldn't sleep.
Oh, how times have changed; now, the connotation of "I'm thinking about you" has had the ability to evolve into something entirely negative.
Regardless, if you're not with the person at night, you should be dreaming about the person, envisioning him or her sleeping peacefully. Texting back-and-forth about being in your individual beds doesn't accomplish anything.
5. Classic communication "drop off"
This is the ultimate communicative situation that leaves us the most baffled. When you are used to fluidity in conversation, reading someone's texting patterns and anticipating an emotional bouquet through words each day, you become rather accustomed to that style of living.
If he used to respond within 30 minutes and now takes an hour on average to respond, you can tell that something is up. But technically, you feel that you don't have the jurisdiction to call him out on it because he will say nothing is wrong and maybe you're just overreacting or worse, he will think you're crazy.
Ask any of my friends; I am the queen of determining when a guy is signaling his "drop off." Usually within half a day to a day, I will know the answer. After being fervently annoyed, I just wait for the point where I have to initiate everything.
Right then and there, ladies and gentlemen, you have answered your own question and the other party has initiated the "drop off" period. Now, the life expectancy of your little texting relationship is coming to a close.
6. The verdict:
I don't know about you, but I would rather have a love letter secured under my wiper blades, my preferential combination of ice cream delivered to my front door or a mixed tape of his favorite songs left inside my mailbox than receive a barrage of text messages that leave me either flooded with information or grappling for closure (not to mention, ones that seemingly tear all of the elements of beautiful ambiguity from getting to know someone beyond the "like").
Ladies and gentlemen, dating > texting.