As I’ve started dating more, I’ve been noticing a trend that I’m finding is one of my most monumental turn-offs to date.
I just met you. You seem cool and I want to get to know you better, so I ask you out, or agree when you ask me out. We exchange numbers and figure out a time and date over text, and then… the conversation keeps going.
So tell me about yourself.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
How is your day going?
I’m bored. What are you up to?
What’s your favorite fruit?
Okay. Stop. Please. It’s awesome that you want to get to know me. I want to get to know you, too! That’s why I agreed to get coffee with you. Thing is, I want to get to know you. Not some text on a screen. I want to see your face when you tell me how passionate you are about history, or what it felt like when you found out your brother had cancer. I want to hear you laugh instead of seeing the sound of a laugh typed out.
So much is lost in text. So fucking much. If I know a person well enough it’s easy to anticipate what they really mean, the tone they’d use, their facial expressions, whether they’re being sarcastic or flirty or distant. If I just met you, I can’t do any of that. I fill in the gaps with my own assumptions and start building an imaginary version of you who, if we text enough, will end up being a completelydifferent person than the one I’ll eventually meet for coffee.
Maybe I was getting attached to that person I made up from your texts. Maybe you’re totally different from that person, and while you’re still cool, what I really wanted was a date with that imaginary friend that I had to build to make up for the lack of real social feedback that texting provides. And you’re great… but you’re not them.
I want to anticipate our date. I want to look forward to it, to let a little wonder build instead of having every curiosity satisfied instantly with a couple taps on a screen. I don’t need to know how your day is twice a day, every day, between the time we make our date and the actual date. I’m sorry, but at that point I don’t know you well enough to really care. I have a limited amount of fucks I can give a day, and you’re taking them away from people I already know and love.
This behavior has happened sort of a ridiculous amount of times, and I always find that it ruins any interest I had in the person. They become a chore, one of many people that I’m obligated to get back to about something I don’t care about. I start thinking of my date with them as an obligation, too.
So I’m instituting a new rule. Unless it’s directly related to the time/date/place of the date, I’m not going to text potential partners until after the third date. By then I should know your face and mannerisms well enough to start catching a little subtext in all the text, and if we make it past the third date in all likelihood I’ll be so eager to see more of you that the moments between texts will be anticipation enough to keep my interest.