Thursday, March 03, 2011

Dating Glowing Boxes

Enter online dating.

At first it was a little creepy. Like the 1970s personal ads for a lover... but not as romantic as the unromantic Pina Colada song. Couples that did meet online made up cover stories.
Once you composed your online profile, you didn't tell a soul. Maybe you confided in your very best friends, informing them in hushed tones and with a sideways glance, looking up through your eyelashes for understanding and approval.

I knew the taboo had passed when my mom suggested it. My divorced cousin met her fiance (now husband) through a Catholic dating site and now that was the 'obvious' solution for me.

There's no turning back, this is where technology and unfortunately, society is headed.

When I started online dating, the text message was still in the conception stage - perhaps infancy - either way, I wasn't doing it yet. I had a system in place, in which potential dates (including real life guys) would get my land line number until they 'qualified' for my cell number - which seemed like a great deal of personal access to give to a virtual stranger.

Nowadays, almost everyone has unlimited text. Most of society relies on it a bit too much.

When I can finally get a guy to graduate from sending me smiley faces and virtual roses on a dating site to actual online conversation, he 'earns' my cell number. The first communication is typically... guess what... a text!

Wait... a text would be nice. The problem is, I now have a text thread of 70 messages between myself and a guy I have met twice (dinner) and spoken to ONCE on the phone.

It's no way to start a relationship!
There is no tone of voice, no hint of laughter. No revealing small bits of one's personality.
It's more like responding to the check engine light on the dashboard of your car.
I can't have a relationship with a glowing box!

It's not just him. It's most men these days. I think they appreciate the mask of the glowing box - the anonymity of not dealing with a tone of voice.
I think it has to do with the infamous Fear of Rejection... which as I've written before, I don't understand.

Another online guy texted me, just to say, "Hey you." I had to ask who it was, followed by a little chit chat, then nothing. A few days later I went back to the dating site and asked, "Is that the extent of your woo?" Now he threatens/promises to call me. We'll see.

Should I tell you about one more guy who texted me a greeting of "What's up?" I responded that it was my day off and I was happy to be cleaning my house. His response, "What are you wearing?"
Even then, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and answered along the lines that my ensemble involved a very domestic apron, (to show my traditional side) only to have him ask about my panties. Whoa!! I informed him that was not appropriate in the get-to-know-you-stage and successfully scared him off! Never heard from him again.

I really don't know how anyone is supposed to get to know anyone else this way.
Even the men I meet IRL text more than they call.
I get that it's easier to just say hi, or pin down plans, arrival times and such. But I think that's all it should be used for - at least in the very beginning of a relationship.

Maybe that's the problem. Men aren't in the mindset that they're possibly starting a relationship. Maybe they just want to 'hang out'. Well, that's fine if you're 15 years old - but I'm a woman. Please notice that I'm more sophisticated than a 15 year old. Treat me like a lady. Talk to me more than you text me.
Speak to me to ask me out and make plans for a date.

Texting makes it too easy for a guy to tap out "Can you meet me for dinner tonight?"
Um... I'd like to be asked out a few days in advance. Asking me a mere few hours before makes me feel not only like an afterthought.... but sort of like a.... call girl!

Put down the glowing box and talk to me... using your bluetooth!


Anonymous said...

Dating has changed. Students use a site very similar to to find roommates. even does special contracting with universities to match roommates.

Men trade love for sex and women trade sex for love. Not that is always the case.

It seems that as we get older the pleasantries of courting are skirted. Maybe that's a product of our convenience oriented world.

TRS said...

well said! "The pleasantries of courtship are skirted."
Although I don't think it has to do with our getting older. I think they are not even being done in the generations after us, which will be a real shame!

Genevra said...

The last line made me laugh out loud. That was awesome.

I recently attended a diversity class for work and respecting the different modes of communication in different cultures was brought up. What made me laugh was when texting was brought up and how it was a form of communication that needed to be respected. Because as you so nicely have pointed out it seems to be a mode of communication that so many people, a lot of them men, seem to be embracing as one of the primary ways to communicate.

Don't get me wrong I love texting because it is quick and you don't have to get stuck in a long conversation if you just need to ask a simple question or give some information. However, it does drive me nuts when people want texting conversations to go on for hours at a time. Just pick up the phone in that case. And it is so easy to misinterpret things said via text and email, because the tone of voice and/or facial expressions are lost. Many a hurt feeling has occurred because of something that was misinterpreted via text. Which is why I suppose I rely so much on those facial expression symbols in text now days, to prevent any potential misinterpretation.

The more technology that comes along to make communication easier and faster, the more opportunities it seems to bring for miscommunication issues!

TRS said...

Auto Correct failures being one of them!!!

When your phone changes what you are typing to things like s0d0my and N@zi - you need to rethink your communication tool!