“I’m sorry, I just don’t see this going anywhere for me. It’s not you, it’s me. Thanks for going out tonight. I’ll keep you in mind. You’re a really good person.”
For some people, getting this kind of text could be infuriating. How can he break up with me like THAT?! He doesn’t call? He doesn’t explain himself? That’s it?? Avi is soo not a mentsch.What, he couldn’t tell me to my face?
While Avi’s text may have opened up Pandora’s box for some, others might read it and say goodbye and good riddance. Thank G-d we don’t have to prolong this experience. But did Avi handle the situation in the most appropriate manner? It begs the bigger question: At what point is texting in a relationship a bad idea and, moreover, is it ever a good thing?
Generally, after a first or second casual date without a shadchan (or sometimes even with a shadchan), texting could be an easy and appropriate out; a simple ending to a short period of time spent between two people that weren’t meant for each other. Past a second date, it is usually inappropriate to break up via text.
But texting is not just a tool to end relationships. It’s also great for practical means, such as sending your ETA, getting an address, or just setting up a phone call. However, today texting is used for more than that. Texting in a relationship has become both a tool and a hindrance to the modern day couple who are attempting to create a lasting, meaningful relationship. I think it is time to acknowledge this powerful part of our lives for what it really is.
Let’s start by welcoming texting. Nothing says “I’m thinking of you” like a text out of the blue, or the perfect picture or emoji when it pops up on your phone from your date. Say you finished your date and then realized you didn’t tell him or her they just looked fantastic tonight? Maybe the next day you pass by a painting of your date’s favorite artist and you want to let them know you are thinking of them. All of these are examples of how texting keeps us feeling connected.
Texting also can take relationships to new levels of closeness. Let’s be honest, it’s just easier sometimes to text more emotional messages than they are to say it in person. It’s easy to send a message and not have to deal with the immediate reaction. To have the time to process and wonder what the person is reacting to or thinking of your new flirty or emotional side letting your date know in new ways that you like him or her.
Where the danger in texting comes in is in creating a strictly virtual relationship, one that was developedonlythrough texting and not given the proper time to develop in person. A person in a virtual relationship is walking around believing that their relationship has attained new levels through texting, but in reality, when he or she is on a date, they can’t share as much as they texted to each other. This is where texting becomes a crutch and not a tool.
With most things in life, there are no black and white answers. With the vast amount of technology available today, meeting someone online is at our fingertips and our relationships have found new wavelengths of communication. Texting can be a powerful tool that connects us and makes us feel loved and cared for. But it can also create a false sense of closeness that isn’t actually there. If your reality is parallel to your virtual reality, then you have achieved a harmonious balance that can lead to a very fulfilling relationship.