Why Online Dating Is Like The Forever21 Of Romance

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Love, Self

UM ... whatever happened to talking to people in person?

As a person that really, really hates talking on the phone, not speaking to your potential person on the phone is a romance KILLER. Texting, too, is a romance killer for my WHICH? generation.

We didn't grow up in a text world. In fact, we didn't grow up in a cell phone world. We had no Skype, no online dating; there was nothing technical that interfered with our relationships.

We actually had to ask the other person questions about what they do, what they like, and who they are; we didn't read about it online.

Conversations included eye contact and attention that didn't include a cell phone glued to our hand or laying face up on the dinner table. (Because God forbid you miss an important Facebook notification.)

Let me count the ways ... Texting lacks warmth, intonation, can be misconstrued, not received; it's an easy way out AND a bad way out.

I recently sent a sexy joke to a love interest ... no response. Did he not like the joke? Did he not receive it? Is he simply busy? Is he blowing me off?

I have no idea, as I haven't heard from him and it's been 8 hours.

I won't resend or text him until I hear from him, but you get the point. It now occurs to me that he hasn't once called me, nor have I called him.

We've been "seeing" one another for months and have never spoken on the phone.

In an age of men and women being so career-oriented and busy, speaking on the phone is important to keep the warm and fuzzy alive. I'm not talking about 30 minute or one hour conversations; I'm speaking of a brief hello, thinking-about-you communication in between dates.

If you want a garden to grow, you have to water it. The same absolutely applies to relationships and back before all of this technology, relationships were deeper and lasted longer.

We're in such an instant-everything society that we've forgotten how to invest in one another and take our time.

I know I'll take flack for the shot taken at online dating. I have friends who are married as a result of meeting online, and I get that it works for some.

Likewise, I have many more friends that date a person they meet online for six months to two years, and get back online as soon as the relationship ends (or as it's ending). They're a revolving door of online relationships. And I don't call that success.

It's become so easy to find a temporary mate that unless you're having children, relationships are disposable.

Online dating is the Forever 21 of romance: it looks great the first time few times you wear it, and then after a wash or two, it unravels.

Communication lapses are romance killers in that respect that because we're in the iPhone age. People become annoyed and impatient when they don't hear from you. They feel there's no excuse; everything must happen instantly.

We don't respect one another's time anymore. We don't understand that just because we have smartphones doesn't mean we're always available.

So what happens when the person on the other end doesn't respond? We think the worst, our imaginations run wild, and in the meantime, they were simply busy with their life. It's not personal, but we take it personally.

The flip side? The other person often feels invaded and annoyed by text messages. I rest my case. A five-minute conversation would take all that away. Everyone would know where they stand and time would be mutually respected.

I know there's a fun, flirty side to texting; I'm not a curmudgeon. But overall, it's not something that adds intimacy to a romance. At the end of the day, if you're going to experience growth, emotional intimacy is key.

That being said, pick up the phone, people. And put the phone away.


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