If you just met someone and the person called you on the phone three times the next day – three times – you’d probably be like, “Um, what are you doing? We just met.”
But when it comes to texting, people are accelerating the relationship faster than the rhythm it would occur in every day, adorable, awkward relationship life.
This is a problem.
Texting logistics, I get. “In a meeting, running late, will call in ten.” That falls under the courtesy banner. But when texting interferes with romance it can get a person into all kinds of trouble.
I’d had too many miscommunications over text. Ghosting. Break ups. It made any level of relationship feel more disposable. Sped up and undeveloped at the same time.
I got fed up. I decided I didn’t want to text again until I knew I’d see the person at home later where we could actually talk. That meant waiting to text until after I got married.
I adopted the preference: No Premarital Text. Phone calls. The purpose of phone calls would be to connect, get to know each other, and make an in-person date. It saved me a ton of time and confusion.
I’ll tell you what I mean with a PHONE CALL vs. TEXTING Battle.
Who will win?
Texting: How you decode a text depends on where your self-esteem is at that moment. Your love life could hinge on punctuation.
Phone Call: If you don’t understand what someone means, you can ask them at that moment!
Texting: You type on your own time. If you think about it, texting is a one person at a time thing. You’re having a conversation but it’s not happening at the same time.
Phone Call: Inventions should have gone in this order: Telegram, Texting and THEN talking on the phone. “Before, we could only send words, now we can hear each other’s voices, and at the same time! It’s a miracle!”
Phone Call: Spontaneity.
Phone Call: You can pick up on nuances and build on what each other says.
Texting: You don’t even know where the other person is, or who they’re with when they text, or how many other people they’ve texted just because they’re bored. Too easy to be discarded.
Phone Call: There’s a courtesy that we all agreed to in history where we say “bye” at the end of a call.
Texting: You can ghost someone or be ghosted mid-conversation.
Texting: Emojis may express intention but, sorry (sad face emoji here), they do not evoke emotion.
Phone Call: You can hear someone’s tone and get to know them. Tone evokes emotion.
Texting: You ask someone out/get asked out. There’s a Yes. One person throws out some possible days and then does not hear back. You spend time wondering whether to write again. If you do, it could come across desperate. Or angry. Or curious. Or friendly. Or attractive. Or… see what I mean, how much time that involves?
Phone Call: You couldn’t be in the middle of making a date and then the other person suddenly stops talking, right?
Phone Call: You have to make time to have a phone call, letting each other know that each other is substantial.
Texting: You do it on your own time, it takes about two seconds, and creates a relationship environment of disposability.
Phone Call: You can check in with yourself after you get off the phone to see how you feel about them.
Texting: The rush of dopamine from texting can accidentally cause you to become addicted to the person – but really the urgent draw of texting. Not the person. That makes it take much longer to get over someone you don’t even know that well.
Texting: How you respond depends on your mood. If you’re grouchy because you didn’t have lunch, or you make a joke that doesn’t have your corresponding laughter, your briefly written response could misfire the entire relationship.
Phone Call: You can pick up on a change in the other person’s voice and explain what you meant, or where you’re at.
Texting: If someone texts “Hey” at 2 a.m. it seems friendly. Thoughtful, even.
Phone Call: If someone calls at 2 o’clock in the morning, they are drunk. Clearer decision making on your end.
Who won? If you still say texting, I have a…
If you’re still not convinced that you might want to adopt the “No Premarital Text” Preference to save yourself time, here’s a Q&A (Well, Statement and Answer.)
S: But texting is convenient.
A: You don’t want a relationship drive-thru, you want a relationship restaurant. Romance is anything but convenient. You’re sending a message that you’re not worth the time.
S: I don’t have time. I’m really busy.
A: Making time in the romance department is important for yourself if you’re looking for something long-lasting. Also, being too busy tells the other person that you’re not looking to prioritize love, or them, for that matter. Schedule a six minute phone call.
Not to mention, you get to know someone by spending time together, right? You can’t know someone through a screen.
S: But texting is the only way he/she knows to communicate with me.
A: Vulnerability is part of a healthy relationship. Eye contact is part of a healthy relationship. Speaking is part of a relationship. I suggest you save time and practice that together sooner than later.
S: But everyone texts. That’s just how it’s done.
A: Is it working? You can lead the way with clarity and kindness. Here’s how you do it. You can say something like, “I prefer phone calls to texts. You can get to know someone better.”
No Premarital Text is not a rule. It’s not a test. It’s a genuine preference because you’re trying to make communication easier. Make your emotional life simpler and save time. Otherwise, you’ll be imagining who the person is according to their few words and your high hopes, instead of getting to know who they really are.