When texting is a turn off

by singlemomseeking on February 5, 2009

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

Maybe I just need to get an iPhone and learn the fine art of texting.

It’s not like I’m a virgin when it comes to texting. I text to say that I’m running late. I text to check in about a play date.

I also love sending — and receiving — sweet, flirty texts. It feels good to know that someone is thinking about you, don’t you agree?

But what happens when a man tries to date you through texting? (No, this isn’t what happened to Dad’s House, when he and a woman were texting just to set up that first date. What work!)

[Ed. note: I ran this post by this “cute guy” to give him the head’s up about this post. I just took a deep breath.]

Here’s what happened:

I recently dragged Depot Dad to a party (thanks Jim!) where I met this cute guy, who was actually a friend-of-a-friend…. Anyway, I gave him my number. He called.

We had a sweet conversation — followed by a few fun, thoughtful dates. In between, we planned everything by email or text, all business and to the point. There was no flirting in between, and I didn’t really give much thought to the fact that we hadn’t talked on the phone.

I figured we were connecting slowly? Flash forward: I just had a super-packed weekend, including an author-friend visiting from NYC.

I had childcare for the evening — yes, for the Best Sex Writing of 2009 reading — so I emailed to invite him. (He was a brave man to say “yes”!)

After the reading, I explained (by email, again) that I wanted to check in with my friend to see what her plans were after the reading. Looking back, I just should have picked up the phone and called him.

Clearly, we were already in a texting/emailing mode.

That morning, there was a text from him:

“Have you talked with your friend about what’s happening after her reading? I’m still happy to hang and simply wanted to know if I should make my own plans afterward.”

I didn’t respond right away — morning rush! — but 20 minutes later, there was an email:

“Any word on post-reading activities tonight?… Just wanted to know so I could make other plans if needed.”

Maybe I was reading into things, but it seemed like he had a potential late night plan on the back burner, if you know what I mean?

Go ahead and tell me if I over-analyze everything, but why don’t grown ups call each other anymore if they really want to spend time together?

So, I called him.

I’m not trying to come down on this guy. This isn’t a deal breaker. (It’s not like the time I went on a date with my former UPS man and he texted another woman right in front of me!)

But when I read his text — and then email — I assumed that he that wanted to see which lucky woman might fill his “after hours” slot.

But that’s the problem with texting to set up dates: it’s so easy to misread.

As I said, I even called this handsome guy to discuss this post. “Texting and emailing is so easy to misinterpret,” he agreed. “You can’t hear the inflection in someone’s voice.”

Since all of you are (often) much savvier than me… let me have it.

When you’re planning a date — like above — do you set it up by texting each other?

Am I just making a big deal out of nothing here?


I’d love to know if you use texting for flirting only. Or, for business only? Or, for both?

While we’re on the topic, read Dr. Leah’s “Textiquette” at Singlemommyhood.

Good stuff! We’d love to know what you think!

Both of us are big fans of CREDO, a socially responsible ecofriendly phone company which donates a percentage of each customer’s phone bill to support nonprofits. You can sign up with Credo here.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Roxanne August 27, 2009 at 2:48 pm

I have a child with this guy. During the relationship he mostly text me and it bothered me at first but then I let it go. Now that we broke up he calls me more than he text me . What does that mean?


Mama Dharma February 9, 2009 at 8:11 am

Hmmm…it is so tough to figure the whole etiquette these days, what with so many damn modes of communication at our disposal. Life used to be so simple, did it not? We are perhaps the last generation that will have a memory of life before cell phones and email.

I am a late convert to texting, but oh, now…I am an addict. I just adore it. It gets ridiculous if you are trying to set something up and there are complicated logistics, in which case the phone is definitely more efficient. I have a lovely, sexy flirty text thing going on with a long-distance guy…and it is just the most fun ever.

Mama Dharma´s last blog post…Metamorphosis


Janet February 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm

I like texting back and forth between friends b/c it’s a quick way to share random thoughts. I prefer texting rather than phone when talking to the ex b/c I can’t stand talking to him.

With that said though, I HAVE been asked out via text…and I find that to be a turn-off. I want to be asked out in person or by phone. It just seems like the adult way to do it!!

Janet´s last blog post…POP! STOP!


Alicia February 5, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Awww…this post is so timely. Just this afternoon I was texting with this guy (silly, flirty stuff), and he texts: “sooo, are we ever gonna go out?” I thought it was adorable (and told him so)via text. Then he called to chat and make date plans. Sometimes text and email is just easier-shorthand for the small stuff. IMO Rachel, I think it’s bugging you more that this guy probably has something else on the backburner, rather than the text/no text issue. And that would bug me too! In the future, make the first move to say that you prefer text on a limited basis. Anyone who’s not hiding from something should be able to handle that request.


Canadian Bald Guy February 5, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I don’t text. At all. My phone isn’t even set up for it.

Of course, having said that…maybe I’d text more if I had a Blackberry or an ITouchPhoneThingy or something other than this generic cell phone that I’ve got in case of emergencies.

I’m much more of an email guy. From work…from home…from other people’s homes…that’s my primary form of communication.

But still…two messages in 20 minutes about the exact same thing seems a bit much unless it was literally an hour or two before the “date”.

Canadian Bald Guy´s last blog post…A lifelong obsession realized…


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