I get asked some form of this question at least twice a day. Frustrated single women scratching their heads over why the man they are seeing, (or maybe more accurately, not seeing) is dragging his feet on setting up a date. The romantic tales of today are sounding more and more like this; boy meets girl. boy gets her number. boy texts girl. boy texts girl some more. girl gets frustrated that boy is not making any real moves. Sometimes there is a date or two wedged into all that texting, but not always. Quite often the relationship fizzles out leaving girl to wonder, “where did we go wrong?”
The reason these potential relationships fail to take flight can vary. Some men just prefer the comfort of a virtual relationship, others start interested but that interest quickly wanes with one text too many, but most are doing what women wish they wouldn’t do. They are texting with multiple girls at once and just don’t have the time to date all of them.
Tired of constantly losing at the dating game, my client, who we will call Grace, decided that she spent too much time during our sessions asking me when and what to text boys. Exhausted at the minutia, she decided to do the unthinkable. She disabled her text messaging. She decided she would date plugged for the next year and hope for better results.
When Grace handed out her number, she made a point to tell the guy she couldn’t receive texts. Some looked confused but others just accepted the information. Some wouldn’t call even after taking her number, but the ones who did, set up dates. Not only that, but they set up the next date before that date ended. The biggest difference came with online dating though. Since Grace was a big internet dater (and I recommended not giving that one up) she emailed with men but again told them she didn’t have text capability. The results? There were no more long drawn out texts convos with men she hadn’t met, no more waiting “day-of” to get a text about where and when they would meet (or if they were even still meeting!), best of all, she wasn’t worried that she was wasting time constantly communicating with someone she wasn’t going to see again. Grace’s story changed to boy meets girl. boy gets girls number. boy calls girl and asks her out properly.
Grace’s resounding success caused a wave among her friends. Soon they were all dating unplugged. I began telling my clients to stop giving out there cell phone numbers and go back to using their home phone. Funny, not all were up for the challenge and when pressed, admitted that they were afraid of letting go of their virtual relationships, even at the prospect of more quickly developing a real one. Most that tried did try it though, were pleased at the turn around. They felt no more angst and anxiety in between dates. They felt more confident while on them, too, because they were only going out with men who picked up the phone and asked them out, which takes more thought and courage than typing a quick “how r u?”. And while you would think that communicating less with someone would slow the relationship, in many ways it had the opposite effect. More people were going on more dates, more often, and building something real rather than aimlessly surface chatting for weeks about their daily grind, or plans for the weekend.
If you have had your fill of flirty texting that lead only to confusion, anxiety, and more texting, take the uplugged dating challenge and keep us posted on your results!
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