Q. I hate modern dating. I find it unsettling that the acceptable courtship procedures dictate a swift, yet faux, intimacy through text. If I get so much as a “good morning” text (let’s not even get into “wyd” or “u up?”) from someone I barely know, I’m creeped out and annoyed. I’m open to phone calls, but I’d like to actually go on dates and have shared experiences … build chemistry and get to know each other the old-fashioned way! I don’t want a bunch of texts cluttering my workday or my free time.
I want to be excited to see someone, miss them, and have things to share with them when I see them. In this age of online dating and fast romances, how do I convey my dating style preferences? Or am I just not with the times and need to acquiesce to modern dating? FWIW, I’m 34, so those in my age range (30-45) don’t seem to be super inclined to a slow burn. Thanks in advance!
A. Texting might be the way someone else experiences a slow burn. A good morning text might be the way they say, “Hey, it’s morning and I’m thinking about you. Feeling the burn. Slowly.”
Also, when you meet someone online, that’s where you’ve started. With a swipe. With a message. It makes sense that someone’s next step is … well, another message.
It sounds like your concern is that these “swift” relationships are all texts, no real bonding. You can avoid that pattern by letting someone know you’re not a big texter. Say you like a phone call. Try a Zoom date. It’s a way to build a bond between in-person dates. It can offer more reveals.
Be clear about how you like to communicate, and try to be empathetic about how difficult it is to show interest. “U up?” at 2 a.m. is very different than “good morning,” in my opinion. Someone’s typed attempt to get to know you might be awkward, but consider their intentions.
I used to get frustrated when people’s first online dating interaction was “how are you?” because it’s such a big question (especially these days), and it’s so generic. Then I realized it’s difficult to know what to say. Set an example by asking questions you’d like to be asked, planning other ways of checking in, and telling someone what you like.
You’re not alone in wanting more than a very long text chain.
Just tell potential dates that you don’t like texts. Reinforce it by initiating phone calls and in-person dates.
If your “dating” so far has not included any in-person meetings, then you’re not actually dating.
You can tell your dates your preferred communication style but I think you’re going to have to compromise a bit, otherwise you are going to go date-less for a long while. I also wonder if you would feel differently about a “good morning” text if you were into the person who sent it?
I completely agree with you, BUT that leaves me two options: “yell get off my lawn” and not date, or sort through a bunch of single dates until I find someone I synch up with. The choice is yours, but just know that complaining and being set in your ways are not particularly attractive.
I’m sorry but texting is primary communication nowadays. You also seem really bitter because how dare someone wish you a good morning. Adapt.
You’re not so keen on people who might want to date you getting in touch with you but you still want to go on dates and get to know people. Wanting to skip the initial communication step is not something that I think will work out well for you. I don’t get the sense that modern dating practice is really the issue for you; rather, it is basic communication skills with people you don’t know very well.
Send your own relationship and dating questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch new episodes of Meredith Goldstein’s “Love Letters” podcast at loveletters.show or wherever you listen to podcasts. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters.