Here’s where we are with conversations in modern dating
Alright, let’s face it. We’re all adults here.
What’s more important is that most of us reading this are middle-aged adults. You might be a little before middle age or just beyond it, but you either will get there or you have been.
And being middle-aged brings about certain challenges. Most of them happen in the knees.
Others happen in the dating world.
Probably one of the biggest changes that has happened is HOW it happens.
We already talk a lot about online dating here, which is its own wild wild west.
But let’s take two steps beyond that.
You’ve finally met someone that has caught your attention. You start that more intense “getting to know you” phase.
You envision long phone conversations. Walks in the park. Coffee meet ups where you chat forever.
You know, good old-fashioned courtship.
She envisions brief text exchanges every day.
Yep, that’s where you are with conversations in modern dating.
For you, the exchanges on messenger are just the warm up. For her, they’re the whole darned dating process.
In modern dating, we hear about her – the serial messager – a lot.
Look, you are not wrong (unless you’re the serial messager, in which case you are probably not wholly right). You cannot maintain a relationship that is to grow by exchanging just messages forevermore.
Messaging (and texting) has become a safe space for a lot of people in modern dating, the same way that most things about the internet have.
You can slow down a conversation and take the time you need to give a thoughtful response or to come off the way in which you want to come off.
You’re less likely to feel the pressure that leads to things coming out in ways that you didn’t intend.
You don’t have to see her face when you say things. She doesn’t get to see yours when she tells you things.
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Except relationships aren’t always going to be comfortable, especially in the early goings, when some of the hardest conversations have to be had upfront.
So, while it’s nice and warm and cuddly in the messaging world, you can’t message forever.
There is a better approach to conversations in modern dating.
For example, it might be useful to let her know what your expectations are, and to listen to hers.
If you meet resistance, ask her what her concerns are. Address them. Assure her.
You don’t want to push, but you don’t want to waste months of your life just messaging or texting if you’re ready to move on from that.
You have to find a happy medium that maximizes comfort for both of you.
You don’t have to hop on Zoom right away. Phone calls afford some degree of protection as well. It’s not an unreasonable expectation that you would want to talk to her at some point in live time.
If she continues to resist, take this as the red flag it’s likely meant to be.
It’s possible that she’s not who she said she was. Or maybe she doesn’t look the way she described or showed via photos.
Maybe she’s looking for a pastime and not an actual relationship, despite claiming just the opposite.
She may just be very socially awkward and interactions are a real challenge for her. You want to be empathetic but consider this: the growth of a relationship depends on the growth of the people in it. If she’s not willing to grow in this way, there’s no way for your relationship to grow in other ways.
Pam and I started slowly – we exchanged a few messages on Match.com. Then a few weeks having long conversations on Yahoo Messenger (ahhh… *waxing nostalgic*). We finally exchanged phone numbers and talked on the phone, and then moved on to Skype. There was a steady, comfortable and thoughtful progression in our interactions.
Solid relationships are about starting with solid foundations. Potential for growth, or lack thereof, is established early on. So if you cannot grow your interactions, consider what other growth challenges you might meet along the way. And decide accordingly.
What role do you think conversations in modern dating have on moving forward with a relationship?