A Date with the Text Addict

textIf you’ve dated at all, I’m sure you’ve met him. You know,… the guy who pulls out his top-of-the-line phone the minute you both sit down at the restaurant. His “cellular IV” then lands a prominent position on the table next to his right elbow where he can slide his hand nonchalantly over to it, should it wiggle or light up in the least.

So I’m out with this guy, let’s just call him Jeff and…

when the phone comes out of his pocket and joins us at the table, it’s clear we’ll be sharing our date with a third equally important person,… “whomever” might reach out in that moment. I wait to see how long it takes for him to check it – not even five minutes! I’m disappointed, and there’s not much left to be redeemed. We try to have a conversation. I comment on the surroundings, the restaurant’s atmosphere, about what’s happening around us. When I stop mid-sentence…more than once…Jeff doesn’t even get it! His mind is elsewhere and his ears have tuned out too. I try not to appear annoyed, but I’m feeling bored with his company and I’m so totally turned off, I can’t wait to leave. I stare across the room and wonder what I’ve gotten myself into. 

You see, I text too, but not when I’m with people whose company I enjoy (or want to get to know). When I go out with my girlfriends, we talk and laugh and give attention to each other. I choose my friends that way. I guess what I’m saying is, if a guy can’t give his attention to me when we’re one-on-one, then he just isn’t worth my time.

I know that may seem a little old fashioned, but it’s just simple courtesy to me. If you value someone, even a friend, you should give them your attention, not your distracted sloppy seconds. When you pull out your phone and text someone “not there,” you’re sending a clear message to me that someone/something else is more important than the person you’re with. To me, it’s a bad habit, an addiction that’s costing men (and women) the possibility of a real relationship with a flesh and blood person right in front of them.

When Jeff dropped me off, I was relieved, but also a little exhausted, not energized the way you feel after a “good” date. I never said anything to him about the texting; I only thought to myself, that wasn’t the kind of interaction I wanted in my life. When I told the story to a friend, she asked me, didn’t I want to tell him so he could have a chance to redeem himself?

No!, I didn’t. The way I look at it, we’re all adults. We choose our actions, and for whatever reason, they work for us. Trying not to judge him, I can give him the benefit of the doubt: maybe he was nervous, maybe he really did need to message his boss, maybe texting is his way of dealing with an uncomfortable situation. All or none of those could be true, but if someone doesn’t automatically treat me with care, attention and respect, then the things that are going to make a relationship successful with me aren’t habit for that person. I’m just not willing to wait for someone to learn how to interact with me.

End of story…

What’s your experience with dating and texting? Am I being intolerant?


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