As a kid of the '90s, I had my romantic coming-of-age occur in the midst of a digital revolution. While my sister had to learn how to flirt the hard way — you knowm with spoken word under the heat of human interaction — I got to learn on the internet. The concept of a one-liner for my generation was really just that.
When I had a crush on someone, I'd add them to my buddy list. If they IMed me, we'd have some slow-burn textual romance that might unfold over the course of a year and it might not even be acknowledged offline. My language of love is best expressed with a QWERTY keyboard. I grew up to be the kind of girlfriend who would get quiet over dinner when she had something important to say, only to wait until the date was over so that I could text what I had to say from the safety of my own apartment.
The way I relate to people in relationships now, as an adult, is often via text. I like "Good morning" texts and I like "Night :)" texts and I like "I'm thinking of you" texts. But the person I'm dating right now didn't grow up online. And he prefers to talk when we see each other, or talk on the phone. For the first few months of our relationship I was completely convinced he wasn't interested in me or didn't ever think of me because what our generation considers "care" is constant contact. There have definitely had to be a few compromises along the way, to bridge the gap cyber space allowed for. These are 11 ways you, too can learn to cope with having a partner who doesn't like to text:
Look At It As A Gift
The best thing you can hope for in a relationship is a partner whom you can learn from. Try out their way of seeing communication and relationships and see if it can enrich your view of the subject. It might actually make be a nice change for you.
Focus On Being Present
When we're plugged into our partners on our phones, we're not paying attention to the people we're with. It affects the way we are as employees and friends. Not being tied to your phone allows you to be much more in the moment. It's really not the worst thing.
Weed Out What's Not Important
Often we text our significant other's every time we see a cute puppy or hiccup. But sometimes it's better to just talk about the important stuff and not concern each other with every hairy animal or bodily function. Constantly observations and musings don't always enrich a relationship.
Have More To Talk About
When you haven't been updating each other all day, you have a lot more to talk about in person. And, when you're in front of each other, you'll probably have better reactions to the the things you have to say, it's much more fulfilling than a textual conversation.
Do Something Else
Instead of obsessing over your phone, catch up with someone. Call your mom. Clean your room. Do your taxes. There's a whole world out there! Now that you're not hiding behind your phone, you can go explore it.
Enjoy Not Having Anxiety
If you're like me, you have major phone anxiety when you're in a relationship. You're always obsessing over how much time has gone by since the last text was and whether or not a message fell flat. When you're not texting with your partner regularly, you're not stuck with these worries. These become non-issues in your relationship.
Re-Learn How To Talk On The Phone
The first time my partner called me on the phone, I didn't pick up. I assumed it was a butt dial. Like, who calls? I later found out he was running late for our dinner plans and wanted to let me know. When I asked why he didn't text, he said that calling was more efficient, that way you can confirm that the other person understands the message. I had a serious "ah ha!" moment and started to realize that not only is talking on the phone more effective, it's much more personal and thoughtful.
Sometimes we send text messages with ulterior motives. Sometimes we ask what someone's up to merely to keep tabs on them. Sometimes we tell someone who we're with merely to make them jealous. When you're not texting all the time, you're not using it at a way to be manipulative or disingenuous.
Look Forward To Talking
It's kind of like when you were in middle school and you had a crush on someone and had to wait until the morning to see them. You start getting excited to see this person because your time together is so much more meaningful.
No Room For Being Shy
I had to get over my fear of communicating in person, real quick. If you get shy about expressing yourself in person, this will be a great exercise for you to improve your emoting skills.
A partnership is a two-way street. If you've tried your partner's way of communicating and it's not working for you, be honest. If you can't come to a compromise that works for the two of you, you might want to re-think your partnership. Finding middle ground is key.