In a recent essay on Huffington Post, a YA author and mother to two teenage girls argued that texting is ruining romance. She was referring to romance among adolescents, using the teenagers in her life — her kids and their friends — as examples, but she could have easily been referring to grownups, too. When one of her daughter’s friends wondered why her boyfriend, whom she admitted to texting pretty much nonstop, wanted a break, the author said:
You’re TOO available. He doesn’t have time to miss you or wonder what you’re doing or wish he could be with you because he already IS with you. You live in his pocket for Pete’s sake. This constant texting has burned out the relationship. Killed the allure. Why would he want to come to your house and watch a movie or hang out after school when he feels like he’s ‘with you’ all the time?”
Texting is so prevalent, the author said, that people — specifically teenagers, but certainly adults, too — are often involved in multiple text conversations at any one time. “It’s like standing in the center of seven cocktail parties at once!”
The mystery is gone all around. We no longer wonder where our crush is because we KNOW — because someone just ran into him and texted us that he’s at Starbucks on 48th and 9th … and he’s with another woman. We no longer have anything to say to our significant others after class or at the end of the work day because we’ve already said everything in our ongoing text conversation throughout the day. People no longer miss each other and look forward to seeing each other because we’re always right there — in each other’s pockets and hands and purses. The mystery is gone.
The author advised the teenage girl whose boyfriend wanted a break to stop texting him for a few days. She did, and it worked. “He was at her locker the next day before sixth period.” I’d like to extend that same advice to a lot of the people who write in to me with similar relationship issues. Their boyfriends — or, sometimes girlfriends — are bored and becoming more and more unavailable. “He hardly ever texts me anymore!” so many of them say. Then stop texting him! Give him some breathing space. Let him wonder what you’re up to. Give yourselves something to actually discuss in person the next time you see each other. Save a little something for the imagination, you know?