Monday, March 31, 2008

Modern Dating

A few days ago, I met one of my girlfriends for a night of raucous drinking. She's great in every way, except one: she doesn't have a cell phone. I respect everyone's right to live the life they choose, but as I was waiting outside of the building where we were supposed to meet I started to get judgmental. Why doesn't she have a cell phone? Had she really said 419 or was it 491? And didn't she say something about Tribeca, even though this building was in SoHo? It all worked out, I was in the right place and the drining ensued without major incident. I've never been clear about why she rejects cell phones, but I know some people feel like they don't want to be reached all the time, or that they'll be hit with brain cancer. I'm not overly reliant on my phone, but there are times when it's added value to my life is inescapable. Except when it comes to dating.

The guy I've been seeing is smart and funny and I know this for sure when we go out on a date, but can only convey this in between those outings with "Ha!" or "LOL" or the insipid smiley face. We don't talk when we aren't face to face, we text. The text message has often saved me, when I need to get in touch but I don't feel like talking, when I'm trying to set up brunch plans during church service, when an ex sends a suggestive message and the reply would be too naughty to be spoken. But texting is not a conversation.

You can't fall asleep to the sound of someone tapping out letters like you can fall asleep to their voice and sure you could keep up a text conversation for hours but it's never going to compare to a late night soul baring phone call. Modern dating and modern life often means more, more ways to date and maybe more people to date when you use online dating sites or social networking. Maybe though, it's more with a lot less: less intimacy, less depth, and overall less time and effort.