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Hell to the No

What happened to the days when people used to call you to chat on the phone? Our technologically advanced world is slowly making the dating scene a place of passive safety where men and women become boys and girls. We date without our senses. We text without hearing, we date online without seeing, touching or feeling the energy or the other person. When we finally get to the date, we make sure it’s actually a non-date like coffee or drinks so we don’t have to sit awkwardly and come up with scintillating conversation for one hour or more. All this makes me wonder what may be then happening in the bedroom as a couple continues this entanglement with each other bereft of sensuality and passionate risks. I have discovered that the technologically advanced dating world is not for me.

I know this is old fashioned and I know I don’t clearly understand the repercussions of saying this, but I want to be asked out on a proper date via phone or face to face interaction. I.e., a text message is an inappropriately rude way to ask a grown-ass woman out on a date. It says, “I’m terrified of rejection, so I’m going to play it safe.” If I read further into it I might also hear you say, “She’s clearly not worth risking myself and my precious ego.”

When I give a guy my number nowadays, I have come to expect a bland, badly written text complete with spelling errors and incomplete thoughts. Inevitably, later that day, the next day, or three days later, depending on the guy, I will be proven right as I roll my eyes to the familiar double beep of my telephone, signaling I have a new text message.

The first texting bandit wrote, “What u doing tonite?” OK. Text messaging lingo is fine, but you are trying to impress me with your best qualities. Your humor, charm and intellect will be completely lost in Joey from Friends type "How you doing" as text. In an everpresent desire to give poeple the benefit of the doubt I responded to the "what you doing" and asked what he was doing.

“I am waching Lackers.” For those of you who may be confused, he was watching a Lakers game. I thought this was a typo until I asked who was winning and he responded, “the Lackers. want met up after?” I never responded to his misspelled, choppy texts again (and to be sure, there were many more grammatically problematic texts that followed).

A more recent text-ask out read simply, “How are you?” Are you kidding me? There is nothing less warm than seeing this type written message on my mini T-Mobile screen.

You give me no choice but to respond with fine or good or some other non-communicative, standard response. You obviously did not really want to talk to me or take time out of your day to actually get to know me a little bit further. I chose to give no response. The next day I got the same message from the same guy, “How are you?" Now he seemed a little scary and possibly mentally ill. I thought, “Maybe he doesn’t know how to say anything else. What if he just keeps sending me this same text message every day until I collapse from frustration and annoyance and idiocy?” I did not respond again. He followed up with, “Do you like motorcycles?”

On another occasion, a man asked, no begged, for my number at a bar. He promised he was a good guy and he just wanted to take me out on a proper date. With much hesitation and too much thought, I told him I would take his number. In order to stay true to my rule about texting, I called him, as promised, on the day that I said I would. We chatted briefly, with a mostly comfortable, but mildly awkward first conversation. He said, “I’d still really like to take you out, I’ll call you tomorrow to set up a time. I’m so glad you called. Thank you.”

“Great,” I responded.

One day led to another and then another. Exactly one week later I get yet another text message ask out: “Hey I wanted to see if you still wanted to meet up for coffee or drinks or dinner. Nothing serious. Ciao!” First, annoyance washed over me that it was a text. Next, I gritted my teeth and grunted at the, “nothing serious” preface. Then, my toes curled as it finished with the overly breezy, a little pretentious, “Ciao.” I called in help. If I was being unreasonable, I needed to be set right by a good friend.

“O.k. Lady M, so this guy begged me for his number. We had a good conversation when we met initially, and then I called him as he asked me to. He said he would call on a particular day, but instead called a week later. I’m annoyed. Who does he think I am? I am worth more than a very late text message that ends in ‘Ciao’.” She bristled in anger and began a diatribe that referenced He’s Just Not That Into You, Sex and the City and various mutual and unknown girlfriends. In the end she commanded, “Tell him it’s too late. If he was that into you, he would have called or even texted when he said he would. Granted he can write correctly, but it’s a week too late.”

I texted: Sorry. You waited too long to contact me so I’m over it.

By the way, it is not appropriate to text message ask a girl out.

He responded with double the effort in the form of an apologetic phone call. He claimed to be impressed by my standards and promised he was not the bad guy I might think he is. He asked for a second chance. I called him back, but I realized the difficult-girl power struggle had begun and he just wanted to prove he was the kind of guy I would date or respond to. After we spoke on the phone, I acquiesced to another possible hangout. His attempts at closing this second deal were a few more texting attempts like, “What are you up to tonight?” I responded appropriately, “I’m in Vegas,” but without real contact, the texting relationship faded into the dating abyss.

It’s not just you. Text ask-outs also give women the right and excuse to be curt, if not mean. If you ask me out by text, I must respond in as short a manner possible. I am forced to be succinct and I often take this as an excuse to be curt. I don’t have to look you in the eyes nor do I have to recognize that I am talking to another living person who has feelings that may get harmed by the directness of my words. Further, I am not going to push myself to think you may be more than my impressions at first glance. You have effectively hidden all your qualities and density in abbreviated mechanical script. Texts are incapable of relaying your great jokes, brilliance, and warmth. Bluntly, if texting is how you lead, I have no time to try to read something into the scant lines of your three word message.

He texted: Do you want to hang out sometime?

I replied: I have no interest in dating you. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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What happened to the days when people used to call you to chat on the phone? Our technologically advanced world is slowly making the dating scene a place of passive safety where men and women become boys and girls. We date without our senses. We text without hearing, we date online without seeing, touching or feeling the energy or the other person. When we finally get to the date, we make sure it’s actually a non-date like coffee or drinks so we don’t have to sit awkwardly and come up with scintillating conversation for one hour or more. All this makes me wonder what may be then happening in the bedroom as a couple continues this entanglement with each other bereft of sensuality and passionate risks. I have discovered that the technologically advanced dating world is not for me.

I know this is old fashioned and I know I don’t clearly understand the repercussions of saying this, but I want to be asked out on a proper date via phone or face to face interaction. I.e., a text message is an inappropriately rude way to ask a grown-ass woman out on a date. It says, “I’m terrified of rejection, so I’m going to play it safe.” If I read further into it I might also hear you say, “She’s clearly not worth risking myself and my precious ego.”

When I give a guy my number nowadays, I have come to expect a bland, badly written text complete with spelling errors and incomplete thoughts. Inevitably, later that day, the next day, or three days later, depending on the guy, I will be proven right as I roll my eyes to the familiar double beep of my telephone, signaling I have a new text message.

The first texting bandit wrote, “What u doing tonite?” OK. Text messaging lingo is fine, but you are trying to impress me with your best qualities. Your humor, charm and intellect will be completely lost in Joey from Friends type "How you doing" as text. In an everpresent desire to give poeple the benefit of the doubt I responded to the "what you doing" and asked what he was doing.

“I am waching Lackers.” For those of you who may be confused, he was watching a Lakers game. I thought this was a typo until I asked who was winning and he responded, “the Lackers. want met up after?” I never responded to his misspelled, choppy texts again (and to be sure, there were many more grammatically problematic texts that followed).

A more recent text-ask out read simply, “How are you?” Are you kidding me? There is nothing less warm than seeing this type written message on my mini T-Mobile screen.

You give me no choice but to respond with fine or good or some other non-communicative, standard response. You obviously did not really want to talk to me or take time out of your day to actually get to know me a little bit further. I chose to give no response. The next day I got the same message from the same guy, “How are you?" Now he seemed a little scary and possibly mentally ill. I thought, “Maybe he doesn’t know how to say anything else. What if he just keeps sending me this same text message every day until I collapse from frustration and annoyance and idiocy?” I did not respond again. He followed up with, “Do you like motorcycles?”

On another occasion, a man asked, no begged, for my number at a bar. He promised he was a good guy and he just wanted to take me out on a proper date. With much hesitation and too much thought, I told him I would take his number. In order to stay true to my rule about texting, I called him, as promised, on the day that I said I would. We chatted briefly, with a mostly comfortable, but mildly awkward first conversation. He said, “I’d still really like to take you out, I’ll call you tomorrow to set up a time. I’m so glad you called. Thank you.”

“Great,” I responded.

One day led to another and then another. Exactly one week later I get yet another text message ask out: “Hey I wanted to see if you still wanted to meet up for coffee or drinks or dinner. Nothing serious. Ciao!” First, annoyance washed over me that it was a text. Next, I gritted my teeth and grunted at the, “nothing serious” preface. Then, my toes curled as it finished with the overly breezy, a little pretentious, “Ciao.” I called in help. If I was being unreasonable, I needed to be set right by a good friend.

“O.k. Lady M, so this guy begged me for his number. We had a good conversation when we met initially, and then I called him as he asked me to. He said he would call on a particular day, but instead called a week later. I’m annoyed. Who does he think I am? I am worth more than a very late text message that ends in ‘Ciao’.” She bristled in anger and began a diatribe that referenced He’s Just Not That Into You, Sex and the City and various mutual and unknown girlfriends. In the end she commanded, “Tell him it’s too late. If he was that into you, he would have called or even texted when he said he would. Granted he can write correctly, but it’s a week too late.”

I texted: Sorry. You waited too long to contact me so I’m over it.

By the way, it is not appropriate to text message ask a girl out.

He responded with double the effort in the form of an apologetic phone call. He claimed to be impressed by my standards and promised he was not the bad guy I might think he is. He asked for a second chance. I called him back, but I realized the difficult-girl power struggle had begun and he just wanted to prove he was the kind of guy I would date or respond to. After we spoke on the phone, I acquiesced to another possible hangout. His attempts at closing this second deal were a few more texting attempts like, “What are you up to tonight?” I responded appropriately, “I’m in Vegas,” but without real contact, the texting relationship faded into the dating abyss.

It’s not just you. Text ask-outs also give women the right and excuse to be curt, if not mean. If you ask me out by text, I must respond in as short a manner possible. I am forced to be succinct and I often take this as an excuse to be curt. I don’t have to look you in the eyes nor do I have to recognize that I am talking to another living person who has feelings that may get harmed by the directness of my words. Further, I am not going to push myself to think you may be more than my impressions at first glance. You have effectively hidden all your qualities and density in abbreviated mechanical script. Texts are incapable of relaying your great jokes, brilliance, and warmth. Bluntly, if texting is how you lead, I have no time to try to read something into the scant lines of your three word message.

He texted: Do you want to hang out sometime?

I replied: I have no interest in dating you. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

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Comments
28

Yeah, I don't like it either, Single. As if the American male had not become wimpy enough, texting allows for even further wimpiness.

It 'has' occurred to you that the "How are you?" is just a little "form letter" text that he uses over and over again, quite possibly to more people than you? Uh-huh. Any time you get a purely generic text like that, without your name or anything specific to the 2 of you, you can go ahead and suspect that. You have my blessing. :)

The texters also tend to be Twitterers, unfortunately.

Don't even get me started on THAT.

Aug. 30, 2009

Single, this needs publishing--NOW! Tightest piece you've written, and I love it! God, you've made me see the light. I am literally 'dating' my day job.

Aug. 31, 2009

Kul piece. What you doing? Wanna hang out?

Aug. 31, 2009

Antig-no doubt with the Twittering madness. I contemplated gettin on, just to see what was going on. I don't really get that whole thing.

SDan-I'm sorry you are dating your job. That is awful. I recently realized I have an abusive relationship with the ocean. He doesn't text me, but he gives me a sound beating one day then lulls me apologetically the next. I can't stop going back for more (I think my surfboard is an enabler).

Rick-Ha,ha. Luckily for me, it has been at least 3 weeks since I have recieved a text message ask-out.

Aug. 31, 2009

Single, you ARE awesome. We've got to find you a decent guy...

Sept. 5, 2009

Don't assume someone is not worth your time because they text. If you don't roll with technology, we might became one of those stereotypical bitter single women....and no one wants to be a stereotype.

Sept. 6, 2009

"Don't assume someone is not worth your time because they text. If you don't roll with technology, we might became one of those stereotypical bitter single women....and no one wants to be a stereotype."

No, I can totally see her point. Real communication is becoming a lost art.

Great story singleandawesome, congrats on the 3rd place! - Joe

Sept. 6, 2009

"..we might became one of those stereotypical bitter single women..."

I don't think that's what it's all about. There is a side of me that related to this blog entry because I don't much care for texting OR the telephone. But what I got out of the authoress is more about two people relating to each other romantically, or at least on a personal level that transcends chiche and trite messages that hide insecurities and vulnerabilities. And men, more than women, tend to look for any way they can to do this. If single women are bitter, sometimes they have a right to be.

Obviously, if a gal meets an interesting guy and they begin to exchange messages, and one day the guy texts with something like, "Hey, authoress, I miss some of the interesting conversations with you. I would love to have dinner some time this week if you are free for an evening," then maybe he's worth your time. His message says that he's interested, polite, and confident enough in himself to avoid leaving a loophole to save face in case you say, "no thanks".

Reading all of the texts in the above story, I don't blame the writer for being jaded toward texting. These are men who are obviously insecure. They don't have the confidence to ask a girl on a date. If I were in her shoes, I'd certainly hold out for better, too. And I would guess this: nothing beats a man who can look you in the eyes, smile, and simply tell you that he would like to spend some time with you. Technology will never replace it.

Sept. 6, 2009

Oh Refried, your description of a "man who can look you in the eyes, smile, and simply tell you that he would like to spend time with you," seems like a distant dream that makes me weak in the knees just thinking about it.

P.S. I wholeheartedly agree with your interpretation of the article.

P.P.S to all, I think its interesting that this is the second piece I have written where observation and experience are interpreted or coded using the word "bitter." I think that is a difficult label to shake as you get older and remain single. Perhaps many bitter women have ruined it for the rest of us, but I think we should be allowed to have discretion and learn from our past experiences without this tired word being applied to our intellect. I am just no longer willing to settle and I like that about my adult self.

Sept. 6, 2009

Hey, Single! Congrats! :)

Sept. 7, 2009

Double congrats! Told ya this was a winner :)

Sept. 7, 2009

Refried wrote:

"Hey, authoress, I miss some of the interesting conversations with you. I would love to have dinner some time this week if you are free for an evening,"

Um, I don't think there's 'ever' been a test message like that written by any male, anywhere, Gringo. Sad, but true. Texting is for wimps.

"And I would guess this: nothing beats a man who can look you in the eyes, smile, and simply tell you that he would like to spend some time with you. Technology will never replace it."

You'd be right about that, too. Unfortunately, it seems that human reproduction isn't replacing them, either.

It's okay. I like cats. Really.

Sept. 7, 2009

To S&A: Continue to choose wisely! There are guys out there that are worth the effort, but don't waste your time looking for them. They'll find YOU ;) And, congrats of the WIN! Take the check and buy yourself some shoes :) SDaniels has great taste in shoes that are apparently reasonably priced.

Anti: Once I got through those oh-so-awkward teenage years, I started to get a clue. I was sort of picky as well, after that. If I did meet a young lady I liked and asked her out, it was never over the phone. And if she declined in person, I would have only grinned and said something like, "I'll only walk away happy because because I think that you have only the very highest of standards."

You have cats, I had books ;)

Another thing about me, now that I think of it: I never kissed on the first date. Well, rarely. At least, excepting those occasional times of youthful indiscretions that involved alcohol and other influences. Apparently, I would be a non-survivor in today's dating world. Perfect strangers seem to kiss at the drop of a hat. (Excuse the cliche)

Sept. 7, 2009

Thanks SD and AntiG, You ladies are fantastically awesome....and not just because you read my s***.

Sept. 7, 2009

Update, refried! Yesterday I got a fabulous pair of summer silver sandals with a jeweled heart-shaped accent at Ralph's grocery store for $5.99. Sent the man walking up there to see if a black pair could be procured, but it is Labor Day weekend, and alas they were taken off the shelves along with the beach paraphernalia. He tried. Hey, that's love.

"Dating" was never something we did as teens. I was never asked out on a "date." You just "hung out" with groups of girls and boys, and awkwardly shuffled around one another, practicing nonchalance. I always dreamed of a date somewhere with candlelight, cloth-covered tables, wine glasses and heavy cutlery, as this is what "date" seemed to signify on TV.

...Then again, so did "luncheon." Is dating any more organized for the young'uns now? :)

Sept. 7, 2009

Refried: Perfect strangers do -- and downright 'expect' -- more than that now. Just ask....

Nah, we won't bring HER up. It's like invoking Skanktan. ;)

Yeah, SD. "Hang out." That's about it. The "hang out" involves him not doing anything he wouldn't be doing alone -- i.e., watching movies or playing video games like a teenager -- except that he hopes our presence will result in sex with him expending very little effort. And that maybe we'll even bring food.

Welcome to the wonderful world of "dating," circa 2009.

Sept. 7, 2009

I absolutely curdle in my throat before I call the girl who's number I asked for 2 days earlier. It is nerve racking and sometimes I get the nervous, sweaty palms, yet I still do it. It's insulting to re-introduce yourself via text. I completely agree with your write up here and wish you the best of luck.

Sept. 8, 2009

Ladies, here is a perfect example why I totally understand if you're happily single:

http://melodymaker.posterous.com/the-reason-some-girls-stay-single-very-funny

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that he doesn't get many calls back with messages like these...

Sept. 16, 2009

Refried....I am speechless and simultaneously not surprised. What a psycho! Thanks for sharing that it was fantastic.

Sept. 16, 2009

Whoever you are, we must be long lost friends!

Thank you for that piece, so very much from the depths of my heart.....as I have dealt with this -EXACT- SAME issue as a single girl. I have given my number to countless men only to receive a short, pathetic text asking me "if i want to hang out". Not one of them could spell either. I was never me, I was always just a "u". I became so turned off by this that now I will no longer bother with these men. It seems like most men in CA are stricken with narcissism anyways - this has a lot to do with the problem. They are the prize, not us, so texting is actually a big step for them. Like you, I am very old fashioned. I am warm person; I like to hear people when they talk to me and I want to look at them too. Oh and I once tried online dating and it turned out to be one big wink-a thon with endless e-mails from a bunch of socially awkward men.....none of which ever asked me out. I canceled my membership after a week.

Jan. 14, 2010

LULZ! I must've missed this blog last year. dimitrithelover.com is my new Website of the Month. ;-D

Jan. 14, 2010

Yeah, Pete? If single ever comes back, try not to scare her off, k? She is one of the funniest bloggers here, Pike notwithstanding--another great loss, if indeed he got lost...

Jan. 15, 2010

Sorry, AG is the funniest blogger here ...

Jan. 15, 2010

Clearly, I said ONE, "Mr." Fish. ;)

Jan. 15, 2010

Love it when you talk mean, Daniels. Not into spanking by any chance?

Jan. 15, 2010

If the wallet's on the nightstand, Mr. Fish, I'll fillet your briny tail ;)

Jan. 16, 2010

Saw this in Slate, thought I would share a professional opinion on the subject:

Dear Prudie, I am a 28-year-old single woman, and I am tired of being asked out on dates via text message. My last relationship went on for several years and ended nine months ago. I was never once asked out via text message the last time I was single and dating. Now, however, I find that the text-message request for a date is not only common, but it has become the norm. I think that a guy asking me out via text message either isn't terribly interested and can't be bothered to pick up the phone, or is too scared to call and talk to me in person. I am looking for a serious relationship with a man who has confidence in himself, so I don't want to date a man who asks me out via text message, whatever his motivation. Am I being too hard on these guys? How do I indicate that I find this practice inappropriate without making the man on the other end of the text think I dislike him?

—Tired of Texting

Dear Tired, Perhaps they'd meet your standards of confidence and interest if they wrote a missive with a quill pen and had it delivered by carrier pigeon. Technology changes expectations. Once it was telephones that were rude, impersonal devices. Imagine the temerity of just phoning someone for a date and not coming by the house with a calling card! Since you were last single, texting has clearly become the preferred method of arranging face-to-face encounters. You're a single woman who has the pleasure of deciding among many suitors. You can make this fewer suitors by demanding they contact you only by talking on the phone—although, what's keeping you from responding to the text by making a call? But if you're looking for a serious relationship, it's probably not a good idea to blow off candidates who take the time to ask you out by tapping the request with their thumbs.

—Prudie

Jan. 19, 2010

You are awesome. I thought that this was a weird messed-up SD guy thing when I first moved here from San Francisco a few years ago, where the men seemed to...well...try to impress a woman(!)...but I think it's sadly a lame trend everywhere. The good dudes who have their s*&^ together definitely call, plan & aim to woo :) The text-daters may be nice dudes, but they clearly are used to women with damn low expectations! ...don't be one of them! My fave was a guy who texted me for an entire freakin' month with things like "hey" "what u up to" "where are you" whatsup" ...then I called him out & told him to ask me on a real date or delete my number. So he texted (ha) & asked me out to dinner. an hour before the date he texted & asked what i wanted to do... really? you can't plan one date? or call? and then men wonder why all the women they date in SD are so wacky... stop complainin' & simply be a man if you want a real woman...duh!

April 8, 2010

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