Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Death by Texting

The last week has been a nice break for me.  My nerves have calmed down a bit, and I'm actually looking forward to the chance to meet the next gentleman in the line of online connections I've made over the last month.  But, I've hit a roadblock that I can't seem to navigate myself around and need some guidance from my fellow Singletons and Marrieds Who Have Successfully Escaped Singledom. 

As of this morning, there are four Match Men in my line of vision:  Mr. Too Many Words, Mr. Baggage, Mr. Italian (who is on vacation this week, therefore off the hook for today's rant) and Mr. Mardi Gras (you haven't met him yet, but I'll introduce you in a second).  As you'll recall, Mr. Too Many Words initially wanted to cut to the chase and seemed on a one-way path to bypass written communication all together.  After I swallowed my pride, gave in to temptation and emailed him back, he blatantly said that he was not interested in meeting at this time and was completely comfortable with emailing.  Okay...fine.  Mr. Baggage, who continues his text messages of Braves game updates and then comments that he thinks I've forgotten about him when I run out of my own color commentary (although my love for the game is deep and true, there is only so much you can say about a baseball game), has skirted around the issue of meeting now for weeks.  Although he is Mr. "Baggage" and comes with his fair share of relatively recent emotional issues, we do have a lot in common, and he's pretty cute.  Okay...  Mr. Mardi Gras, a recent New Orleans transplant with pictures of himself in obviously drunken poses with very loud shirts on, is nice, friendly, funny and...killing me.  He emails me daily, apologizes for the delay in his response, talks about how busy work is, mentions a fun Atlanta hangout he's discovered and says he hopes to hear back from me.  This also has been going on for multiple weeks at this point.  The same general email every single day.  I thought, at first, that the mention of local hotspots would lead to a "Well, maybe we should meet there for drinks/dinner/etc."  Wrong.

Here is my issue:  I have literally run out of things to say to all three of these gentlemen.  I don't feel like I'm on a familiar enough level with any of them to be doing a day-to-day commentary of my mundane activities.  They don't know me personally for me to share work stories or talk about my other friends.  I've got nothing.  It's especially difficult via text.  I can't get inspired to open up about myself when limited to 70 characters, which I know is super hypocritical considering the previous circumstances with Mr. Dalton.  Believe me, I've thought of that.  But, I'm not asking for a phone call here, I'd like to meet these guys.  Any of the three, heck all of the three, I think would be much better in person than they are in these ho-hum messages I'm getting.  These emails and texts simply feel like we're beating a dead horse.  Without in-person interaction, I can't determine if I like any one well enough to permanently consider them one of my frequent text recipients.  Of the three, Mr. Mardi Gras is the only one that I have not outright asked for a meeting.  So, maybe he should fall within a different category.  Basically, I am having a hard time understanding the rationale behind wanting to continue a relationship strictly at the text/email level.  And I'm worried that any of these guys might be wonderful in person, but I'm going to eventually throw in the towel for lack of interest if we simply remain at that "Have you had a good day?"/"Yes, how about you?" communication level.

Last but certainly not least, I think I'm bummed that I still can't find a guy who will man-up and have some initiative.  By not asking me out and making me continually do the asking makes me think that, if we were together, I'd have to make every single decision.  I hate that.  It also makes me feel desperate.  If I have to ask and ask to meet you, it quickly turns into a begging feeling.  Not into that.  I want a guy who is confident and knows what he wants, not wishy-washy and, well, for lack of a better word, boring. 

So Singletons and Marrieds, what should a girl do?  I thought about emailing all three of them, telling them that I am interested in each of them for x,y, and z reasons, we have a lot in common and I'd like to meet them.  In person.  Maybe even saying that I'm worried that our "relationship" is going to die a slow painful death by texting.  Or should I ride it out and see just how long each of them drag out this lack lustre existence.  Maybe none of them is ready to meet anyone, and I should consider this another red flag from the dating gods.  Advice!

P.S. Don't forget that Friday is the deadline to submit your guest posting for "Lost in Singledom."  Read the "Accepting Nominations" post from July 2 for details.


  1. It sounds like you're having to work way too hard to maintain these relationships! Each of these gentlemen should be putting forth some effort to keep you interested if they are indeed hoping to start a relationship online. When Dave and I first started emailing back and forth, some of our first emails were long rambling missives about our likes and dislikes that generated more conversation. We did this for several weeks before I would finally give him my phone number. I may have held out on meeting him in person for a month (or "forever" in Dave-time) but there was enough email and messenger conversation to keep both of us interested till I finally got up enough nerve to meet. I know it's hard to give up on these guys, but if they want to stick with surface-level conversation, it's not worth your time and effort to try to get them to open up to you.

  2. This is what I see. For one, it is hard for people to get out and date. Being one, who has tried online dating techniques, I met a whole lot of crazies. To be honest, because I met so many crazies, I did tend to be reserve when talking to people, because you never know what yo might get. It might be for them that they are trying to be cautious about what is being said. In spite of all of what was said above, I believe that a good compromise is Skype. Skype is a website that offers free online video chats. This would give you the personal connection that you have been seeking. It would also allow the men in your life to feel as though they are still at a distance.

  3. I think I would just keep looking in the sea to see what's out there, and just let the 3 do all the work of communicating. Eventually they'll get the hint or you can just brush them off.I think they should be taking some initiative. Sure a few back and forths are great to see if this might be someone you want to mean; however, incessant texting makes you eel like you are spiraling in a circle of nowhere!!

  4. I would just email them, like you said. Go for it. What do you have to lose? Bottom line, if they decide not to meet when asked to, then cut the ties and you've lost nothing but more wasted time. Why invest more time with anyone if you don't know if its going anywhere? In my experience, men don't make any gestures unless they feel they have to. Just tell each guy that you would like to meet, and if they are not interested in meeting, why not? If they can't meet you or give you a reasonable reason to not meet yet, throw in the towel and move on. My father has this (crude) saying, "S#!t or get off the pot". :) I think its applicable here (for the guys, not you!).

  5. You don't even have to say why you want to date them; just suggest a specific time and place to meet and see how they respond. I think that by inviting them out will let them know that you're interested.
    But it can be frustrating when the guys won't get up the courage to meet in person. Last year when I was on okcupid, this guy sent me 10 or 12 e-mails but was always very vague whenever I suggested meeting in person. Finally he just disappeared altogether, but a year later, he's still on the site.

  6. Thanks, everybody, for your advice and wisdom! Last yesterday afternoon, I did email Mr. Too Many Words and Mr. Baggage, following your advice and kind of giving them an ultimatum: I want to meet, if you don't, then we should move on, basically. I think we're each doing the other a disservice if we don't plan to meet considering that we're paying for an online dating service TO meet people, not marathon text people. I'll keep you posted... you all are so helpful!!!

    P.S. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to use Skype right now, or I'd be all over that!

  7. OMG, you totally identified the two major reasons why I struggle with internet dating! I *hate* the never-ending cycle of email - there's just not that much to say when you've never met someone, and then the relationship just trickles out before you even had a chance (ie, before you ever met). And I worry that if I take the initiative, I'm upsetting some great karmic rule/seeming desperate/seeming to move to fast/etc. It's so discouraging. About 2-3 times a year I quit internet dating, then I start again and I'm so excited and optimistic, but within a month (ie, before I get to meet anyone in the oh-so-slow emailing process), I'm just worn out by it all, and essentially stop checking my email b/c I just can't deal with trying to come up with something else to say. Why can't guys just man up and ask me out already!!! (PS - why are men so reluctant to ask girls out? It seems backwards. Are they being scared away by all the dire warnings about how girls are going to be scared off by men who move too fast online? Are they that scared of dating in general?)

  8. I can't tell you how many times I've been online dating in the last, eh, seven years. Literally...I can't count. I keep "giving it one more try" and then get frustrated and figure I could put that money to good use, like a new pair of shoes once a month or something! But, I do agree with you about the karmic pattern. I wonder if the old rules of dating are gone with the online version. It's no longer the expectation that the men will pursue the ladies. And quite frankly, that's what I want. I might be too traditional for this new untraditional form of dating!


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