Written by Bri Phillips and Shanin Devoll. Media by James Menk.
“We’re not dating,” Alec said again.
“Oh?” Magnus said. “So you’re just that friendly with everybody, is that it?”
We all know THAT couple, that couple that claim they are not dating but spend every waking moment texting and every free chance together. This way of communicating interest and getting to know each other seems to have become the norm in a phenomena we like to call ‘talking.’ We see these people across the DC, enjoying lunch when someone asks, “Are Phoebe and Bartholomew dating?” You immediately correct them by stating “No, they aren’t dating, they are just talking.”
We have all seen it and may have even participated in it. But lets be real, what does ‘talking’ even mean? We talk to people every day, to our roommate, our friends, our parents, and teachers. What is the difference between talking and ‘talking’? What we all refer to as ‘talking’ is really dating–the process of getting to know each other with the intention of potentially beginning a relationship. However, there are several problems I see in the term ‘talking’ compared to actually dating.
First, ‘talking’ allows no room for getting to know people. When you are ‘talking’ with someone, you are focused on that person and that person alone. In ‘talking’ there is much more commitment than you may realize. For example, it would be considered wrong to be talking to Jimmy and Joe at the same time. Years ago, it wouldn’t have been so immoral to go out for milkshakes with Jim on Thursday and then go ice skating with Joe on Saturday. But since our dating has evolved into constantly being in communication over text, Snapchat, Facebook, and face to face interaction, we are more committed to that person while getting to know them than ever before.
Secondly, ‘talking’ is more allusive. There is no definition. You don’t know when it begins and when it ends or if it is even really happening. When you are talking you can have someone’s flirtatious attention while still going around and telling everyone that you are just friends. This kind of relationship isn’t healthy. Boundaries and limits are a good thing, and with out communicating them, the mind becomes vulnerable to over-analytic thinking. We read into every text, looking for a sign of interest.
When ‘talking’ you are also more likely to be an emotional over-sharer, sharing too much too soon because you are always in communication. Texting throughout the entire day does not allow for healthy real communication. You cannot fully get to know people in an honest way when sharing tidbits of life through short messages on a mechanical device. Again, back to boundaries, they are good and are needed to begin and maintain a healthy relationship with any individual. Having days when you don’t communicate allows you to still be you and think clearly without the constant attention of someone of the opposite sex.
After stating all of this, I would like to propose a change. I would like to propose that you ask her out on a date. Be clear and honest. I know it takes guts, but you would be surprised what happens when you just ask. Girls will already respect and admire you for having the guts to ask. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself; if you don’t connect, its not the end of the world, and its not a life-long commitment. It’s a couple of hours of learning and growing together. Then afterwards, don’t, I repeat, don’t spend every day texting her. Ask her out again, this time to ice cream or coffee.
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