As a preface, most of what I say on here is for myself. In articulating how I feel towards a particular subject, I mold my own attitude towards said subject and convince myself of whatever truth I am preaching. What I say is for myself as much as it is for someone else.
I really despise the fact that I am so connected to the people around me. I don’t want to sound like an old man yelling at a cloud, rather, I am expressing behavior I have observed in myself that I really, really, wish I could change. Somewhere along the way, between when I was first becoming social, to my age now, I convinced myself that I needed to talk to some people in my life to maintain my relationship with them, or the relationship was going to fizzle. Even closer, I feel the need to be constantly connected to my significant other more than any other person. I want to hedge a guess at why:
I am extremely comfortable going for months without talking to or even seeing some of my closest friends. I choose my relationships very specifically, such that I know I can have low-maintenance friendships that are still strong and reliable. There’s very few people I can find like that, I’ve noticed. The problem with a significant other is that, if you don’t talk to them and see them on a regular basis, they become no more than good friends, like the friends I see rarely but have an amazing time when I do cross paths with them. You don’t want your significant other to be an “old pal” you catch up with once and a while. You want them with you for the long haul.
That being said, there is a definite balance between talking occasionally and talking consistently, constantly, continually, at every moment of every day. I think a couple should talk daily, yes, but I think after the daily point it gets extremely blurry. Especially because it literally takes a second to reach out to someone, and you can do it a thousand times in a row without them responding. That creates this very toxic expectation that I think leads to disappointment and problems.
Think about your grandparents who dated in the 1950s. The only way to communicate with the person you liked outside of face-to-face interaction was over the phone. For someone who texts constantly, it is a very different experience talking to someone on the phone than reading their messages. So even talking on the phone would be a pretty intimate form of communicating in the 50s, but apart from seeing each other, that’s the only way people interacted.
So were relationships weaker, less vibrant, less detailed in the past? No, not at all. My grandparents talking about their younger selves makes me realize their interactions were just as detailed and engaging as the ones I have with my significant other. But how can that be! They weren’t talking to each other all day, even when they weren’t physically near each other like we can do with modern technology. No, but their expectations for spending time talking to one another were very, very different.
It’s been about a year since I was introduced to this low-expectations attitude, and I have to say, I think it fits my communication theory pretty well. If you were a young lady dating in the 1950s, your highest possible expectation for a boy was that he would call you. It was probably considered a little rude for someone to show up unannounced at your parents house, especially a boy. Having that kind of attitude nowadays would be considered very low, since you can text someone, Snapchat them, send them a Facebook message, email them, call them on FaceTime — a million possibilities! So we have higher expectations; we want people to text us all the time because we think they should be able to while we’re apart.
I am a firm believer of face-to-face interaction as the most effective way to bond with another individual, and that can’t be replaced with any other kind of communication. Not video chatting, not phone calls, not anything. I think relationships would be stronger without the expectation that you have to text all the time, since it becomes more of a way to pass the time instead of actually being close with the other person. I am very close to my former roommate (turned floormate) and my significant other because we lived together for months and months, so I saw them all the time and only texted them to communicate information instead of trying to get to know them or get close to them over the phone.
I guess all I’m trying to tell myself is to put my phone down and stop waiting around for texts and just do stuff. Like write this.