Non committal communication


Anyone that has ever waited for another human being knows. They understand. The question that you ask yourself, hourly, daily and weekly. How long is too long? How long is it acceptable to wait? When do you call it a day? When do you make a stand and tell the other to shape up or ship out?

A subject that ties into the waiting game is the non-committal obsession with only communicating via text message or whatsapp. I hear of so many people making excuses for why they’re reliant on texting (or emailing/whatsapp/Facebook) instead of picking up the phone or having face-to-face interaction. I am also one of those people who has somehow fallen into the trap of being in receipt of the crumb communication ! If I’m to believe everyone that engages in lazy or should I say crumb communication, they (or the people they’re getting it from) are the busiest and most important people to have ever walked the universe.

Now while the telephone has undergone many transformations since it was originally invented in 1876 and we no longer have to go through a convoluted operator process or use a rotary dial (well unless you have one of those very cool ‘retro’ phones) plus you can ‘carry’ them with you wherever you go, in essence, the telephone is still the telephone. After face-to-face communication, it’s still a great and next best form of connected contact with another person. Now just in case anyone has any doubts as to the ease of making a call, you pick up your phone, either key in your number, navigate to your phonebook and search for the name, select from recently dialled numbers, or even from your favourites. You then press on the green button with a telephone on it, it rings, the other person picks up and says hello, you respond, and hey presto you’ve made a telephone call and you have the beginnings of a conversation. This could all happen in about 5-30 seconds unless you’re really labouring over it. It may come as surprise to some of you but your phone (and theirs) has a call function on it.

Millions, in fact billions of people around the world are still making calls every day, so why are we making so many excuses for the commitment dodging, intimacy afraid, no telephone call making, text messaging lovers of this world? How have so many people (me included) managed to convince themselves that there’s a revolution in communication taking place that means that you can actually believe you’re in a relationship with someone who lives in the same postcode as you and slips you dinner, drinks, and the occasional shag but they rarely, if ever pick up the phone? Yes really?

Text messages are for quick, no frills communications and greetings that sandwich around actual calls and face-to-face contact. An example being reminders to get milk, letting each other know that you’re on the way, you’re running five minutes late, that you’re home, that you had a great time, that you tried to call and to call you back when you’re free, you’re going into a meeting but looking forward to catching up later, goodnight, good morning and yes, even the odd dirty text if that’s what floats your boat.

They are quite frankly a crap substitute for human interaction where you see facial expression, body language, tone etc. If you’re happy with text messages it’s like saying “I’m a teenager with hardly any minutes on my phone” or “I like crumbs of pseudo attention”. I honestly believe that text messages should be your minority form of communication – if it’s the majority, I think you can be assured that there may be other things that are slightly off-key in this relationship aswell.

Now some of you may think I’m harsh because you’ve either been 1) making copious excuses for why someone only texts you and won’t pick up the damn phone or is only texting when they want a shag/ego stroke/shoulder to lean on/money etc or 2) because you’ve convinced yourself that you are busier than everyone else and too busy to make phone calls. The reality is – you are really not that special or important to them and they are definitely not that busy. Really. So, let’s be honest if you’re making excuses for them or you, it’s time to ask yourself how you ever really expect to have a relationship that can grow?

The bottom line is – If you’re too busy to pick up the phone, you’re too busy for a relationship. (As in a real, healthy, connected, intimate, mutually fulfilling relationship with all of the normal gumf).

If you’re the one who loves the texting then let’s be honest here, you’re trying to have it on your terms and you are essentially investing very little to potentially gain a lot. If you’re the one that’s being managed by text, you’re getting sold on words while building a sandcastle in the sky. You’re not alone, millions of us buy into this every day.

It actually often takes more time to write a text than it does to make a phone call. I’ve often found myself rereading, shortening etc and that’s just with friends! Romantic relationships involve analysing their texts and analysing and rewriting your own responses. Do I sound too desperate?Do I sound too excitable?

Ever been stuck in a long drawn out ping-pong of texts/emails/whatsapps ! Wow ! A phone call would have done and dusted the conversation in minutes!

I just think that texting is too ambiguous, non-committal, and yes, sometimes a tad juvenile. In my experience and in the experience of those that I know, I have found it to be the mainstay of the unavailables of this world – and maybe we should beware! This is distant communication from people who like to be emotionally distant.

Back in the good old days, barely a decade ago, people picked up the phone to make a first date and beyond. One word: E.F.F.O.R.T.

So I don’t know about you guys, but I strongly intend to start as I mean to go on. I will not be managed or let my relationship be managed by text. I want a meaningful relationship that isn’t based on distant texts and late-night one liners when drunk.

If they refuse to call, don’t try to waste your time teaching them – they haven’t just come out of the womb this year. They’re essentially saying “I don’t have time to call you for even one minute but I have time to bash out a stupid text”.

The bottom line is this ladies (and gents I suppose) – When someone wants to call, they call. There are no excuses, no issues. The call because they want to engage in conversation with you.

Some will give it a whirl and see if they can get away with it because they’re used to getting away with it in other relationships. Don’t be the person that accepts this!

I, for one, have decided that I want a relationship, not a permanent date or repetitive strain injury from yo-yoing all the time. I want to be able to pick up the phone, to get a call, to not be waiting around for crumbs. These crumb communications equal crumbs of attention, equals you being left ‘hungry’ in the relationship. I want to be “fed” and I want to be in a relationship with someone who wants to engage with me and not communicate solely through messages. Sometimes its appropriate, I get that, but come on !

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