Q: I recently started dating a woman who moved to Minnesota after we had been texting/flirting on Facebook for several months. Things started off all right, but I have never been able to get her to communicate with me outside of text messages or FB. Getting her to call me on the phone is like pulling teeth. To me, having the convenience of texting is one thing, but it's no substitute for being able to carry on an actual conversation. I have brought this up with her several times, and it's still a major obstacle in our relationship. Should I just dump her or what?
A: Five years ago, I knew a handful of people who preferred not to carry a cellphone. Two years ago, I knew two people who still didn't have cellphones. Now, not only does every single person I know have a cellphone, but they also keep their phones with them at all times. As we all know from watching "Say Anything ...," no one is "monumentally busy." What kind of excuses does she give for not being able to complete the simple task of talking on the phone for a few minutes? No one is too busy to touch base even just once a day.
A daily phone conversation doesn't have to last an hour, or even 10 minutes. A lot of what we communicate can be done via a quick text message -- "I'll be there in five minutes," "Can't talk, on some dumb conference call," or "Does this look like herpes to you?" are all perfectly acceptable things to text. However, those little bits of communication don't take the place of two people simultaneously vocalizing their thoughts. That interaction is vital for any relationship to thrive. I think we've all seen the hit ABC drama "Criminal Minds" enough times to know that without regular socialization with others, people develop into heinous serial killers. Do you really want to risk meeting your maker brutally and in the back of a conversion van at the end of a dusty road?
OK, I'm not seriously suggesting that the woman you're dating is a serial killer. But I am suggesting that she doesn't care as much for you as you do for her. Actually, I'll go ahead and state that as fact, and here's why: She is perfectly content managing your relationship on her terms, without regard for how you feel about it. By refusing to communicate via any means other than texting, she is keeping you at arm's distance nearly all the time. Let me guess: The time you spend together is most likely when she grants it. Even if you haven't noticed it -- and she might not even be doing it consciously, yet -- the proverbial facepalm will come soon enough. You're runner-up to everything else in her life, because she's not interested enough in you to prioritize the relationship. She's not committed, and keeping you at a distance gives her the ability to bail at any time without feeling like she missed out on anything substantial.
If you feel it's worth the effort, you can give her one more chance to meet you in the middle on the texting issue. Return her texts with calls. Refuse to make plans unless it's over an actual conversation. Just be prepared for another commitment hurdle down the road, and another after that, even if you think things are going swimmingly. You should never long to be in someone's life if they wouldn't long to be in yours. Unfortunately, we all learn this lesson the hard way. (Sadder still, many of us have to learn it more than once.)
If you can't get her to change her ways with even the littlest bit of effort, then yes, you should dump her. You'll probably be beating her to the punch, since it doesn't sound like she's planning on sticking around anyway.