• Tue, Jan 11 2011

Textual Healing: It’s Time To Take This Relationship Offline

textual healingText messaging is often the fastest way to communicate with friends and acquaintances, but it’s not always the best one. Especially when it comes to texting with guys. Here at Crushable we aim to help you sift through all the subtext and emerge relatively unscathed – with a little help from our friend Amanda Ernst.

Some people think of text messaging as a pretty impersonal form of communication. It can also be pretty personal, and a preferred form of communication for many others (including me). But you know what’s more impersonal than text messaging? Twitter. Or Tumblr. Or any other number of social networks, message boards and online fan groups through which you can meet guys without even knowing their real name or where they live.

Sometimes an anonymous online relationship can lead to a love match IRL, like this couple featured in The New York Times this weekend, who met on a Jeopardy! fan site. The challenge is making the move from anonymity to the exchange of digits or emails addresses.

Whether you want to email or text your newfound bud (and possible sweetheart) there’s always that awkward moment where you find yourself wondering — how do we move this to another medium?

It’s no easy task. But once you’ve built a relationship with someone, even on Twitter, you shouldn’t be afraid to let your feelings be known. Now, I wouldn’t advise you to send a DM like, “Here’s my number, so you can ask me out,” but something a little less forward, such as, “I check my text messages more often than Twitter, so you can reach me here,” gives him the option to pursue texts instead of more limiting, and less personal, social media conversations.

I’ve put together a helpful list of do’s and don’ts that will help you to transition out of the direct messaging doldrums and into text messaging bliss (after that, you might want to try this or this if you want to get some face to face time):

Do offer your own digits — If he’s already spending 20 hours a day talking to you online, chances are, he’ll use them.

Don’t be surprised if he offers his back — Maybe he’s shy and doesn’t want to make the first bold move. Or maybe he just wants you to know that it’s him who’s texting you at 2 a.m.

Use the T word — Mention texting other friends and tell him that’s how you do most of your communicating.

Drop it into conversation casually — When discussing nicknames, for example, tell him, “All my friends call me poptart. It’s even my email, poptart123@gmail.” He might get the hint.

Start slow – Texting relationships can move fast. Don’t do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Decide what you want from the start — Do you want to set up a date, or just continue to flirt digitally? Decide beforehand and don’t let him pressure you into more, unless you’re ready.

Don’t offer to meet up alone — Unless you know him through friends, you never know if your anonymous love is who he says he is. Always be careful.

But be open to the possibility — Maybe one day you’ll be in the New York Times Vows section.

Have you ever had to make the challenging move and transition from online messaging to texting or emails? How did you do it? How did it end up? Do you think I missed anything on my list? Leave your experiences in the comments below and you might see it featured in an upcoming installment of Textual Healing.

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