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Advice From Ms. Price
Dear Ms. Price,
When COVID-19 began and I was locked down, I jumped the shark and joined an online dating site and eventually started an online correspondence with a man.
He is wonderful and perfect for me in every way, from our interests in music, sports (both soccer fans) and our love of cooking. We were even both raised Catholic, which is important to both of us.
The problem is that now that the vaccine is available and we’re getting out again, he finally broke down and broke it to me that he prefers to keep our relationship long distance and doesn’t want to meet in person. He feels things are great the way they are and told me, “Why ruin a good thing?”.
I’m crushed. I know he is Mr. Right, but now I’m confused and don’t know what to do. Should I just be patient and wait for him to change his mind?
There are so many wonderful things that have come about due to the internet. But it is important to note that the internet is a relatively new part of our lives, having only been in most homes starting in the 1990s. We are all still learning how to navigate the complexities of this tool in a positive way.
A good rule of thumb with online dating and relationships is that if you are not interacting in person or at the very least via phone, it is not real. It is a fantasy.
If he isn’t willing to make the transition from online to real-time, then that is a major red flag and a dealbreaker.
Unfortunately, you never know who you are communicating with over the internet. It could be with a Lithuanian chihuahua (kidding). Bottom line, if this person is not ready or willing to meet you and have a real relationship, then you need to walk away. Move on and count your lucky stars. Chances are you are dodging a big old bullet. Make room for the real thing to enter your life and good luck to you.
Dear Ms. Price,
I have been in a relationship with the love of my life for the past three years. We are happy and I plan on marrying this woman one day.
Problem is she loves to text. She’s ten years younger than me and I have been chalking this up to a generational thing. Lately, it’s becoming a problem, especially when we have a disagreement. Things go from zero to 100 in a quick New York minute and she says some of the nastiest things. Things I know she would never say in person. And I admit to responding in anger, saying things I don’t mean.
I have tried to talk to her about this and we agree not to text fight, until the next time it happens. It’s been happening for three years and I have to be honest, I can’t take it anymore.
–Text Vexed in Clearwater
Texting is an adequate form of communication when you want to make plans, say hello or send quick, happy messages and funny emojis. Other than that, texting is the equivalent of a verbal drive-by shooting. It is absolutely not the way to communicate complex emotions, and that includes solving disagreements. As you said, people have a tendency to say things when texting that they would never say when in person.
I would try once more to sit down with your love and discuss this issue. Explain that when you have a disagreement, your goal is to solve the problem, not hurt each other. Explain again that texting hurts you deeply and is damaging your relationship.
You might want to agree upon a safe word or phrase that you both can use when things are going too far. For example, texting something like, “This is becoming too heated. Let’s take a break and talk in person in an hour” (some version of this). Or, “I will not text fight. Let’s talk.”
This has become a habit that might be difficult to break. You will need to resist the temptation to answer in anger and take the high road. Hopefully with consistency, this will solve this problem. Good luck.