COMMUNICATION – Breaking the Text Habit (Southern Belle)

A couple of weeks ago, the Experimental Daters caught up in London for our post-Christmas Xmas Party, and one of the things we were all most curious about were the developments in Southern Belle’s love life.  Most of us had followed her various H-Town Dating Chronicles with bated breath and belly laughs … and the intrigue continued on Twitter after she returned to the US.

Over the last couple of days, Belle has hinted about a rather unorthodox date with the client, and so when this email appeared in my inbox, I had expected a full breakdown of the twenty-three hour date.  However, as always …. Belle is full of surprises!  And perhaps a novel way of approaching communication in the New Year!

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

On Friday, I had a 23 hour date with The Client.

It would take me a long time to write about it all, suffice to say that no, we did not sleep together, but yes, I had a great time. It was Dinner, Drinks, Gig, Drinks, Fire gazing, Breakfast, Dog park and Lunch. Fantastic.

What I want to write about is Communication.

It’s been interesting that in the week since my return from Thailand, The Client’s messaging has dramatically decreased.

I am a consistent, clear and frequent communicator.

I have good friends that are the same and we’ll chat all day back and forth, make plans and so on.

My ex used to text me the minute he woke up (bartender hours) and we’d talk all day over text message before I finished work and went to have dinner with him etc.

The Client is a completely different animal.

He sends text messages every couple of days, if that, and doesn’t reference anything socially inside the work environment.

Last week, following the heavy text message flow while I was in Thailand, I felt a little bereft and devoid of attention.

I like The Client. I want to go on dates and get to know this guy better, but it was as if being back in the country meant the communication stopped completely, or that he’d lost interest. It was a little confusing and to be honest, had me scheduling a back-up date with Baby Canadian if (or when, in my eyes) he flaked.

On the Thursday night before our tentatively agreed date, he called me.

I answered while in a bar and stepped outside so I could hear a little better. My job is on the phone, so when people call me, I expect them to want/need something from me and this call didn’t seem to have such a purpose. That’s when I realized I have been totally reprogrammed to expect all casual communication to flow through text messages. I’m out of practice with phone calls that aren’t work-related or transactional in some way! Thrown off by the call, I asked him if he was planning on coming out on Friday as we’d agreed. He laughed and said yes, he was.

Over the course of the 23 hour date, he barely looked at his phone at all. When he did, it was to tell me an old army buddy was coming into town or that his Dad was texting him about the playoffs. He is completely different from any guy I’ve dated in the last 4 years. It is incredibly personable and flattering because he’s focused on the conversation and his surroundings, instead of keeping one eye on his cell phone.

When he left my house on Saturday, he said he’d speak to me tomorrow. And he did. He called on Sunday just to see how my day was going, what I was up to and we talked for a little while. It could have been a text message.. but it wasn’t.

Monday in work, I didn’t see him. Old Belle would have sent a joke text message calling him a slacker and I did do this even before we’d been on a date!

After talking on Saturday, when I re-explained the blog and how we write about dating situations as well as the dates themselves, he was a little uneasy for a while. He asked if I was going to write about him and I had to be honest. I told him he’d been mentioned previously but right now, I didn’t have anything to write about him. Apart from maybe awkwardness in the workplace. He sat up, put his arm around me and said that work was work. I took that onboard.

9pm last night and I’m curled up on the sofa with my dogs and .. my phone rings.

It’s him and we speak for about 45mins: about work, the weekend, a crazy documentary on mining that he’s watching and how his Dad has lots of jokes about my name and the fact that I’m British. It was a really nice call.

It’s the end of the day here and I’ve seen him twice at work as he’s come to set up my new workstation in the most ergonomic way possible. Chatting in a friendly way about work but nothing else.

Maybe he’ll call tonight, who knows. I do know that I like breaking my text habit!

Who else uses text messages instead of calling someone the old fashioned way?

I think we should all try to make a call instead of texting once this week!

Southern Belle 

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  1. Update from H-Town (Southern Belle) | The 30 Dates Blog

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