My last few relationships fell apart seemingly as quickly as they started. I couldn’t figure out why. I questioned if it was just because we rushed into it, we tried to make booty calls an actual thing, or we just grew tired of each other. After looking them over I started to think it was because she and I never went more than a couple of hours without talking.
My previous four relationships were all with girls from my college so we never went more than a day without seeing each when school was in session. The more I sat and thought about this I began wondering if we grew tired of each other because we had nothing to talk about because we were constantly telling one another the highs and lows of our days as they happened. There was no build-up to the story. Often, it was a text saying how annoying my partner was in class or her saying how she had plans with her girlfriends to get lunch in the dining hall together. Then, at the end of the day, when we would study in the library or she would come to my apartment, there was nothing left to say. There was no sharing of emotions. We would either sit quietly and read our textbooks or Netflix and Chill.
No actual interaction ever occurred because it was all happening over text message.
When I began “talking” to the girl I’m with now I decided to go out on a limb and asked her to participate in a little experiment with me. Let’s date like it is 1950 and all we have are landline phones and friends to spread a message.
It took a little convincing but after I explained my reasons she agreed and thought it would be fun to try. So, the guidelines were: no following each other on any social media platform; no texting or Facetime, just phone calls and only one call per day; the only way we would see each other is if we had a planned date night or just by chance we saw each other on campus (we eventually memorized each other’s schedules so that was easy); finally, no talking about the relationship on social media. We wanted our business to be found out by people hearing it from one of us.
At first, it was a bit difficult. Her friends had convinced her that the only reason any boy would propose such an idea would be because he just wants to cheat without the worries of getting caught. Which you hear about cheating via saxting all the time so I could understand the logic behind that. It took several weeks but she soon moved past the paranoia.
Another hurdle was scheduling. Telling her I would be there at 6 to pick her up but showing up at 6:30, because my group project meeting ran late, didn’t sit well. Again, this was a lesson for both of us to learn to be somewhere when we said we would be and not having the fall back of if it something happens I’ll just send a text to let them know.
I had a hard time with the only one phone call a day aspect. I would want to send her a snap of something I saw in class or a text saying how terrible my day was going but instead had to hold it in until that night when we would talk on the phone. Over time all of these issues faded away and what came of it was remarkable.
Not having people questioning you about your relationship constantly because of a Tweet or Instagram photo was so refreshing I cannot even describe it. The trust and vulnerability it took to try this only made us closer because we relied on one another to make sure everything went okay. Neither of us wanted to be the person that bleeped it all up after seeing what a good thing we had going.
I learned her phone number. I actually started typing her phone number onto the keypad and memorized it. I knew maybe five phone numbers without having to look them up and now I know at least 6. Only talking once per day, and at the minimum doing it over a phone call changed how we communicated. It’s not as great as speaking in person but at least over the phone, I could hear her emotions as she told me about the ‘A’ she received on her mid-term paper and the disgust she had over the latest political news. Being able to actually tell how topics made her feel was a great thing. Date nights were actual date nights where we talked to one another and shared instead of filling awkward silences by retreating into our phones. It completely changed the way I view relationships. For the better. I never want to be with someone again like I was.
Eventually, we started texting but it was only ever for little things, not conversations. We did follow each other and it did start to annoy me that people began asking me about things that they saw online. But we still held true to the ‘wait until the end of the day to talk on the phone’ rule and to leave the phones in our pockets when we were together.
If you can convince your partner to do it, this is the best decision you will ever make about a relationship, guaranteed.