The three dots and screenshots. I can remember the anticipation I felt waiting for texts back from the man I would eventually marry, before the three bouncing dots, read receipts, and sending screenshots to friends were even a thing. Doing so requires risk and vulnerability, with the possibility of interest being unrequited. A text back too soon may signify a surrender—losing the game of emotional chicken characteristic of the early stages of modern texting and dating.
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On the other hand, it has completely changed the course of dating forever, and not for the better. When I was in middle school if you liked someone you had to pick up your landline phone, call their home number, and speak to their mom to ask if they were even available. This took balls! Yes, guys had to have serious balls to actually speak to the girl they liked, which meant they had to have skin in the game.
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So no pressure, but your entire romantic future here could be determined by your first few text messages. The first text is always the hardest. How long do you wait to message that cute guy from the gym?
Check out our new Modern Love podcast. My relationship with Thomas began with a seemingly innocuous email he sent to my roommate. Let me back up. After a quick trip to the gym, I looked forward to hunkering down in my apartment with some good dinner and bad TV.