This week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions tackles the subject of Texting Anxiety while dating. I talk through three scenarios: corresponding for several minutes and then it stopping, becoming dependent on the pattern of texts and panicking when it deviates, and feeling robbed of a relationship when things don’t progress after sexting.

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Some nuggets from the episode

  • Who’s really wasted who’s time here? After all, 15 minutes represents a fraction of a percent of your entire year of 525,600 minutes. Are you mad about just the 15 minutes, though? Or, are you mad about the time spent getting your hopes up and imagining a future with this person? It’s the hopes and expectations, including the attachment to the outcome that’s triggered the Texting Anxiety.
  • If your whole imaginary future with this person got tanked by ten minutes of texting, you didn’t have a future with them.
  • We feel as if we’ve put in the same amount of hours as a relationship, and so if we’ve seen the person once, but we’ve texted for weeks, we behave as if we’ve met up with them in person all those times. But things move differently in Texty Time than they do in actual dating time.

Texting all day every day with someone you know, never mind a veritable stranger, isn’t sustainable. If you have the time to be chained to your phone all day, something or someone isn’t getting your full attention.

  • Being dependent on our relationship following a certain format in order for us to feel safe and secure doesn’t allow much room for growth. Much as we might say that we want more, even positively moving away from text to more human-to-human interactions will trigger anxiety. Why? Because you can’t control people and your environment the way you do with texts. People don’t come with read receipts. Texting Anxiety is driven by our need to control something.

It’s a lot ‘easier’ to monitor someone’s movements online, including when they were last online or whether they’ve read your text or are typing, than it is to be vulnerable, present and intimate.

  • Sometimes, we don’t realise where we’re basing a new interaction on the fear of an old relationship happening again.
  • Have you been robbed of a relationship? Well, no. Sure, you thought things were going really well and hoped that things were going somewhere, but that’s like buying your lottery ticket and hearing that you have three numbers, hoping that you have all six, spending your winnings in advance, and then being mad as hell that you didn’t win the lottery. 
  • Sex, whether it’s by text, FaceTime, or in person, isn’t a security deposit on a relationship. 
  • Texting Anxiety teaches us that we’re too psychologically invested in our future with this person we barely know. 
  • When we feel wronged by someone we briefly interacted with by text no longer responding, is it that we think that we lost The One? Doubtful given that they’re a stranger. Do we think that we lost what we thought was the next available person for us to ride the merry-go-round of our pattern with while we plug the gap created by our fear that love is a crock and that we’re never going to meet and settle down with anyone?
  • Given that we’re in these text situations with people that we do not know very well (otherwise we would not be in this situation), we must only do what we are genuinely comfortable with doing and owning. 

Links mentioned

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