The era of 24/7-in touch that is where we live in right now. Every bit of knowledge and every possible contact moment is available whenever you want it.
I remember my first world travel when I was 17 and going all the way around South America.
Whenever I wanted to make a phone call home I had to wait for hours in the phone companies waiting room for a connection. Sometimes even days. Collect calls cost a fortune and there was no other way of communicating with people back home in a faster way than just hanging in there hoping that if there is a connection it would be a clear and private one.
Several times I had such bad connection that it all was a waste of time and money, or I shared the line with three other people screaming all the loudest to get through to their loved ones.
You cannot imagine that anymore, right?
Cellphones and computers created the world of Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger, etc. or good old texting which is very popular in the Philippines, especially when dating someone., and WhatsApp what thrived the romance scene in Mexico.
But also dating apps, like Tinder, Badoo and Facebook Dating that makes it so easy to look for a partner, and yet are so confusing when it comes to finding the right person.
As I wrote in this blog post, sometimes it takes a while for a message to be answered, due to a number of reasons. But still, it is nothing compared to the old days when love letters could be on their way for weeks, and getting through to your loved one was a sheer pain in the ass.
Although contact was rarer in those days, love seemed to be more profound
In those days I just knew a man loved me, it never occurred to me to doubt him. He told me, and I believed him.
No doubt because he did not answer back, because Whatsapp shows he definitely read the message.
No moments of tears when his icon pictures show up next to your love text in Facebook Messenger and he simply doesn’t text something sweet back.
In these modern days stuffed with technology, relationships are created and ended by texting, or by changing your status on Facebook, and the interaction between two people has sometimes been diminished to nothing less than just one letter “k”.
Your carefully crafted text message to a guy you really like, about hanging out together being answered by ‘K’ deserves more than that. since you put your heart and maybe even your future in that message.
I came across my own feelings on the whole 24/7 in touch thing when I realized I was actually waiting for my (ow ex Filipino) boyfriend to send me a text message like he used to do: good morning. When He stopped doing that, simply because it had become an absolute bore to send and receive them I started doubting the relationship and his feelings for me.
The blessing of this fast communicating world can also be a curse
Now that says a lot about me being insecure, but it also tells the sad story of how we became to depend on the 24/7-in touch society.
Checking up on your boyfriend’s whereabouts is the number one thing women like to do when he is giving no response. Check his Facebook, his Twitter, check Whatsapp to see if the message is being red and the same in Facebook messenger and then fret about it.
My first boyfriend and I happened in the era of waiting for weeks for a love letter to arrive, of a missed phone called that took ages to be established and lost parcels.
But nevertheless, I never doubted his love.
This relationship was about 35 years ago and for how I experience dating nowadays it seems like I’m in a different universe. The fear, doubt, and mixed emotions I wrestle with now I do not recognize from the past. Those were different times.
My first love was a Brazilian singer and songwriter. I loved him with adorable puppy love, he was my first love. Being far away from home, watching romantic tropical sunsets, I promised him to return as soon my savings would allow me.
But the language barrier and cultural differences, and the long-distance between us killed the
relationship over time. It just stopped existing. Maybe because keeping in touch was such a hassle in those days. We are still in touch, he happily married, me being single again. And we actually did meet one day. By that time I was pregnant with my second child. It was devastating to see him, knowing I still loved him but it was all out of reach.
I remember the relationship being almost mindful and calm heaven of mutual trust. Clear rules, no games. Pure.
I remember dating a young man in the Philippines who was not a whizz-kid when it comes to the 24/7-contact era. he had the oldest Nokia ever and buying load to text me pressed heavily on his daily income.
When I longed for a text from him, he was with his mind on survival. And he would not except any money from me for a promo for his cellphone.
Dating in Mexico, using Facebook dating my messenger is flooded with meaningless conversations and memes. The talks are about everything but important things for people planning a date. And sometimes the man disappears without any notice. Just ignoring your messages.
We do not live in a Disney movie and happy endings may not always be a part of our lives
When Disney started making movies, the whole romance thing took over. Even I got addicted to it. How many dating profiles I have written stating that I am a romantic soul. Longing for candlelight, campfires and holding hands in the moonlight.
Add to that the technology of the 24/7-in touch society and you have a mismatch with what love is all about.
How shallow if love is based on that.
Does it really matter if a guy text you constantly?
Does it really prove anything if he keeps sending you messages and heart-shaped emoticons?
Does it really add to the way you feel about him?
That is sad.
For it should not.
No emoticon or meme can add value to words spoken in truth
You should know by the way a man looks at you how much he loves you. You should be able to trust him just on his words when he tells you ‘ I love you” or ‘ I miss you” that he is speaking the truth.
No emoticon or GIF on the internet can add value to that.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back to the days of old, when we could read the other person’s love-language in his deeds, his gestures, in his eyes? Instead of from our touchscreen.
Wouldn’t it be nice if dating was about seeing a few people in your nearby surroundings and not be like the nowadays lottery of finding the right guy online in one of the zillion dating apps?
In some countries, it is still common to date within the boundaries of your village
In developing countries, most people cannot afford the 30 dollar fee for a dating site. If they are dating online they use a free profile of which we know gets you nothing but frustration. The International Dating site has an up-selling offer to the Western (rich) guys to pay extra so the girls can actually read and answer the messages. That says it all: you pay for contacting her, she has no money to do so.
I love the simple way of dating. I have always found the online dating scene very confusing, I have dated a lot. But there was such a huge element of pretend and make-believe in all those profiles that it became unrealistic.
I’ve always found the online dating scene very confusing, the game element was always a huge deal breaker
Staring a whole day at my phone waiting for a person to tell me he loves me, feeling miserable at the empty screen is something I miss and hate at the same time.
We so easily forget the greater perspective of dating, it becomes as wide as the screen of our smartphone and creates a demanding tunnel vision when it comes to your love life.
In the days of my Brazilian boyfriend, I just had to wait for the mail to arrive, which were such happy moments in my life. In between, I lived my own life. Somewhere along with the development of all the exiting technology I became depending, demanding, maybe even need to hear more, see more, be reassured more.
In the past, when my grandparents fell in love, finding a partner was more about surviving, reproducing and having a mate that could provide for you.
After urbanization, emancipation and sexual liberation, relationships became more about choices and possibilities, about experimenting and searching for the magical true love brought to you by moviemakers, songwriters, and novelists.
And it became all confusing.
I do wonder if there is a guy out there that has my glass slipper….……since I can’t find it anywhere.
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.
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