In Their Own Way, Text Messages Are Keeping Romance Alive

A survey by the U.K.’s National Trust found that 70 percent of women and 53 percent of men would rather get a love letter or poem than a text or email. Yet, of the 2,558 people surveyed, 62 percent had never sent a love letter, while 69 percent had sent an “I love you” text. Is technology killing romance? As much as I despise text message abbreviations and sloppy typers, I don’t think so.A few years ago, I lived abroad for several months. I begged my then-boyfriend to send me just one letter while I was away. Did he? Of course not. While I’d like to be pissed off at him for blatantly ignoring my one request, technology let him be even more in touch than he would have been if we had to rely on letters sent through the mail. In fact, I got phone calls, texts, and emails from him practically every day. Sure, it would have been nice to have something handwritten to hang on to, but his writing is really hard to read. Plus, I still have the emails in the never-ending storage Gmail provides if I ever want to reminisce.

And it’s not just the increase in communication that is keeping romance alive. Text messaging, emails, and instant messaging give more reserved people chances for love they might not have had before. Think of all the people who are too paralyzed by shyness to call up a guy (or girl) to ask him out for a drink. In middle school we passed notes or asked a friend to find out whether a boy liked us before making a move. Text messages serve the same purpose. They let us test the waters before we throw ourselves under the love bus.

It’s true that more indirect communication also makes it easier to set up late-night booty calls, but negatives accompany nearly every innovation — just look at the Industrial Revolution. All in all, texting and emailing are helping people find romance through more channels, so no one is putting all of their communication eggs in one basket. Just keep in mind that the guy who keeps texting you at odd hours, like 2 a.m. on a Saturday night, isn’t a nice, shy guy who’s resorting to texts because you make him nervous; it’s because he’s an ass with needs.