To Text or Call: Why Are We So Weird When We Date?

I’ve recently been posting a lot of questions and polls on my Instagram account, because I’m realizing that my peers have just as interesting, if not more interesting things to say about dating as I do. I posed the question of what your biggest dating pet peeve is, and someone responded with: “Guys only texting and never calling.”


I’ve actually gotten this question from guys before. Should I text or call? And the problem with the question is, I’m not sure, because my assumption is that people have different preferences on both ends. Some guys prefer texting over calling, and vice versa. Some girls prefer calling over texting, and vice versa. I’m pretty sure it’s a personality thing, not a gender thing. And nowadays there isn’t necessarily a more “appropriate” choice. Maybe 5-10 years ago calling was the “right” thing to do, but now, especially with dating apps on the rise, and texting/ emailing/ dm’ing etc. becoming so popular, communicating via text isn’t necessarily rude. It’s efficient. It’s normal. It’s just what we do.  

So I put it to a poll. Someone posed a theory that it depends on age. That women over 30 prefer calling, and women under 30 prefer texting. I didn’t see that trend in the numbers, although I think most of my followers who took the poll are below 30, so I don’t think we can glean anything about that. But, as I suspected, the results were pretty much even. Both men and women responded, and 53% of people prefer calling, while 47% prefer texting.


Totally inconclusive. So depending on the person, you might both be on the same page about if you prefer texting or calling, or you might not. There’s no way to know before you make contact. And based on the numbers there’s a good chance you won’t be on the same page about what you prefer.

But that’s the thing. You’re likely to not be on the same page about a lot of things when it comes to dating. People have different preferences; when it comes to communication, to going out or staying in, to deciding on where to order food from….The list goes on. We’re humans. We’re different. It’s normal to have different preferences.

So if it really matters to you, why can’t you tell the other person what you prefer? It’s not weird. Just because the guy chose to text you, doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a phone and say, “ Hey I hate texting, thought this would be easier.” or “I’m driving, what’s up?” I’ve had guys call me to tell me the most casual things. Like the fact that they’re running late. Or that they want to meet at a certain time. They clearly prefer phone calls. I never thought it was weird. I just assumed it was a preference. And honestly, if I wasn’t in the mood to talk (which is probably a red flag once you’ve gone out with them one time, by the way), I could ignore the call and shoot them a text that I can’t talk. Because that’s what normal people do in normal situations!

Why when we’re dating do we become irregular people? Why do we become so weird? Why are we unable to effectively tell the other person what we prefer–what works for us? If we can’t effectively communicate how we prefer to communicate, how the hell are we supposed to effectively communicate period?

I personally don’t mind texting. That is, until a conversation starts to become confusing, and my brain enters it’s anxious mode, and starts spiraling. What’s he thinking? Does this mean something more than what he’s saying? Should I read into this text? Should I take it at face value? And I analyze the text like I’m sitting in English Lit, and my future depends on this.

And so the question becomes, is it weird to call him? And recently I realized that when normal people in normal situations are confused about something in writing, they pick up a phone for clarification. When I’m at work, and I get an email on a project I don’t understand, I’ll call the person on the other end for clarification. If I want to talk through something we’re working on, instead of just exchanging a million emails, I call them. Or I schedule a meeting. Even if it’s early on in the project. Because I’d rather know that I am understanding what’s happening or expressing myself clearly, than sit with uncertainty or be confused. Why shouldn’t the same apply to dating? That’s how normal people communicate in normal situations! But also–if the person doesn’t answer my call, I don’t call them 3,000 times and leave 52 voicemails. I don’t send them 200 emails in a row. Same should go for dating.

So when I’m confused about a conversation I’m having with a guy over text, I call him. If I feel like we need to talk something through, I pick up the phone. Even if it’s early in the relationship. Because that’s my preference. Because that’s what I need at that moment. I don’t bomb call or text him if he doesn’t answer. I just assume he’ll call or text me back like a normal person (even if internally I’m freaking out–that’s what bomb texting your best friend is for). Is calling the right move? I don’t know. But it feels normal to me. And I’m not really sure how you build a real connection with someone when you’re not yourself. When you’re being weird. When you’re not actually communicating effectively, or understanding what the other person is saying. 

So guys, should you call or text? That’s up to you. Do what you’re comfortable with. But women, if you want to shift the conversation to a different mode of communication, you can do that as well. If your biggest dating pet peeve is when a guy texts instead of calls, casually call him! Welcome to 2019, baby. This should not be weird.



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