I’m always happy to see your name popping up on my lock screen. But I don’t need you to text me. I don’t need you to routinely send me the good morning and good night messages. In fact, I’m scared of getting this kind of texts. I don’t want to be conditioned into expecting them and feeling disappointed when they’re missing, which always happens at some point eventually. I don’t want to get a false sense of closeness with someone I don’t really know yet just because I’m frequently reminded of their name and asked seemingly thoughtful questions one after another, which might come across as deep interest but takes as much effort as picking up a fork. Looking at my phone reading your texts is never the same as looking at your face hearing words coming out of your mouth. My phone is not you. Texting is cheap. Face time is valuable.
I know people say it’s nice to stay in touch every day even when it’s just a simple “Hi, how are you today?” text. It’s true. It always puts a smile on my face to hear from you and I’m eternally grateful that we’re able to have this instant connection whenever we want to. But it should not be an expectation, an obligation, or the basis of our communication. It should just be a means to an end and taken at face value. You can be sure that I miss you, I look forward to seeing you, I think about you randomly throughout the day, but when we’re apart, I would like us to focus on what’s in our visual field and be present for it. So, when we’re together, we can be present and focus on each other fully too. Life won’t have to be filled with sad longing and we won’t have to miss out on any precious moment even when it’s experienced without each other. We’re especially happy when our bodies are intertwined but we’re happy independently too.
Not to mention I don’t want to be dependent on any device. Worse, texting gives me anxiety. It’s unnecessary. I like things the way they are between us. I like that we use texts to tell each other our minds are racing, our bodies are tingling, and it never has to overwhelm the actual life happening outside our phones. If anything, it makes it all better. I like when you text me to ask if I’m free, to tell me you’re coming back to London followed by the address of your favourite restaurant and “Meet me at 8”, to check if I got home safe, to appreciate a funny picture I send you at a random time of the day. I like that when I think of us, I don’t immediately think of the tone-deaf chat bubbles or have to decode what any of them means. I think of your big grin when you open the door to me, of you holding my hand when I thought I couldn’t breathe, of the wrinkled bedsheet that is neither yours or mine, of silly chats and bottom-up Whiskey. All is what quality times mean to me.
I don’t need you to text me all the time because it counts millions of times more when you reliably show up and, when you show up, you’re never on your phone. You give me your undivided attention and it fills me up like nothing else. Who cares about those good morning and good night texts — I just want more of our face to face moments whenever is possible.