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I’ve declared that I would go on at least four dates a month. I’m a single girl in New York City, so I figured it wouldn’t that hard to find people to spend time with. While finding folks and letting folks find me wasn’t a big issue, the consistency in communication and the lack of face to face or voice to voice connection, kept me from being able to create authentic dating experiences with these people. I was mostly just chatting with them, often waiting for those ellipses to morph into words on my iPhone screen.

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Antoine is a guy who I’d met a couple of years ago via a random dating website. He and I would speak casually, but we never quiet cracked the glass ceiling of being familiar with one another. A few quick hi’s and bye’s and we both kept it moving. After a few years, Facebook became the social media giant of the internet and he added me on there.

“Hey stranger,” a chat window with his familiar name popped up.

“Antoine! Long time, no speak,” I said with a smiling emoticon.

“I could say that same. When are we going to hang out?” Antoine asked.

“Whenever, I’m here, so let me know,” I responded in an eager and carefree way that I can longer say that I have these days.

Antoine never replied. Fast forward to eight years later. I am a grown woman and I’ve been through five earth-shattering relationships, over 200 dates, currently juggling three different dudes, who I am not too keen on committing to and this is honestly the busiest I have ever been in my career. Because of my career, I made an appearance on national television and I don’t want to say that Antoine is an opportunist…however, the day after that appearance, my Facebook inbox blinked with a notification from him.

“Hey babe. You looked amazing on TV! Long time, right? How are you? Are you still single and mingling?” He ended his inquiry with a smiling emoticon with all of his teeth showing.

I decided that I wouldn’t be cynical and just respond casually, “Ha! Hey stranger. I’m doing great. Busy, but in the best way possible. Thank you so much. That was a humbling experience. And yes, I am still out here single and mingling. LOL”

When I tell you the message literally went from, “sent” to “read,” I was shocked. And then the three dots in the thought bubble popped up. What?! An instant response from Antoine? Hell must have frozen over.

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“Well, I would love to take you out,” Antoine admitted.

“I’m ready when you are,” I replied, thinking, since he was jocking my television appearance that this would be the time he actually followed through.

I was wrong. Once again, Antoine let days, weeks and a couple of months fly by. We had exchanged numbers, but he preferred messaging me on Facebook. That should have been a red flag, but as I spend a lot of my working hours on Facebook, it’s super easy to interact there for me.

I have several friends who complain about interacting strictly via technology. From texts to emails to social media, complaints about a genuine connection through every other venue except face to face, are plenty. While I am not so strict about being contacted via social media, text or the like, I have started to adopt this mentality.

There’s something special about connecting with someone face to face or voice to voice, especially when you’re dating. It shows sincere interest and leaves less room for interpreting the intended message sent through shaky wifi connections.

I was chatting with one of my friends about Antoine and while complaining about how he never wants to commit to meeting in person or even having a phone conversation, she said, “Girl please. I only use text for quick convos and if he can’t pick up the phone to call and ask me out, he doesn’t deserve my time!”

When Antoine finally decided to message me again, he said, “Hey D. Are you free this afternoon?”

Many women would consider this a step towards being asked out, I took it more as a lazy expression of interest.

I told Antoine that I had a lot going on that day and I would be more open tomorrow. Do you know this boy had the nerve to hit me with the, “SMH. You’re too busy for me.”

It took everything I had not to go full on angry Black woman on him. Instead, I said, “You asked what I was doing. You didn’t ask me out.”

“I didn’t?” Antoine asked, clearly confused. “I am still trying my best to get a minute of your time.”

“Trying? Really?” I asked.

“Yes. I can’t win. Either you’re tired of guys acting interested and not taking the opportunity of actually going on a date or you’ve become oblivious that when a guy is showing interest, you may not notice it…” Antoine texted me. It literally took up my whole screen. I laughed as soon as I read it because he’s still not getting it.

“Antoine…I really just don’t see where texting to ask my schedule is asking me out on a date. Are you afraid to call me? Am I not important enough for a call? Have you even said out of your mouth, Danielle…if you are free on Saturday, I would love to take out your to fill in the blank where we can fill in the blank,” I wasn’t expecting a response and that’s good because guess what? I didn’t get one.

Whether he was stunned or over it, it took three weeks to get a response and guess what it was:

“Hey, are you busy today?”

I laughed for at least five minutes. This guy could not be serious! The sad part is…he was. There’s got to be more women out here who allow men to text them as a means of getting to know them and it’s just not ok. Words can be misinterpreted or too delayed via text, causing drama to flurry up in a woman’s head and we all know how that ends. But when you have intentional face to face or voice to voice calls, there’s a connection. Nothing feels better in the scheme of getting to know someone than sharing true connection.

Antoine isn’t the only guy who I’ve been interested in who doesn’t know how to make a real connection with a woman to show their true interest. I’m not saying that men who limit their communication to text, email and social media are never truly interested in the women they pursue with their fingertips, however, doesn’t it look more sincere if you take the time to call and/or see her face to face? Or is that just me?

Are you dating in text messages, emails and social media alone? Let’s talk about it @Rhapsodani.

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