Looking for a relationship? Be brave and put the phone down. It's time to embrace that texting is not a relationship.

I was chatting to a female friend recently when she bought me up to speed on a current dating phenomenon.

It involves a lot of texting.

It involves some flirting via text, a few harmless (fully clothed – be smart about this folks) photos back and forth which can go on for weeks and sometimes months. My friend reports that she often gets texts from guys out of the blue after not hearing from them for up to a year!

The interesting thing about this dating phenomenon is that it often doesn’t involve an actual date.

Do we still do those? You remember them, back when people met in person out in public and talked to each other. Pretty sure they used to call it this thing called ‘getting to know one another’.

Sure lots of people are texting and meeting in person but it’s definitely not for dates. It’s more for hooking up or known in my day as a fling. Short, brief, over. Fling.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with hanging a fling. Except when you are seeking a relationship with the person. Then they are simply empty and disappointing.

It’s important to remember that texting is not a relationship.

People who are looking for a relationship will most likely be peeved if you keep texting but never suggest an actual date.

People who are looking for a relationship will be offended if you text constantly and then try to arrange a hook up when you haven’t even met!

I hate to break the news to you but you don’t have a relationship if you are simply texting each other and haven’t met in person. Twenty random text messages does NOT a relationship make.

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Besides if you are texting one person (with no indication of any sort of date on the horizon) who’s to say you’re not texting a dozen people at the same time. If you are texting a dozen people, misleading each one – stop now! It’s bad form.

I fully appreciate the need to engage with a person before deciding if you want to meet them. It makes sense to see if you have anything in common first. You don’t want to get on a date and have nothing to talk about.

I’m just saying text is probably not the best format for getting to know someone. Email is the better option.

Big tip – don’t freak out if you don’t get a response to text or email 5 minutes later. People have jobs, commitments and responsibilities and may take time to respond.

If you are sitting with your mobile phone or laptop repeatedly checking messages, you might want to back away from the technology and go work on that having a life thing yourself.

Abusing someone because they didn’t write back quickly enough won’t help your cause. What it will do is send the person running for the hills (and rightfully so)!

If you mutually decide that you want to meet each other then do something about it.

Be brave and ask the person out!

If they say yes – fantastic. If they so no, take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back for being courageous and move on.

No getting upset or being nasty. Simply move on. This particular person is not for you.

Think of it as dodging a bullet instead of feeling rejected. Moving onto someone right for you is better than dating (or worse marrying) the wrong person then breaking up a couple of years down the track and having to start all over again this time with a broken heart or a bitter disposition. Or both.

Texting is not a relationship.  If you are looking for something real, don’t fall into this trap.

You deserve better. You deserve a relationship with someone who will treat you with respect and care.

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Related post – 20 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Want to Find Love