Two days ago, I ended things with Gary and it was inevitable that it wouldn’t take long before I started to ponder how and why it all went wrong and if I could have done things differently. The answer is a resounding yes. Several months ago, I realised that most of our arguments happened because of something said over text message and one of us taking it the wrong way. Back then I said this to Gary and I asked that we stop having conversations over text other than the odd short text ‘Morning’ or ‘Night’ but it didn’t happen and we just carried on as before and have spent the following months arguing constantly, mostly due to something that was said over text and taken the wrong way, more often by me. I often fail to read the tone of a text whereas when I’m with the person I take in the whole situation; their facial expression, the tone of their voice and their body language and because there’s very little room for misunderstanding in person, the arguments don’t happen. I take a joke for what it is and I get when they’re hurt and I need to rein it in and apologise. That doesn’t and can’t happen over text. The other thing I’ve found about texts is that people get brave. People tend to say more hurtful things in the written word than they would in person. I know that statement is definitely true for me. I have said things to people over text that I would never have the courage to say vocally. This can be a good or a bad thing, but mostly bad. Today I googled how texting can damage relationships and came upon this:
“Texting is the biggest catch-22 of our time. We love it for its convenience and fun Emojis, but we probably don’t notice just how much it’s making us feel like shit. Everybody loves the feeling of the little (1) on the screen, but what about when you’re waiting for an answer that never comes? What about when you’re trying to convey sarcasm, but it just comes off as rude? What about the irritating expectation that comes with having to always be available to respond to every text, or risk seeming like a jerk?”
The other thing that caused problems in our relationship was alcohol. I didn’t like the amount or the frequency that Gary drank but more than that, I didn’t like the person he turned into when he’d had a drink. He was totally irrational, beyond stubborn, argumentative and impossible to reach, which probably sums me up too when I’ve been drinking with him. The thing is, I’ve always said I’m a happy drunk and I am. I get drunk, I sing, I dance, I get more and more fun but when I drink with Gary, I just end up as argumentative as him and it becomes a massive power struggle which neither of us were ever likely to win because no-one ever really wins a power battle. In fact, both people lose in the end, which is exactly what’s happened between us. I don’t like who he becomes when he drinks but equally so, I can’t stand me either. I turned into someone I was embarrassed and ashamed of and showed behaviours that I’ve never shown in my life and hope to never repeat.
So now obviously, I’m left wondering, had we never had alcohol in our relationship and if we’d done a lot more talking than texting, would we have been okay? We did have a lot going for us and we did have a lot of fun time in the beginning. Our texts weren’t always bad. At the beginning, there were a lot of ‘I love you’ and ‘I miss you’ texts but recently it’s all just been misunderstandings and upset. One thing I do know, I will never use text messages in a relationship again to the extent that I did with Gary. Dating and texting, more than actually talking, just don’t work.