These tactics of maintaining unclear relationships and prolonging break-ups all produce what I call stable ambiguity; too afraid to be alone, but unwilling to fully engage in intimacy building — a holding pattern that affirms the undefined nature of the relationship, which has a mix of comforting consistency AND the freedom of blurred lines. We want to have someone available to cozy-up with when it’s snowing, but if something better comes along, we want the freedom to explore.In this relationship culture, expectations and trust are in constant question. In the absence of information, he will fill the gaps, and what he imagines is most likely worse than reality.Long texts can demonstrate care or reek of desperation.That’s why 58% of singles think texting makes dating more ambiguous, according to a recent study from online dating sites Christian Mingle and JDate.“We went on a couple of great dates, but he wouldn’t respond to texts for over 24 or 26 hours, and when he did, he was just a horrible communicator,” she explains.She said that any potential partner must be able to maintain witty banter as well as respond in a timely manner “so as not to induce panic on the recipient’s end.” The texting delay led Levin to end things with the man.In situations like Edward’s, the ghostee hopes the ghosted will just “get the hint,” as opposed to having to communicate that he/she is no longer interested. At first, Edward runs the gamut of reasons he hasn’t heard back: She must have a really busy work week. I encourage you to end relationships respectfully and conclusively, however brief they may be. This allows both people to enter into his/her next relationship with more experience and a clear head, rather than filled with disappointment and insecurity.Of course, duos dancing in the stable ambiguity zone don’t always end in breakup.
We do this at the expense of our emotional health, and the emotional health of others. At first, relaxed and patient, Edward tries to be understanding, but his attempts at insight soon morph into uncertainty and self-doubt. There is a person on the other end of our text messages (or lack thereof), and the ability to communicate virtually doesn’t give us the right to treat others poorly.
It’s no wonder, then, that text message miscommunications were a daily source of stress and anxiety.
It was yet another box to check as we sought a significant other: textual chemistry.
Whether a witty repartee is established in those first few messages on Tinder or Bumble could be the first step to a lasting relationship.
And the problems persist among long-term couples for whom texting and emailing have in many ways supplanted face-to-face conversations.