The era of 24/7-in touch that is where we live in right now. Every bit of knowledge and every possible contact moment is available whenever you want it.
I remember my first world travel, when I was 17 and going all the way around South America.
Whenever I wanted to make a phone call home I had to wait for hours in the phone companies waiting room for a connection. Sometimes even days. Collect calls cost a fortune and there was no other way of communicating with people back home in a faster way than just hanging in there hoping that if there is a connection it would be a clear and private one.
Several times I had such bad connection that it all was a waste of time and money, or I shared the line with three other people screaming all the loudest to get through to their loved ones.
You cannot image that anymore, right?
Cellphones and computers created the world of Whatsapp, Skype, Facebook messenger etc. or good old texting which is very popular in the Philippines, specially when dating someone.
As I wrote in this blog post, sometimes it takes a while for a message to be answered, due to a number of reasons. But still it is nothing compared to the old days, when love letters could be on their way for weeks, and getting through to your loved one was a sheer pain in the ass.
Although contact was more rare in those days, love seemed to be more profound
In those days I just knew he loved me, it never occurred to me to doubt him. he told me, and I believed him.
No doubt because he did not answer back, because Whatsapp shows he definitely read the message.
No moments of tears when his icon pictures shows up next to your love text in Facebook Messenger and he simply doesn’t text something sweet back.
In these modern days stuffed with technology, relationships are created and ended by texting, or by changing your status on Facebook, and the interaction between two people has sometimes been diminished to nothing less than just one letter “k”.
Your carefully crafted text message to a guy you really like, about hanging out together being answered by ‘K’ deserves more than that. since you put your heart and maybe even your future in that message.
I came across my own feelings on the whole 24/7 in touch thing when I realized I was actually waiting for my boyfriend to send me a text message like he used to do: good morning. When He stopped doing that, simply because it had become an absolute bore to send and receive them I started doubting the relationship and his feelings for me.
The blessing of this fast communicating world can also be a curse
Now that says a lot about me being insecure, but it also tells the sad story of how we became to depend on the 24/7-in touch society.
Checking up on your boyfriends whereabouts is the number one thing women like to do when he is giving no response. Check his Facebook, his Twitter, check Whatsapp to see if the message is being red and same in Facebook messenger and than fret about it.
My first boyfriend and I happened in the era of waiting for weeks for a love letter to arrive, of missed phone called that took ages to be established and lost parcels.
But nevertheless I never doubted his love.
This relationship was about 35 years ago, In evolutionary terms that is to be neglected, but for how I experience love nowadays it seems like I’m in a different universe. The fear, doubt and mixed emotions I wrestle with now I do not recognize from the past. Those were different times.
Both relationships were fireworks, passionate, driven by creativity and inspiring to step unto higher ground.
My first love was a Brazilian singer and song writer. I loved him with an adorable puppy love, he was my first love. Being far away from home, watching romantic tropical sunsets, I promised him to return as soon my savings would allow me.
But the language barrier and cultural differences, and the long distance between us killed the
relationship over time. It just stopped existing. Maybe because keeping in touch was such a hassle in those days. We are still in touch, he happily married, me single again. And we actually did meet one day. By that time I was pregnant of my second child. It was devastating to see him, knowing I still loved him but it was all out of reach.
I remember relationship being almost mindful and a calm heaven of mutual trust. Clear rules, no games. Pure
My fresh, new, young boyfriend is not a whizz-kid when it comes to the 24/7-contact era. he has the oldest Nokia ever and buying load to text me presses heavily on his daily income.
Again I choose to be in a relationship with a huge language barrier and a distance.
The simple life of him going to work, come home for lunch, go and do some more work while I’m at home waiting for the evening to come, writing my stories and editing my photos, is one I’m looking forward to.
Early to bed, early to rise.
Hopefully our love will grow and become continuous within this time frame.
Many of my friends wonder if I sell myself short by being satisfied with so little. And I think int he modern world we overvalue passion and romance.
You can do without passion and romance, if you master the art of simply loving the other person.
This time I’m going to cross that distance by moving to his island. Even I learned from past experiences
When Disney started making movies, the whole romance thing took over. Even I got addicted to it. How many dating profiles I have written stating that i am a romantic soul. Longing for candle light, camp fires and holding hands in moonlight.
Add to that the technology of the 24/7-in touch society and you have a mismatch with what love is all about.
How shallow if love is based on that.
- Does it really matter of a guy text you constantly?
- Does it really proof anything if he keeps sending you messages and heart shaped emoticons?
- Does it really add to the way you feel about him?
That is sad.
For it should not.
No emoticon can add value to words spoken in truth
You should know by the way he looks at you how much he loves you. You should be able to trust him just on his words when he tells you ‘ I love you” or ‘ I miss you” that he is speaking the truth.
No emoticon can add value to that.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back to the days of old, when we could read the other persons love-language in his deeds, his gestures, in his eyes. Instead of on our touchscreen.
Wouldn’t it be nice if dating was about seeing a few people in your nearby surroundings and not a lottery finding the right guy online or in a bar?
In the Philippines is it common to date within the boundaries of your own barangay
In the Philippines most people cannot afford the 30 dollar fee for a dating site. If they are dating online they use a free profile of which we know gets you nothing but frustration. Asian dating site have an up-selling offer to the Western (rich) guys to pay extra so the girls can actually read and answer the messages. That says it all: you pay for contacting her, she has no money to do so.
Filipino guys on dating sites are still a rare thing.
Here it is common to date in your own barangay (township), or if you are a real dare devil: in the next barangay. Fiesta’s are the moment to meet other people and maybe find love.
And if you are very lucky you run into a weird, white, foreign woman that falls in love with you and maybe you can live happily ever after with her, so my boyfriend tells me.
I love the simple way of dating. I have always found the online dating scene very confusing, I have dated a lot. But there was such a huge element of pretend and make believe in all those profiles that it became unrealistic.
I’ve always found the online dating scene very confusing, the game element was always a huge deal breaker
And although I love the simple way of dating, being away from him, on another island, depending on carefully planned visits to meet each other I also find myself relying on text messages and Facebook Messenger way too much.
The other day I was chatting with my best friend at home telling her how much I missed him being romantic and all over me with sweet talk. And she said: but isn’t he busy as hell working two jobs? he probably comes home exhausted not able to cook up any English to sweet talk you to bed happily.
Wow, that was a wake up call.
After staring a whole day at my phone waiting for him to tell me he loved me, feeling miserable he didn’t I forgot the overall perspective: he is busy as hell, and he finds it hard to text me in English. He told me so.
And that is what is happening to way to many relationships: we forget the greater perspective, it becomes as wide as the screen of our smart phone and creates a demanding tunnel vision when it comes to your love life.
In the days of my Brazilian boyfriend I just had to wait for the mail to arrive, that were happy moments in my life. In between I lived my own live. Somewhere along the development of all the exiting technology I became depending, demanding, maybe even needy to hear more, see more, be reassured more.
Way in the past, when my grandparents fell in love, finding a partner was more about surviving, reproducing and having a mate that could provide for you.
After urbanisation, emancipation and sexual liberation, relationships became more about choices and possibilities, about experimenting and searching for the magical true love brought to you by movie makers , song writers and novelists.
And it became all confusing.
Dating became all confusing and while dating a Filipino guy I realise that even more
You will find your Filipino lover to be confident about his feelings, not always clear, for he will be afraid to loose face if you turn him down. But is he is interested in you he will pursue you in such a way you have no doubt about his intentions: to win you over.
My boyfriend is a funny mix of the old fashioned Filipino dating manners and the moderns ones. But what I like about him most is that he thinks very practical:
I like you, you like me, lets see if that works out.
I love you, you love me: let’s be boyfriend and girlfriend.
And he was a bit shocked when I asked him, straight from my liberal western roots, if that mend we were exclusive.
Off course it mend ‘exclusive’.
I’m his, so to speak.
I like that, it has a ring to it that I find appealing. It tells me I do not have to seek confirmation about him loving him, it means I can trust him. I can see that clearly now. The rules are clear, no games.
I do wonder if he has my glass slipper though……I can’t find it any where.
I must have lost it while walking the beach with him and rushing back to the ferry because we forgot about time.