I haven’t had my first coaching session yet (that happens tomorrow), yet I have already learned something from her. Sheila had me fill out a relationship scan to inform her about my dating history. She asked about any marriages, of course, and then about any relationship that lasted over 6 months.
That number kind of threw me off because I have had lots of relationships since I broke up with my husband that have seemed significant to me, yet I have only had two that made it past the 6 month mark. It was interesting to note what those two relationships had in common. We had long, almost daily, intimate phone conversations.
For months now, I have been trying to write a piece on relationships and technology because I have noticed how much Facebook and texting have changed my romantic connections. It could really be a several part series, but what I will say now is that, for me, texting, email, instant messaging, and Facebook are not satisfying substitutions for talking to my lover on the phone. I like to hear a man’s voice, to hear how he responds to my words, and to experience the back and forth flow that only a telephone or face-to-face conversation can provide.
Coincidentally, one of the aforementioned exes has recently ended a relationship and moved back to Northampton, where I was visiting friends this weekend. We got together for coffee and talked non-stop for two hours. I told him about the relationship scan that I had done and how I had thought that what had really kept us together for as long as we did (about 15 months) was our daily conversations. He agreed and made a couple of great observations about technology. Having a conversation with someone who checks their smart phone is like having a three-way, and that third person is an unwelcome intruder. He also noted that as fun as Facebook and texting are (and God knows that I love them), they don’t qualify as deep, meaningful conversations.
Inadvertently, I have already learned something from Sheila: that I want to be with a man that likes to talk on the phone because with child custody schedules, it is the only way for me to feel like I can keep the intimacy alive. In fact, now that I think about it, phone conversations are what have kept me so close to my family in California all these years of living on the East Coast, and they have helped me feel connected to my closest friends in Northampton. Clearly, Deborah Harry was onto something when she said, “Call me on the line. Call me, call me any, any time. Call me.”