We’re not exactly friends; there are definite romantic undertones to our relationship even though we’ve never officially dated. Not only that, but most of our interaction is over text. It’s an unconventional arrangement, but my textationship has been one of the most defining experiences in my life.
- We met when we were really young and still learning how to interact with people. We met as freshmen in high school, which is a highly formative period for everyone. At that point, we were young enough to still be learning how to interact with our fellow human beings, so it goes without saying we had no idea what kind of people we were going to morph into. In hindsight, meeting at an incredibly young and vulnerable age was even sweeter; as the years went by, the basis of our relationship became one of security due to vulnerability.
- Texting allows us to have honest communication. Since the bulk of our relationship has been via text, some may think it’s an inauthentic relationship. However, our connection is one that can withstand anything. I believe in the power of words and think a minimum of 140 characters can be just as important as a face-to-face interaction. Oftentimes I think our relationship has been stronger and deeper than most because we’re able to talk about harder subjects, which may not translate well through face-to-face interaction.
- Our textationship has given us with a six sense about each other: I’ve never really been a big believer in trusting the universe or putting much stock in intuition, but that’s changed over the years due to the uncanny connection we share. Somehow, despite our text-only relationship and the occasional gap in communication, he oftentimes knows just what to say and exactly when to say it.
- We’ve known each other for so long that we’ve been able to witness each other’s growth. Personal growth is such an important aspect of life for us as individuals and for our relationship. Having known one another for a decade means we’ve witnessed one another’s history. We’ve been there to witness the big moments, the challenging aspects of growing up and how we dealt with them, and how we’ve progressed as individuals. Knowing how we tackled tough times and come out as stronger people afterward is one of my most treasured aspects of our relationship.
- There’s a unique sense of trust between us. When people hear our relationship is almost exclusively over text message, they ask me if I’ve ever wondered how much information we’ve withheld from one another because it’s human nature to present our best selves when we craft a text. Due to the well-established nature of our relationship, I don’t worry about what he may or may not be telling me. Our trust runs pretty deep, to the point that I know he’ll eventually fill me in on every single detail of a situation. We both know and understand it’s vital to give each other space and realize we’re both human! Our relationship transcends all of the fears that can come along within “text message culture.”
- Our relationship is more exciting in many ways. There are many layers to our relationship due to our many different levels of feelings for each other. I still feel excited seeing a text pop up on my phone from him after a prolonged period of time. I wish I could properly articulate the mix of absolute elation and comfort I feel when we connect again after a period of time. I believe the pure feeling of excitement keeps our relationship fresh.
- Sometimes my attachment is painful, but I’ve learned valuable lessons. Our relationship has never been completely platonic, so I feel weird calling him my friend even though he’s not my boyfriend. Having such a unique relationship with this guy has been my biggest education in learning about the human condition of love and understanding the different levels of human connection. Of course, having such a strong connection to someone can be painful when life doesn’t exactly line up perfectly alongside one another or our feelings aren’t on the same level throughout the different eras of our relationship. I’ve learned how to be patient and more understanding of someone else’s needs through our relationship.
- Our reunions are sweeter. When we do come together in real life, our reunions are so happy and pure. When we saw one another in person after five years, I was overwhelmed with feelings which were completely genuine and raw. Because the bulk of our relationship has been via text, it allows so much more room for feelings to form and build. The release of those feelings through face-to-face interaction was a form of elation for me I can’t begin to describe.
- He defined intimacy for me and I will be forever grateful. My definition of intimacy took shape when we met and started spending a huge amount of time texting each other, as you do when you’re young and learning. It allowed me to open up faster and easier and cement my passionate relationship with words. Crafting a text and expressing how I feel through written word is my most favorite and intimate form of communication, and it has helped me create a better understanding of myself as a person. I’m forever grateful to and for him.