I Love Texting But If I’m Really Into A Guy, I Need Old-Fashioned Phone Time

I generally loathe phone calls. I refuse to answer unknown numbers, I panic a little at phone conferences, and I call my bestie only in an emergency when I need to get through pronto. Like most millennials, I’d rather text to send my sentiments into the world with one major exception—when I’m hardcore crazy about a guy.

  1. Phone calls take forethought. Anybody can blast off a text or five during a lull at work. Even if the back and forth lasts for hours thanks to constant interruptions, you might end up with only half a dozen messages. Spoken conversation requires planning—he has to think about his availability, match it to mine, and invest a chunk of time in the interaction. From a guy who’s got me weak in the knees, that extra demonstration of affection means a lot to me.
  2. Phone calls test our chemistry. Talking on the phone is becoming a lost art. It feels almost unnatural, and it’s unbearably awkward with the wrong partner. (Isn’t that why we love texting? It saves us from those long, static-filled silences.) Still, limiting all our communication to words on screens deprives me of the opportunity to check an important indicator that he might be “The One” because when I have enough in common with a guy to chat naturally, I know he’s probably a good match. The overall ickiness of most phone gab just highlights how special a really good conversation can be.
  3. Phone calls mix things up. As much as I enjoy the occasional marathon SMS session, things can get boring in a hurry if I’m always reading and writing. I want to enjoy every possible communication format. My eyes want to see his “I love you”s all decked out with emojis and my ears want to HEAR the words too.
  4. Phone calls can be insanely intimate. There’s a wild freedom in being alone in my dark bedroom with his words in my ear, telling me everything he’s thinking and doing. I love the way his physical absence hones my imagination, sharpens my longing for him. I focus on his sexy rasp and let myself be in the moment. Maybe it sounds cheesy, and I agree that it usually is, but done right? Well, some things sound cringe-worthy until you experience them at their best.
  5. Phone calls are unusual. We’ve completely adapted to our rapid-fire world. Our phones are so smart that they fill in our words before we’re half sure what we mean, but arranging a call takes more patience and waiting for his ringtone builds anticipation. Like a love letter delivered via post is more meaningful than another e-mail in your inbox, a phone call has an old-fashioned romance that texting will never match.   
  6. Phone calls are less ambiguous than text. All the emojis in the world can’t tell me as much about his feelings as his tone of his voice when we’re actually speaking. I know when he’s paying me a true compliment and when he’s being a smartass (it’s not always self-evident on the screen). If I crack a dumb joke on the phone, I know whether he really did just LOL.
  7. Phone calls are unedited. You know that freak out you go through when the little ellipses character is bouncing on your phone screen and you have no idea whether he’s revising his spelling or deleting whole strings of words (or maybe just deciding to leave you hanging)? Talk time removes all that doubt. If he’s not speaking, you know. And once he says something, there’re no take backs. As great as it is to collect your thoughts and carefully draft every word, it’s equally important to have the occasional raw real-time conversation.   
  8. Phone calls don’t have spelling errors. No typos, no missing punctuation, no “dammit, autocorrect!” Because when you’re in the middle of a great exchange, nothing ruins the mood quicker than realizing the poor guy has persistent problems keeping his forms of “to” straight or getting out a dictionary to make sure your own orthography is top notch.
  9. Phone calls don’t hurt my thumbs. I basically type for a living. Pounding the keys all day gives me serious repetitive stress, so when I’m ready to power down for the night, I appreciate an opportunity to rest my hands. If I’m going to chat, I’d prefer to exercise my ear and my mouth for a while instead.
  10. Phone-call date invitations make me feel like an adult. The concept of being asked out via phone is seriously classy. Maybe it’s because the phone-call method of setting up a date feels so direct. Maybe it’s because I know he’s not putting the request out to seven other women at a time. Or maybe it just sounds way cooler to say, “Jason called to ask me out for Saturday night,” than it does to say, “He texted me, and we’re hanging out Thursday. I think. He’s going to text me when he’s sure what time.”  
  11. Phone calls put the world on hold for a while (no pun intended). Text is a blessing to multitaskers—you can juggle a crapload of tasks and still enjoy some conversation on the side. But I don’t want my mind pulled in a hundred different directions while I’m catching up with Mr. Dream Guy. I’m not even coordinated enough to fold laundry and hold a phone, so if I commit to a call, I’m all ears for the length of the conversation. What a refreshing change of pace.
  12. Neither phone calls nor text can replace real live dates. Some people claim that too much phone time—text OR call—is a time waster. If you’re so zonked out crazy about him, you need to see him and express those feelings in person, they say. Well, true, but the phone isn’t a substitute for in-person romance. Instead, it’s one among many tools I use to maintain a healthy multilayered relationship. Texts, calls, and great dates—when I really adore him, I need plenty of all three.
Jackie Dever is a freelance writer and editor in Southern California. When she's not working, she enjoys hiking, reading, and sampling craft beers.