When it comes to dating, communication via text is now customary for adult singles. In fact, nearly a third of Americans prefer texting to talking. Despite this trend, why do most women prefer to chat on the phone over texting, while men prefer to skip the phone and text instead?
Deep history is to blame: For millions of years, ancestral women held their babies in front of their faces soothing them, coaxing them, and educating them with words. Words were a women’s tool and this has left its mark. On average, infant girls babble sooner and use more words per utterance. By age 12, most girls excel at verbal reasoning and written prose while also understanding and retaining what they read. Women are, on average, better listeners; better at detecting subtle changes in tone of voice; and better at basic articulation as finding the right word rapidly. Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightening and the lightening bug.” When it comes to words, women shine.
Indeed, to achieve intimacy with another, women swivel until they are face-to-face, use the “anchoring gaze” and talk. In parts of China and India, women complain that men are “stingy” with words, while American women sniff at men’s “texting.” Women yearn for the emotional riches of a phone conversation. A voice is like a second signature. As she listens, she gathers information about a man’s background and education, his kindness, attentiveness, intelligence, sense of humor, and much more. But these conversations can be tedious to men, particularly if the communication is for little more than making plans.
Many men like to get to the point, a trait linked to the testosterone system in the brain. And many get their feelings of intimacy with a woman by doing things together. Moreover, because men are, on average, not as skilled with words, many can regard a long phone conversation as a slippery slope, full of potential misunderstandings (note to women: men often say exactly what they mean so no reading between the lines!)
Personally, I do both- texting and yakking on the phone. I let the man take the lead. If his emails are short, mine are short too until I need some raw meat, some emotional intimacy. Then I try to pick the right moment… and get him on the phone. Men want to please. They’ll talk just fine. They just don’t want to do it all the time.
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