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Are We People or Are We PPL?


Am I the only person left on earth who prefers hearing someone laugh instead of reading LOL? The 40-year-old man I've started dating must think I’m pretty funny because he texts me LOL a lot. In fact, he texts me all the time. His hearts and smiley faces look sweet on my cellphone, but the acronyms he uses often send me searching on the Internet for what the heck he is saying to me.

It can be confusing. For example, CYA can mean “see you” or it can mean “cover your arse.” TTYL can mean “talk to you later” or “talk to you love” or, most unsettling, “ta, ta you loser.”

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Here's a YouTube video of Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore playing guess the text acronym. Play along and see how well you do?  

Texting makes sense when communicating logistics or other short conversations. For a longer conversation, however, doesn’t it make more sense to just pick up the phone and talk? Isn’t it more efficient?

I reluctantly started texting when my 18-year-old son was more receptive to that than to my phone calls. Truth be told, I'd skywrite in a plane to get his attention if necessary. Several years ago, a New Year’s Day headline read, “The Year We Stopped Talking to Each Other.” Will the texting ever end?

Texting and emailing are essential to the online dating process. It's difficult to know when to upgrade to a phone conversation or, for heaven’s sakes, actually meeting a human and talk face-to-face. Safety issues come into play. As long as you're texting and emailing within the dating online website, you remain anonymous.

How do you know when to reveal your identity?

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There are no simple guidelines. You have to use your head and heart in equal proportions. Sometimes you meet someone online and pretty quickly feel comfortable enough to move beyond texting and actually talk. Other times the process is slower.

But if your pace doesn't match your new cyber-suitor’s, a promising relationship can fizzle quickly. And there you are, wondering — are you a lover or a loser? BTW, I’m a lover!

Coming July 9: Intimacy.

 *Names and identifying information have been changed to protect privacy and security.

Photo: Jodi Jacobson/iStock

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