Why He Only Texts and Never Calls

John met a woman online that he really liked.

So he took the next step and asked for her phone number.

She wrote back, “Sure, but I’m busy so it’s easier for me to text.”

He replied, “I’d like to hear your voice. Can I call you?”

He never heard from her again.

Here’s my question to you:

Why do you think she did that?

Texters and Talkers

There are two kinds of people:

Texters and talkers.

Texters are people who prefer to text. They dislike phone calls.

Talkers are people who easily pick up the phone to make a call, although they enjoy the convenience of texting as well.

If you are a talker, you don’t understand texters.

Why would someone text you constantly when it would be easier just to pick up the phone and have a short conversation?

If you are a texter, you don’t understand talkers.

Why do they waste their time leaving you lengthy voicemails that you’re not even going to listen to?

While digital natives are more likely to be texters and older generations more likely to be talkers, there are texters and talkers of every age.

If you, like John, are a talker, you can find it mystifying that a potential date would ghost you rather than agree to talk on the phone.

But many texters understand that reaction.

Here’s what research tells us about “phone aversion,” the reason that otherwise great guy will never pick up the phone to call you.

What’s the Point of a Phone Call?

Talkers and texters view phone calls very differently.[1]

Whereas talkers consider talking face-to face the best way to communicate, they prefer a phone call over a text.

They feel closer to someone during a phone call than when they’re texting them.

This is why John felt that hopping on the phone would help him get to know his potential date better. For him, talking on the phone creates a sense of closeness that texting lacks.

Texters, on the other hand, feel disconnected and awkward during phone conversations. They view texting as the more intimate activity.

A small but significant number of texters consider texting the very best way to communicate, followed by talking face-to-face. Phone calls come in a distant third.

Why Text?

Texters and talkers tend to text for different reasons.

Talkers choose between calling or texting on a case-by case basis. They take into account:

  1. The other person’s preferences (some people never pick up their phone, while others never look at their texts), and
  2. The kind of conversation they need to have. (They’ll make a call to catch up with someone, but they’ll text a quick reminder or message.)

A talker will avoid having an emotionally difficult conversation via text because of the potential for misunderstanding.

Texters don’t feel that way.

A texter prefers texting for almost any kind of conversation, including emotionally difficult ones.

Texters even prefer to get broken up with via text, because the impersonal words on a screen feel less personal and you don’t have to let the other person see your reaction.

Texting creates a sense of distance which talkers find off-putting and texters find appealing.

Texters find it easier to confess their feelings, be romantic, and take emotional risks via text.

It feels less embarrassing, because you don’t have to see the other person react to what you said in real time.

Texters also prefer the control they have over a text. They can take as much time as they need to write it. They can choose their words carefully. They can get a second opinion.

With phone conversations, on the other hand, everything happens too rapidly. You don’t get to think through your response. It’s easy to say the wrong thing. The other person’s response can throw you off guard.

Plus, you can ignore a text that you don’t know how to respond to. You can’t ignore what the other person said in a phone conversation, because they’re waiting for you to reply.

Phone Aversion

What makes texters so different from talkers is not their preference for texting. It’s their aversion to phone calls.

Texters avoid phone calls like the plague.

Phone calls are hard work for texters. They dislike having to make small talk. They don’t like the awkward silences when they can’t think of something to say. They worry that they won’t have anything to talk about in person if they say it all over the phone. Figuring out how to end the call is stressful.

Whereas talkers get frustrated with the lack of verbal cues in a text message, texters get frustrated with the lack of visual cues during a phone call.

A phone call is like having a face-to-face conversation with your eyes shut.

It can be hard to know what the other person’s tone means and how they’re responding to what you’re saying.

At the same time, talking over the phone can reveal too much. It’s easy to hide your nervousness or anxiety via text, but your discomfort will be evident in a phone conversation.

Given these differences, it’s no surprise that research suggests that couples are happiest when they share similar texting habits.[2]

A texter and a talker can fall in love, certainly, but they will need to negotiate their communication preferences.

Don’t assume he’s not into you just because he never calls. He might just be a texter. P.S. If you’re a talker, and he’s a texter, use this tool to write texts for you! Just type a phrase or two about what you want to get across, and let me text generator do the rest.

[1] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220168874_Texters_not_Talkers_Phone_Call_Aversion_among_Mobile_Phone_Users

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563217305125

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