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When communication breaks down, interpretation can go awry.

The world of dating is filled with mixed signals especially when it comes to what people say, do or not do. We end up reading between the lines and sometimes those lines are blurred. When it comes to texting our interpretations are based on insecurities. That’s why one has to put smiley faces at the end of the sentences so the other person understands what is being implied.

When I text and say; “I hope you have a great 2016 and I hope you find what and who you are looking for…” Does that mean I’m breaking up with the other person? What does the receiving party think? Could it simply mean; I hope you find happiness? Is there always a double meaning?

Since we now do a majority of communication via texting instead of using our voices, our rate of error to what the other person means jumps 200%. When I ask if I can pick up my map book and bandana does that mean I’m cutting ties with you?

I need my map book to understand the area so I don’t get lost. I need my bandana to keep me warm. That’s all, it’s not a sign we are breaking up. But when you then drop the items off in a bag on my door step without a note or a call, it’s a little unnerving. When I peek inside and I see that you included my toothbrush which I left at your house when I sleep over what do you think my reaction will be?

I didn’t ask for that toothbrush back. What are you trying to tell me? Are you breaking up with me? Giving a toothbrush back is a statement and not a good one. Negative connotations ring through one’s head.

It reminds me of the episodes on Sex & The City when Big drops off items that Carrie left at his apartment and when Berger breaks up with Carrie on a Post-It. What kind of communication is that?

Talking to girlfriends is our best defense. They always know the right words to say. My friend Alise who has the manic depressed boyfriend told me to text Michael the following;

“Thanks for dropping off my stuff. I noticed you also gave me back my toothbrush…Should I read anything into this?…Are we still good? Are you ok?”

I click send. An hour goes by and nothing. Finally I’m talking to my other girlfriend on the phone and Michael plays his turn on WordFeud, but no answer to my text. Hmmm… A few minutes later he texts back:

“Sorry  I just need some time on my own for a while to figure things out and get into a routine. I can’t deal with anyone else’s drama except for my own. I’m going to be an island for the month of January. Thanks for understanding.”

I wait a few minutes, gathering my thoughts and reply back:

“I’m going to get some help with my anxiety attacks and go on meds for them. I’m freaking out as well with my horse, finances, sister having cancer. I just left a volatile relationship of 11 years so I got issues as well. I hope you know that I have good qualities that outweigh the bad. You are a great guy. I won’t go to your island. I hope we can start anew in the Spring when we are in better places…Take care.”

His last response to me: “Cool thanks. I think you are very talented and smart. I just need to take care of myself for a while.”

I read it. Finally, a form of communication that I understand.

He’s gone.