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It takes effort to arrange a date, get out of the house, and get over the nervousness of meeting someone new.” Which is why a digital relationship is attractive.“It’s immediate gratification with minimal effort,” he says. There’s none of the emotional mess of a real relationship, says Adrian*, 29, a property agent who has had five text buddies over two years. There’s no risk of crashing and burning if she rejects you,” he explains.
only, we were in the same country.” MEET THE TEXT BUDDY More than a friend but not yet a boyfriend, a text buddy is that special guy whom you message practically every day. You’re more familiar with his favourite emojis than his face.
The texting is reciprocal, and both of you have unspoken routines – you’ll feel weirded out if he doesn’t text you after work, and you know he’ll definitely like any photo you post on Instagram. Forget long-distance relationships; the new LDR is the long digital relationship.
“I can text her while I’m queuing up for bak chor mee at the hawker centre or send her a funny link and know that she’ll instantly reply with a ‘LAWL’.” He sums it up: “It’s just like how a f**k buddy satiates the need for sex; a text buddy satiates the urgent need to connect.” CHAT FIRST, LOVE LATER Until he found a girlfriend, Sean*, 28, chatted for months with women who avoided dates.
The entrepreneur has no hard feelings and thinks it’s acceptable nowadays for people to start digital relationships with no intention of taking it further.
For months, they had intense all-night Whatsapp conversations about their families and values.
Though Andy talked enthusiastically about meeting up, they managed only three dates in four months because he rescheduled frequently. “I guess there was little impetus for him to meet me because we had already had such deep conversations over text,” she admits.
When Emily, 27, a manager, started chatting with John* on Tinder, she thought she’d struck gold.
The bachelor was cute, smart and funny, and even did volunteer work – he sounded perfect on paper.
The numerous chat and dating apps on the market also means that it has never been easier for singles to meet other singles virtually – a fact that may have contributed to the rise of digital relationships.
“Millennials have lived most of their lives on social networks and mobile phones – it’s only natural that they connect with others in these ways,” says Charlene Koh, co-founder and chief marketing officer of home-grown dating app Paktor.