A couple of years ago, my now-husband and I attended a workshop for couples aptly titled “Rules of Engagement.”
It would be at this very workshop where we’d learn something that would change how we both viewed texting and help improve communication within our relationship.
At least twenty couples were present at this workshop, all of different ages, races, ethnicities, religions, and orientations. Some were engaged, and some, like my partner and I, weren’t engaged yet, but in talks about marriage. Some also, like my partner and I, weren’t on their first marriage.
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My skin prickled with nervousness as I scanned the room. There’s nothing like one failed marriage to make you wonder if you’ll have a second one in your future. My partner, sensing how tense I’d become, set his hand on my leg.
The moderator began with a doozy: “The person sitting next to you will be the person that makes you grow the most in your entire life. You’ll love them. You’ll hate them, but you’ll either grow together, or you’ll grow apart.”
I turned and looked at my partner and gave him a bit of a half-smile.
Then the moderator began with the first topic: communication. He scanned his eyes over the crowd of couples and said,
“When you text, use it for information, NOT communication.”
A few couples met each other’s eyes and laughed. We were one of them.
The difference, the moderator explained, is this:
“I’ll be there at 7.” (information)