Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One Size Fits All? Think Again

In the world of fashion, there exists an occasionally-employed sizing device of "one size fits all" (OSFA). Loosely translated, this usually ends up meaning something more like one size fits few, and most will have to make do somehow. I've learned to be cautious and somewhat skeptical when I see OSFA in clothing, as how is it remotely possible that the same garment could fit me at 5'9" and 130 pounds and my sister at 5'2 and 110 pounds.

I've been using the metaphor of "trying on different dresses" to describe what exploring the dating world has been like, and not surprisingly, am finding that here, too, one size definitely does NOT fit all, particularly as far as communication goes. In the old days, when there were only land-line phones, you either spoke to someone or saw him, plain and simple. (In the old, old days, you waited for him to call, too, but that's another whole story!) Now, with text, phone, Facebook, email, Skype,and online dating, there are not only multiple methods of communication, but such different comfort zones with each! With one man I'm seeing, we pick up the phone and call each other frequently, a reminder that although we may not see each other for weeks, we're part of each others' lives. Another man I'm seeing is quite content with the occasional email and picking up where we last left off when we see each other. I've dated a man who does not have a cell phone(!), another one who only checks his email at night, and yet others for whom their iPhones have become appendages.

What has become obvious is that clarity of communication does, indeed, have to fit all. The banter of email can lead to misconstrued intent, the awkwardness of long pauses on the phone can lead to unintended messages, and dead cell phone batteries can lead to missed signals. It's funny how with more modes of communication available than ever, the need for getting the right fit of a clear message is more important than ever.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Lisa, this rings so true. I think text messaging is perhaps the worst offender of all. Tone, humor, nuance -- all can be missed entirely unless you know someone incredibly well, and even then there are frequent miscommunications.