Involved in a rocky relationship? For god’s sake, stop trying to communicate with old-fashioned words and eye contact. We all know where that leads, straight to Dishonestly Lane in the heart of Splitsville.
Difficult times demand easy fixes, and there is no better duct tape for troubled couples communication than the glorious impersonality of instant messenger. You can pick your own brand of romantic digital salve, but I’ll help you shop for the right free application that will put your pesky, overeducated relationship counselor out of business for good.
- Google talk. Google’s take on the IM application is simple and elegant, and if you’re looking to skip all the emoticon-fueled juvenilia and just get to the point, this is your vessel. Because everything looks so simple and plain, you won’t be afraid to make outlandish sexual advances you’d never speak in your out-loud voice, so wild make-up fornication is a likely side effect.
- AIM. AOL Instant Messenger is only useful if you’re attempting to repair a relationship with an older partner, because no one under 45 uses it. However, hopefully you are nailing a cougar and/or silver fox, in which case AIM is your dearest friend.
- BBM. For the busy disintegrating couple on the go, Blackberry’s mobile messaging service is invaluable. You’ll be able to smooth over flagrant lack of respect with portable sweet nothings and address all of those explosive conflicts remotely, safely within the confines of a crowded commuter train. The big downside: The cause of your troubles, the exciting new partner you’re cheating with, is easily able to read your BBMs while you’re in your after-sex shower and will stop seeing you when s/he realizes you’re attempting to reconcile with your partner and you’ll be once again forever relegated to dreadful domestic bliss. If that’s what you’re trying to accomplish, kudos for the many deceptive layers of your romantic rehabilitation.
- Yahoo! Messenger. In this writer’s humble opinion, old standby Yahoo! is the only way to go. Yahoo! offers the best set of emoticons, allowing you to bypass the intransigent clarity of actual words and communicate only in reassuring, animated facial expressions. Every man (and some emotionally stunted women) stands to benefit from the raw benevolent ambivalence enabled by Yahoo!’s ingenious yellow lifesavers. There may be no more powerful aphrodisiac than the storied apology sequence: Sad Face (“I’m sorry I’m an asshole and I miss you”) –> Batting Eyelashes (“Please forgive me”) –> Raised Eyebrow (“I’m making a detached sexual overture”) –> Devil (“I’m very horny and coming across the apartment to make love to you, get ready”).
With this sage advice in your quiver of devotion, you’ll be able to avoid both messy domestic disputes and the cumbersome couples therapy bills that dilute your ability to carouse and philander in appropriate style. The Smatter sez: You’re welcome.