STUART, Fla. -- OMG. Has texting forever changed the dating scene?
A study commissioned by christianmingle.com and Jdate.com shows a growing number of people start, develop, and end their relationships via text message, rather than talking on the phone or in person.
Some find it easier to handle rejection via text message. Relationship experts say cell phones are changing the dating culture, not necessarily for the better.
Ernest and Margaret Pages celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary in downtown Stuart. They still laugh when they reminisce about being set up on a blind date.
"We went to have sushi. Our relationship revolved around food, and it still does," they laughed.
Food, and good communication. "Call and visit. Or sometimes just visit," said Ernest.
But more than ever, relationships are not starting this way.
"I was like you never text me, and he's like well you never text me," said Ashley Wright. She and her boyfriend have been dating for two years. Wright says texting helped start her relationship. "It's easier to text instead of like, find the number and calling."
Wright says texting also helped her end the relationship at one point. "I did send him a text message of like a bird flying away," Wright said.
The new study shows that nearly a third of men and women say it's easier to ask for a date via text instead of calling.
Also, more men than women found it easier to flirt by texting. It's that mindset that has relationship experts worried.
Additionally, 1 in 4 people say an hour is the longest acceptable time for someone they're interested in or dating to text them back.
1 in 10 people said they expected a text immediately or within a few minutes.
Jodi Meyer with Florida Singles says the phones need to be turned off. "When it comes to a relationship, why so many fail is because there's no talking anymore," Meyer explained.
Meyer has helped create hundreds of successful relationships, saying talking is key. Texting to plan a date? She says that can be disastrous.
"It's too easy, and nobody's really working for relationships and that's why so many are ending so quickly because there's really no foundation. "
Meyer hopes more people will work on talking, or find something better than texting to keep them together.
Or take it from Margaret Page, "Don't talk, just eat."