(In response to the Challenge No. 4: Communication)

I’m a very plugged-in person.

I check my e-mail (a lot). I love texting. And I’m usually the winner of IM draw-offs.

Since many of my friends live in the Midwest, it’s important for me to keep in touch with them. I talk to one of my best friends in Wisconsin almost every day, just for a few minutes over the lunch hour. And even though I see them at home, I’m often texting and e-mailing my two roommates.

So, it’s been a bit of a challenge to date someone who has 1). Never sent an e-mail. 2). Does not have a cell phone.

And yet, he somehow manages to be a happy person.

For me, it’s been challenging. But I must admit, it’s also a relief. My ex took his BlackBerry CAMPING, which drove me crazy. And he’d check e-mails and sports scores while out on a date. With The Chef, I have his full attention – no electronic interference.

Not being in touch throughout the day means planning ahead (remember those days?). So, if I tell him I’ll see him tomorrow at 9 p.m., that’s the plan – no quick call to say I’m running late or to change the location. And not having constant communication means being secure and trusting the relationship. If I don’t hear from him, I don’t jump to the conclusion that he doesn’t want to date anymore. It just means he hasn’t gotten to a phone.

I’ve thought about setting him up with an e-mail account (I mean, they’re free) that he could check at work, in between the lunch and the dinner crowds at the restaurant. But that would be for my sake. I don’t want to change him. I don’t want to make him someone he’s not.

Now, I have a new job and yet another cell phone. So while he doesn’t even have a phone, I have two PDA phones that let me check work Outlook e-mail, my personal e-mail and text away like crazy on full keypads. But when I’m with him, I silence the ringer and stuff them deep into my purse. He’s taught me that living in the moment with the person you’re with makes you more connected than any piece of technology.

Lola, 33, Seattle