USA TODAY - July 18 - Casual, easy and non-threatening — the simple beauty of SMS. For dating, it has given rise to new ways of flirting and even defining exactly what's going on between two people. Hearing someone's voice on the phone is still a key element for a relationship, yet people are increasingly more likely to rely on the relative "safety" of a text for initial contacts. An Independent research firm conducted a survey in May for ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. One third of singles agree it's less intimidating to ask for a date via SMS, the survey found. One in four say an hour is the longest acceptable response time to a text. According to Nielsen, 764 SMS per person were sent/received each month in the USA in 2012, compared with 165 mobile calls per month.