The pros & cons of tex­ting with your part­ner.

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Dr Lori What­ley

Tech­nol­ogy is chang­ing the way we in­ter­act in our ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. Ap­prox­i­mately 83 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion in most ma­jor ci­ties use tex­ting as a key mode of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and over 90 per­cent of cou­ples re­port tex­ting to a part­ner at least once per day. There are pros and cons to tex­ting a lover. Re­search sup­ports that we text far more than hav­ing ver­bal con­ver­sa­tions by phon­ing which can make tex­ting a valu­able tool, but there are also times when tex­ting in a re­la­tion­ship can be harm­ful.

Learn­ing to text in a way that is ad­van­ta­geous to the part­ner­ship can max­i­mize our com­mu­ni­ca­tions and strengthen the re­la­tion­ship. For many, tex­ting has be­come a nec­es­sary means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in ro­man­tic dia­logue. We know it is here to stay so learn­ing how to use it prop­erly is im­por­tant. Thus healthy tex­ting in a ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship is vi­tal in to­day’s face paced world.


One help­ful way to text is when we com­mu­ni­cate lo­gis­tics to our part­ner such as when and where to meet us for din­ner. This is quick and easy and we have a record of the facts to re­fer back to for con­ve­nience. In this way, healthy tex­ting has the abil­ity to con­nect us quickly to our part­ners and com­mu­ni­cate needed in­for­ma­tion. How­ever some types of mes­sages are more ac­cept­able than oth­ers when it comes to tex­ting and the type of in­for­ma­tion we com­mu­ni­cate can af­fect the part­ner­ship. Us­ing healthy tex­ting in a re­la­tion­ship can be ben­e­fi­cial but con­stant tex­ting can lead to in­ti­macy is­sues in our re­la­tion­ship as we be­gin to rely more on non­ver­bal than in-per­son con­ver­sa­tions. Per­sonal con­ver­sa­tions are im­per­a­tive to build­ing strong re­la­tion­ships and vi­able con­nec­tions with our part­ners.


When we spend a great amount of time in­ter­act­ing with our part­ners through text, it neg­a­tively ef­fects our in-per­son time with them. The more an in­di­vid­ual uses tex­ting to dis­cuss im­por­tant top­ics like apolo­gies, the more dis­agree­able the face-to-face in­ter­ac­tions be­come. This is one way it be­comes prob­lem­atic in re­la­tion­ships and has grown to be prob­lem­atic for cou­ples. There is a greater pos­si­bil­ity of mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion through tex­ting, as we can’t no­tice the body lan­guage or emo­tions at­tached to the mes­sage. The re­sult is that we some­times in­ter­pret the mes­sage that might not be an ac­cu­rate de­scrip­tion of our part­ner’s in­ten­tions. We know that the more of­ten we text our part­ners, the lower the qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ship.


Many of us be­come key­board war­riors when tex­ting and say things to our part­ners we would not con­vey in per­son. The re­la­tion­ship might suf­fer as we choose to com­mu­ni­cate neg­a­tively with our part­ner

Tex­ting ex­ac­er­bates emo­tional de­tach­ment in ro­man­tic part­ner­ships.

through text. Of­ten we text quickly when in fact the re­la­tion­ship and im­por­tant re­la­tional con­ver­sa­tions should be made a pri­or­ity. If our sched­ules are more sig­nif­i­cant than the well­be­ing of the mar­riage, then there is a neg­a­tive predica­ment to be­gin with. For all of us, in­vest­ing in-per­son time with our part­ners should be a pri­or­ity and if we al­ready have neg­a­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion pat­terns, then tex­ting can be uti­lized in a way that fur­ther harms the re­la­tion­ship, as op­posed to en­hanc­ing it. Ther­apy ses­sions for cou­ples are more fre­quently dis­cussing tex­ting as be­ing prob­lem­atic in the re­la­tion­ship. As we grow to un­der­stand the ef­fects of tex­ting, we can elim­i­nate pos­si­ble is­sues go­ing for­ward. We know that tex­ting ex­ac­er­bates emo­tional de­tach­ment in ro­man­tic part­ner­ships and that it brings a false sense of se­cu­rity. For ex­am­ple, some­times we think that words texted will not trig­ger neg­a­tive emo­tion and thought­lessly shoot off a text that might un­con­sciously link to a neg­a­tive thought with our part­ner.


Com­mu­ni­ca­tion for cou­ples should build in­ti­macy and close­ness and in­ter­act­ing through text can cre­ate iso­la­tion that is neg­a­tive for build­ing a strong con­nec­tion with our part­ner. Strong con­nec­tions are the corner­stone of healthy re­la­tion­ships and only when we can learn to use our tex­ting in a pos­i­tive way, will it be a tool to bet­ter those con­nec­tions.

Dr. Lori What­ley is a li­censed mar­riage and fam­ily ther­a­pist spe­cial­is­ing in re­la­tional con­nect­ing based in At­lanta, USA. Dr Lori’s re­search fo­cuses on the act of bring­ing peo­ple to­gether and as a pro­fes­sional she takes a re­search­based ap­proach to help oth­ers forge im­pact­ful, func­tional re­la­tion­ships. Dr Lori grad­u­ated from Mercer Med­i­cal School and earned her un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree from the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia. She can be con­tacted via web­site.

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