HEALTHY TEXTING IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
The pros & cons of texting with your partner.
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.
TEXTING CAN BENEFIT A RELATIONSHIP WHEN DONE CORRECTLY.
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.
SHOULD YOU APOLOGIZE BY TEXT OR IN PERSON?
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.
WOULD YOU SAY THIS IN A FACE TO FACE DISCUSSION?
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.
KEEP STRONG PERSONAL CONNECTIONS.
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.