Does texting hurt or help a romantic relationship?

Recently, I walked a friend through a very sad divorce. She didn’t want it to happen, but problems of repeated infidelity by her husband led to this end. What surprised her in the divorce settlement was the request to produce all her social media. While she had nothing to hide, every text, email and social media page was ripe for review.

So aside from a nasty divorce, does texting a romantic partner several times a day help or hurt a relationship? Around 82% of young adults say they text their romantic partner multiple times a day, but all that connectivity, it seems, doesn’t always translate to greater relationship bliss.

Here are a few pros and cons of texting and relationships. Like most tools and technology, texting can be used in good and not so good ways. Based on these pros and cons, you decide if texting is helping or hurting your relationship. Then, ask yourself, is it time for a little more face-to-face communication?

Pros:

1. Romance can be enhanced by sending loving texts. A quick, “I love you” “Thinking about you” can boost mood and show affection. Just remember that what you say can be recalled at some later date, so think possible public consumption, especially if there is a break up.

2. Sometimes you can’t talk but can get back to someone quickly by using a text message. Texting provides quick and easy responses. It is a way to communicate when an answer is needed or you need to say you can’t talk. Be careful not to abuse this as texting usually distracts when someone is in a meeting or at an appointment.

3. When you are apart due to distance, texting keeps you connected and allows you to impart information as well as communicate about your relationship. It’s an easy form of staying connected.

4. Women who text often report a higher quality connection with their partners as they often use texting to apologize, work out a problem and bring up issues to be dealt with later; Men who text often can use texting as a way to distance themselves in a relationship or disengage from deeper intimacy so pay attention, gender matters!

Cons: 

1. As noted, texting provides a written record of communication. So if one person is using it to flirt or keep secrets and the other reads the text messages, the relationship could end or be seriously damaged.

2. Texting is not a good way to deepen a relationship. That requires the old fashion face to-face. Texting can do the above in terms of keeping you in touch, up on information, and connected with distance, but it can’t take the place of personal contact and communication. Certainly you can’t read tone and the nonverbal in a text.

3. Too much texting can feel like stalking! So think about how you use texting. You don’t want it to appear as if you are too eager, too intense or insensitive to a person’s space and time. Too much texting can be a red flag for neediness or overdependence in a relationship.

4. A person can edit and edit messages, thus, they are not always real indications of how he or she thinks and reacts instinctively. This can give a false impression. You have to see the person in real time to determine if their texting lines up with how they converse and react.

Bottom line: Like anything, texting can help or hurt depending on how it is used. Think before you type!

Pros and cons of texting in a romantic relationship

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