There have been many studies in the news lately that demonstrate the ways our cell phones are hurting our relationships. They tend to make us more distant and foster feelings of rejection and disconnection. But phones do have a place in healthy relationships. Upping your romantic texting game can make those moments when you're not together that much sweeter.
I mean, the studies don't lie. according to Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex. Cell phones do create feelings of reduced happiness and relationship satisfaction. But that's mostly when you use them in the presence of you partner. What about when you're at work? Or if you're in a long-distance relationship? In those cases, being able to communicate via texting increases intimacy, according to a study in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.
When I worked with high school students as part of my career in healthy relationships and responsible sexuality as a Planned Parenthood-Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I attended a panel on ways to use our phones for good (in an effort to end bullying). The conversation turned to ways to use phones as part of healthy relationships. Here are some of the tips I learned that will help you be a better texter and score you some points in the romance game.
1. Use Snapchat
Sure, Snapchat has a reputation for being the go-to app for secret teenage sexting and evidence-free infidelity, but it has other uses. For starters, it lets your partner get a glimpse of your face with every text. You can also send short videos, which show slices of your daily life, which lets your partner feel like a real part of your day.
2. Use Your Voice
Sending real snippets of your actual voice allows your partner to hear things like vocal inflections and tone that work to convey emotion. Most smartphones have a voice text option, but if yours doesn't, you can download an app like Voxer. That way when you say "I love you," it will have some punch and meaning and not leave your partner wondering if you just jotted a saved text shortcut.
3. Get Your Flirt On
Flirting is one of the best parts of dating. It creates a memorable moment of joy that's so much more effective than "hey, what's up." If you're not really good at flirting, search the web for flirty images and send those.
4. Use Images
Oh, wannabe romantic texter.... Instagram and Pinterest are your new best friends. With a quick search, you can find images of romantic song lyrics, quotes, poetry, and even cute jokes to save and text your partner. Sigh. I'm such a sucker for a good romantic pic.
5. Create A Routine
Routines aren't boring. They give your partner something sweet to look forward to. Make it a habit to text something like "good morning, gorgeous" every single day when you get to work. Be the person who texts "goodnight" at exactly 11 each night. So romantic.
6. Play A Game
Whenever I run out of things to talk about with my partner, I strike up a game of 20 Questions. It's really easy to turn the game into a romantic smile fest when you ask questions about your relationship and the things that make each other happy.
7. Get Deep
Texting doesn't have to equal small talk. A deep, riveting text convo can be just as engaging as a face-to-face one. Talk about your goals, hopes, fears, dreams, emotions, and the real meat of your day.
Upping your text romance game is all about creating connection, whether that's through opening yourself up, sharing your day, or sending romantic messages. Keep the idea of connection in mind and you can't go wrong.