You'd think that after the initial anxiety of a new relationship died down, so too would the pressure of communicating properly with your partner. And it does, at least in my experience. But the question lingers longer than one would like: How often should you text your partner? And when you text them, what should you say?
I asked these very questions of seven experts, and they had a lot to say on the subject. First off, as always, communication is key. If you're truly confused about how often you should text your partner, then bring it up with them, relationship coach Melinda Carver tells Bustle. "This is a great opportunity to discuss your communication needs and styles with your partner," she says.
But the general consensus is that texting is good, and worthy of doing regularly throughout the day. "Sending texts is a good way to let your partner(s) know you are thinking of them," says Shamyra Howard-Blackburn, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in sex and relationship therapy. "It can also heighten the suspense on what to expect when you see them again." And though it's easy to lose touch, try not to. "Many couples go hours without seeing or speaking to each other during the course of day. This can contribute to a loss of desire." So text. Here's everything you ever wanted to know about how to text your partner.
This Is How Often You Should Text
If you are married, live together, or just see each other a ton, you shouldn't go overboard on the texting, says Rob Alex. He created Sexy Challenges and Mission Date Night with his wife. "Three times are plenty" on the average day, says Alex — aka the Guru of Getting It On. Psychologist Nikki Martinez agrees, telling Bustle that three to five times a day is perfect. "More if there is something specific you need, such as picking something up, directions, or are having a discussion about something," she says. But that's assuming that you saw your partner in the morning and will see them again at night.
"Some couples can text each other all day long about numerous subjects," says Carver. "Others just touch base with two to five texts a day."
Texting In The Morning And At Night Is Key
There's nothing nicer than a morning salutation or a nighttime shoutout. "Texting in this case can take place of being present," Alex says. "For example, when my wife or I am away, it is always nice to get that 'Goodnight, I love you' text, or that 'Good morning, have a great day' text." But don't forego the morning/evening text, even if it can feel perfunctory, says Carver. "When you are apart, it is best to touch base in the morning and evening. It lets your partner know that you are thinking of them and that they are important to you."
Remember Their Work Schedule
"Don't get hung up on getting an answer," says Alex. "Understand that your partner could already be asleep, or not have the phone on them in the morning. Be patient for a response," he says.
But Avoid Serious Topics
Some would suggest that all texts include properly punctuated complete sentences. Others would err on the side of "hey," "morn," "nite," and the like. Who's right? "Texting is supposed to be short and to the point," says Alex. "Long text messages are difficult to read and respond to. My feeling is that a text should never be longer than one or two sentences at the most."
Here's What You Should Text
There are a lot of hours between morning and night. Should you just text to say hi? "Thinking of you," that kind of thing? Or should it be more creative? "I love creative texting, and nothing makes me feel more loved than when I get texts that make me smile," says Alex. You and me both, brother. "It shows your partner that you care enough to put some thought into the message. This is especially great if you know that your partner is having a rough day and needs a lift If you get a text that just says 'Hi,' it seems a little bland. At least text something like 'Hi, I was just thinking about you and smiling!' or 'I wish I could send you a kiss through the phone. Oh wait, I can. XXXXXXX.'" Cute.
What About Selfies?
"Selfies can be good if you’re separated," says Tessina. "It can keep partners informed about what’s happening and the surroundings." Carver agrees — and it can be fun, she says: "Partners enjoy seeing their lover looking good. The best selfies are those that have a smile and confidence."
Should You Send Links To Your Partner?
"If it prompts conversation, or makes you laugh, it’s probably helpful," says Tessina. "If you are the type that likes to send links to sites that may interest your partner, do so," says Carver. "Most partners send links for restaurants or gift choices, or important news." But don't do it all the time. "During work hours, sending texts and links may feel like one more thing to do," she adds. Martinez agrees. "Cute and funny links are OK, but don't inundate them with it," she says. If you come across something that is an inside joke, or that you know they will really like, then send it along." Otherwise, leave it alone.
Sexting: Yea Or Nay?
"Sexting builds anticipation," says Christian "and anticipation is the magic sauce that can make sex go from ho-hum to holy-moly." In other words, yes to sexts. "I advise clients to sext, and sext often, especially before impending things like vacations, date nights, or just when you know you’re going to get some time together." "Sexting can be fun, flirty and increase anticipation for that evening," says Carver. "Some couples sext daily, while others only sext every now and then. Sexting keeps the attraction and affection ongoing between two people."
Don't Forget About The Other Thing Your Phone Does — Actual Calls
Texting is all well and good, but when it comes to an actual conversation with your partner, pick up the phone. "In-depth subjects should be verbalized to avoid miscommunication of feelings," says Howard-Blackburn. Tessina agrees. "It’s lovely to send a few sweet thoughts in the morning and evening, but be careful that it doesn’t take the place of phone calls," she says. "Hearing each other’s voices is more intimate than texting."
Exactly, says Sansone-Braff: "As a relationship coach, I'm not a huge fan of texting as a form of communication between couples, particularly if it's used as the main avenue for communication between them. A lot can get lost in translation, and it can be a very superficial way of communicating to someone."
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