Couples Who Have Similar Texting Habits Are Happier In Their Relationships, Survey Finds
If you're someone who values texting in a relationship, it can be super frustrating to discover that the person you just started dating isn't into texting. Or, if you can't stand texting and your partner messages you all the time, is it bad if you'd rather wait to just call them at the end of the day? Communication is key in relationships, but should we really put any value into something as impersonal as texting? According to research published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, texting may be more revealing than you think. Because as researchers found, couples with similar texting habits do tend to be more satisfied with their relationship overall.
Psychologists from Pace University in New York conducted a survey of 205 people between the ages of 18 and 29-years-old who were in relationships at the time. Participants were asked questions about their texting behaviors from how often they initiate conversations to what the texts were usually about. Researchers also surveyed participants on their attachment styles and how content they were with their relationship.
If texting and staying in constant communication is equally important to both of you, texting can make you happier in your relationship. The survey found that couples who text frequently, initiate conversations at the same rate, and text just to say "hello," have higher levels of relationship satisfaction than those who don't, regardless of attachment style. "I believe this [survey] makes sense," couples and family therapist, Jessi Leader, MA, LAMFT, tells Bustle, "Partners should have explicit conversations about their thoughts and feelings." Texting just happens to be one simple way to do that.
But if you and your partner don't have similar texting habits, don't worry. This isn't an automatic relationship killer, Leader says. "Being able to acknowledge differences, yet negotiate what you want and value as a couple is important," she says. So here are some texting rules for couples to live by, according to experts:
1. Leave The Arguments For Later
"Don't start or continue an argument over text," Leader says. This is super important. You never know how what you're texting in anger or frustration will come off to your partner. Chances are, it might end up making things a lot worse than it really has to be. So instead, Leader suggests to send your partner a text saying that you value your relationship enough to talk it out in person. Same goes for any topics of importance.
2. State Your Boundaries
Some people need texting to feel connected, while others find it annoying. That's why it's important to explicitly state your expectations and boundaries early on in the relationship.
"Excessive texting can lead to textual abuse, so respect your partner’s wishes when it comes to texting," Cindi Sansone-Braff, relationship coach and author tells Bustle. Don’t demand or expect your partner to answer every text the second you send it. Discuss the proper texting etiquette between the two of you, like how often you can text, and the topics you can text about versus those best left for face-to-face discussions. "If you draw healthy texting boundaries and honor those boundaries, you can avoid the War of Texting that seems to be sabotaging so many 21st Century relationships," she says.
3. Watch Your Words
"When it comes to texting, a lot gets lost in translation, so watch your words," Sansone-Braff says. This is probably one of the more obvious ones, but always to remember to not say anything in a text that you wouldn’t say to your partner’s face. You never really know how they're going to take it.
4. Minimize Texting If Your Relationship Is New
"If your relationship is new, minimize your texting," Dr. Cristina Bosch and Dr. John Robinson owners of The Hormone Zone tells Bustle. "It's so easy to misinterpret the tone and intention until you get to know one another. Instinctually you know that you can't really 'read' someone through texting and a virtual channel."
When you start dating someone new, it's common to get really excited about texting to them every chance you get. But constant texting in the early stages might not be the best idea since texts can be misinterpreted. So it's probably best to keep texting to a minimum, until you get to know how your partner operates.
5. Don't Use Texting As A Way To Build Intimacy
When it comes to intimacy, no amount of texting can replace the time you actually spend together face-to-face. "Throw the damn phone down, make the time for one on one, roll your sleeves up and start taking," Bosch and Robinson tell Bustle. "Better yet, just lay around in bed. Talk, laugh, cry, plan, reveal and just start believing in yourself and your partner. Build the intimacy. Build the trust. Align your core values. Then it doesn't matter what your texting habits are."
So can your texting habits really make or break your relationship? It really depends on you. According to the survey, if you and your partner are on the same page with it, then it can only help. If you're not, it can have a way of making you more anxious about the relationship. At the end of the day, it all goes back to communication. If you find a good medium between what you want and what your partner wants, there's no reason why you shouldn't have just as happy and as satisfying of a relationship as couples with the same exact texting style.