How Texting Affects Your Relationship, According To Science

Ashley Batz/Bustle

Moods can be illegible in written form, so predictably, the way we communicate these days — almost exclusively via text, what else is there? — can seed a lot of chaos in our relationships. But, at the same time, texting can also improve our unions. What do your texting habits mean for your love life? Research can help you make a few predictions. Do you and your partner have similar texting styles? Do you treat your phone as crutch to carry you through boring situations? Do you feel anxious without it, uncomfortably unaware of what's going on? Or would you prefer to turn it off and stash it in a drawer for a few days? Do you find yourself texting the hard things it's awkward to say in person? All of it says something, according to the literature.

Yet most people perceive texting as a low-impact form of communication, Leora Trub, PhD — an assistant professor of psychology at the Pace University Dyson College of Arts and Sciences — tells Bustle. Still, many of us lean on it for the majority of our exchanges. This can create sticky and strange situations.

"[Texting] is easy," Trub says. "You can do it while you’re doing other things, you’re expected to respond immediately, you’re not expected to use it mindfully and thoughtfully." Increasingly, however, people treat texting as "their main mode of communication with their significant others and important people in their lives, and there’s a tremendous amount of miscommunication and misperception that goes on" because of it. And that can hold course-altering implications for our relationships.

What does science have to say about how texting affects our love lives? Here are seven findings from studies.