We’ve all heard the saying, “a watched clock never moves.” But, a more accurate statement might be, “a watched smartphone never pings.” Seriously, there is nothing more anxiety-provoking than being “left on read” when you text someone-unless maybe it’s seeing the text bubble that someone is typing and then never actually get a response.
In fact, countless studies have shown that texting can create a great deal of anxiety. Research also suggests that texting has the power to both help and hinder your relationships.
Whether you use texting to keep in touch or you use it to avoid difficult situations, texting is both a good thing and a bad thing. In other words, texting has the power to bring people closer together or to create distance depending on the underlying motivations of the people doing the texting.
When it comes to relationships, researchers have discovered that it’s not how often people text one another that matters, but how “text compatible” they are.
Scientists also have discovered that aside from being a functional way to communicate, texting allows people to escape their present situation. People text because they are bored or because they feel it’s a better way to express themselves rather than talking on the phone or in person. ? ?
But, there’s a risk that texting could become a crutch too. And, when this happens it becomes a barrier to creating meaningful relationships with other people. Additionally, texting frequently can come from a place of loneliness, which only exacerbates the issue by further alienating and isolating the texter.
How Texting Impacts Relationships
As mentioned previously, texting has the power to be a good thing. But, issues crop up when it becomes your main mode of communication. Too many times there is a lot of miscommunication that takes place. When this happens, it can alter the entire course of the relationship. Here are some ways in which texting impacts relationships.
Texting Nice Things
Texting a compliment, a funny meme, or a positive comment, will make the person on the other end feel closer to you and more satisfied with the relationship. Likewise, checking in on someone or just letting them know that you’re thinking of them can strengthen the relationship too.
Consequently, be sure you’re regularly sending encouraging notes to your partner and limiting texts about picking up milk and other mundane tasks.
While you might think that sending sexy messages, nude photos, or sexts in a relationship helps spice it up and keep things interesting, research has shown that relationships involving excessive sexting usually experience more conflict. ? ?
Partners also were more likely to be ambivalent about the relationship’s long-term potential and report lower levels of commitment and attachment. A sexy picture or note every now and then is totally fine if it’s consensually sent and received; but avoid sending these types of messages in excess. In-person intimacy is always a better option.
Anytime one partner texts the other excessively, this is a warning sign. For instance, texting non-stop could indicate that one partner is clingy and needy and feeling insecure in the relationship.
While this is usually only harmful to the person doing the excessive texting, it can be smothering to the person on the receiving end. Additionally, you want to link yourself with someone who is secure and doesn’t need you to give them worth or meaning.
Excessive texting-especially when it involves demanding to know where someone is, who they are with, and what they are doing-is controlling and abusive. If you’re in a relationship with someone who texts excessively or aggressively, you may want to distance yourself from them.