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The Do's and Don'ts of Texting in Relationships

By Edited Oct 18, 2015 2 1

Text messaging has rapidly become a huge part of human interaction. While texting definitely has its pros and cons, in relationships, there are special considerations to take when it comes to sending these messages to a person you are dating.

When using text messaging as a communication source in relationships, there is etiquette that is a good idea to follow. Contact, body language and personal conversations are all important aspects of relationships, and too much texting can change this dynamic. As a result, cellphones have a tendency to put unnecessary stress on the partnership, or it can enhance it, depending on how this technology is used.

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Do's of Texting

Send sweet messages to your loved one. Want to send a quick note telling a loved one you're thinking about them, by all means do it! Chances are your text message will put a big smile on their face. Before you do this though, consider your mate's response or how they'll feel when they receive the text.

If this is the first time you're going to tell them you love them, this is probably not appropriate for a text message. However, a nice 'good morning', 'good night', 'thinking of you' or 'I miss you' is likely more acceptable. There are other general good etiquette to consider when sending your significant other a text.

Follow up on text messages: As soon as it is humanly possible, you should always follow-up text messages with a phone call or a visit when you are able. Communication dominated by text messaging is not a good idea in a relationship. Relationships need personal contact to grow and thrive.

Keep messages short: Text messaging is a convenience, but long monologues via text in a relationship are bound to annoy your partner if this happens on a continuous basis. Anything more than a handful of text messaging means you should put the keypad down and give them a call!

Use texting in unforeseen circumstances: Need to send a short message? Great, this is what texting should be about. For instance if you are late, letting your mate know via a short text message is a good idea. A quick text message can effectively let a person know you aren't standing them up and you're on your way, especially if you're caught up at work or in another environment where a phone call may not be possible. Your date will appreciate the consideration.

Answer text messages you receive: While you may not be able to answer immediately, try your best to text back within the same day if you are not accessible to talk on the phone.

Be careful what you say: Anything said in text can be forwarded to an entire contact list (even accidentally). If your words are something you want to keep private, be sure and call your mate with the confidential message instead.

Proofread your text: Before you hit the send button, be sure and proofread your text. A simple typo can change the whole dynamic of the message and it may not be received as intended. Proofreading a short text message doesn't take long, and it's a good idea to give it a quick look over before sending. Additionally, you never know what auto-correct may do to your message.

Male teen texting in mall
Credit: Dean Jarvey/Creative Commons-Attribution

Don'ts of Texting

There are definite "don't" behaviors when it comes to texting to loved ones. Above all, it is probably a good idea to avoid conveying important or sensitive messages through text.

If you are planning to utter the precious first time "I love you", don't do it through text. If you want to break up with someone be considerate and call or see your boyfriend or girlfriend to gently break the bad news. These kinds of messages are best left for personal contact. Generally, these "don'ts" of communication include the following:

Use text as a primary source of communication:  While texting can be a great enhancement because of the real-time ability to send messages and is convenient to send a loved one a quick note, sometimes people become too reliant on texting. This is a huge don't in relationships. While it may be acceptable to text with buddies, in a relationship, personal interaction helps develop a dating relationship. A string of letters together in text-speak doesn't help grow or maintain it. Relationships take work, and hasty text messages are the easy way out. If texting is the primary source of communication in a relationship, chances are the relationship will be short-lived.

Assume: In text messaging you cannot effectively hear what your partner and, as a result, it is pretty easy to misconstrue a message. It's best not to get angry over what's been said in text because there is a good chance a misunderstanding exists. Instead, if a message doesn't sit right with you, be sure and give your partner a call to clarify what it is they were trying to say. After making sure you clearly understand what the message meant, than you can decide if you're angry.

Expect an immediate reply: Granted most people today probably reply instantaneously, but do not get angry if your partner doesn't answer you on the spot. Sometimes messages get lost or people don't hear it coming in. If you place high expectation on getting immediate  responses on your smartphone, chances are you are going to be disappointed. This can put pressure or problems in a relationship.

Abuse text: If what you have to say is more than a few words, don't text, call your partner. Sending long drawn-out text messages isn't attractive, and chances are your mate will get disgusted if they are always inundated with messages without ever hearing from you in person or by a phone call.

Share big news: If you have big news, either good or bad, don't share this by using SMS. Instead share this kind of communication for an in-person or phone contact. When big news is shared via SMS, the emotions associated with the news are completely lost.

Texting is a great communication development, but unfortunately its practice is also impacting human ability to speak openly and honestly in relationships. Too many people these days are shoving emotions to the side and avoiding awkward situations that are bound to emerge at some point in a relationship by turning to messaging as the easy way out.

As a result, the ability to communicate is perhaps getting eroded because more and more people are finding they are losing this skill through heavy use of SMS. The bottom line is text messaging is fine in a relationship as long as it's used for quick messages or light-hearted stuff. Save the long conversations and heavy duty communications for in-person, or telephone contact.

Yes, She's Texting...
Credit: laszlo-photo/Creative Commons-Attribution

A definite don't - when having a quiet and intimate moment on a date - not the best time to be texting.



Sep 26, 2014 1:44am
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  1. Ina Fried "Texting Can Be Good for Relationships (But Also Really Bad)." All Things D. 10/11/2013. 16/09/2014 <Web >

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