Sending supportive text messages to your partner can improve the relationship, according to a study in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy. Interestingly, senders of romantic texts report higher relationship satisfaction than receivers.
However, men who texted more often in general reported lower relationship quality than those who didn’t ping their significant others as frequently. This could be because as a man withdraws from a relationship, he replaces face-to-face contact with electronic contact. (See my earlier post on the male breakup tactic of “Slow Fade”)
Women who texted more often reported higher quality connections with their mates than those who texted more sparingly. However, women tend to take to their smartphones to work out issues, apologize (reportedly, a real romance buzzkill), and make decisions – in other words, when their relationship is in trouble. It can drive the man further away as he feels smothered.
Lesson learned: Texting is good for initial flirting but can get in the way of real relationship development, especially when working through a problem together.
A Few Texting Relationship Pointers:
- Resist the urge to contact a guy after an amazing date. “Reaching out lessens the thrill of the chase”, says psychologist Diana Kirschner, PhD, author of the book Love in 90 Days.
- Don’t text drunk – it makes you seem too available. See here for examples why: Texts from last night
- Don’t text angry. Remember: Only positive messages by text. Everything else: do it in person.
- Don’t try to be funny. Humor doesn’t necessarily translate and could just come across as mean.
- Once a day text. That’s it. Regular electronic communication discourages phone conversations and one-on-one time. Plus, a little mystery leaves room for romance.
- Be specific. Vague messages “let’s catch up soon”only annoy.
For an awesome explanation of the frustrations of flirty texting, check out Aziz Ansari’s standup routine: Texting with Girls.