I am currently seeing two guys — a good texter and a bad texter — and it makes all the difference. To me, healthy texting in a relationship is integral to fostering trust, emotional intimacy, and chemistry between you and your partner. You need to be talking with some sort of regularity in order to drive the relationship forward. Otherwise, it's hard to develop a connection with someone.
The good texter I'm seeing messages me every day when he wakes up. If we're in the middle of a conversation, and he has to go away from his phone for a bit, he'll let me know, so I'm not left waiting for him to respond. He asks me how my day is going, remembers our conversations from earlier, refers back to them, and sends me cute videos and photos of himself at work. He is engaged in a way that lets me know he's thinking of me even when we're not together, and it's allowing me to develop feelings for him.
The bad texter... well, not so much. After our great first date, I was absolutely certain I was never going to hear from him again, until he asked me out three days later. He will only text me sporadically, and when he does, it's brief sentences and one-word answers. He never asks me how I'm doing, but rather just contacts me as a means of making plans. He uses a lot of abbreviations and emojis as well. As I type this out, I already realize I have a f*ckboy on my hands. Yes, it can be obvious, even from the texting. So in case you're wondering, here are some healthy texting habits in a relationship that signal you're on the right track. (I hope my bad texter reads this.)
1. You Don't Text Obsessively
While texting all day, every day is certainly fun, especially in the beginning of a relationship, it's definitely not sustainable, and it can be an indicator of codependence rather than actual interest. Being overly available is not a good look. In fact, it's a major red flag. Whenever someone is constantly contacting me, I always wonder how bored they must be. Do you have your own hobbies and interests? Do you have a job? Why aren't you at work right now? Do you just text at work all day?
While texting is important to fostering a relationship, if done excessively, it creates a false form of attachment that isn't based on real-life contact, which is what we need to figure out whether or not people are right for us. So text in moderation, and hang out more in person. While the all-day chatting is fun, you have to keep your own independence and self-worth in tact as well.
2. You Both Initiate Conversation
Have you ever decided to stop texting someone and then realized, when you don't hear from them, you are the person always initiating conversation? I've done that and have come to the conclusion that I am completely sustaining and driving the relationship forward. If I hadn't kept texting, would this person have ghosted me a long time ago? Maybe.
In a healthy texting relationship, both partners are initiating conversation equally. They're also more or less contributing the same amount to the conversation (i.e. one person isn't texting a novel, while the other just responds "cool!"). If the texting in your relationship is done mutually and reciprocally, then it's most likely on the healthier side.
3. Your Conversations Have Emotional Depth
Remember the bad texter I mentioned before? Yeah, he has never asked me how my day was. Great, right? A real keeper. Like I said, he pretty much only contacts me for plans or to tell me what's going on in his life, and he uses a lot of emojis. (Emojis are one of my pet peeves. We are adults here! Use your words.)
It's weird that when we are in person, things are great, but on days when we are not together, I don't feel comfortable texting him to tell him how things are going. I wouldn't confide in him that I'm feeling stressed out or hit him up to tell him something funny that I just saw. While in person things are great, in text, they are not, because we haven't established any kind of text rapport.
Texting has a lot of different functionalities. Yes, you can use it as a means of making IRL plans, and some people are admittedly "not texters," which is apparently a thing. But it is also a great tool for actually getting to know someone. You can send pics of yourselves in between dates to keep the chemistry alive (no, not sexting ones), and you can become one another's emotional support on days when you're not together in person.
In a healthy relationship, you have chemistry in person and when you're not together, whether it be via text, on the phone, or on social media. Dating takes a lot of moving parts. I know, it's exhausting.
4. You Don't Question Yourself Before Typing
Have you ever been in that place where you question every single thing you say to someone before you hit send? Sometimes, you'll write something and then delete it several times, trying to figure out which version of your sentence is best, funniest, or sexiest somehow. I've used group texts with my girl friends to workshop messages I want to send to my crush. I also somehow came to the conclusion that texts look best all lowercase and without punctuation, so I make an extra effort to send all of my messages that way.
Sometimes, it gets even more complicated than that. You know, the thing where you won't text someone too many times in a row, or you'll wait a certain amount of time before texting them back.
Well, all of those habits are actually unhealthy texting behaviors. In an adult, reciprocal relationship, you won't question yourself before typing. And actually, it doesn't have so much to do with the relationship with another person as it does with your relationship to yourself. When you're self-confident and have good self-esteem, you won't put so much emphasis on worrying what someone's reaction to you will be. You will say what you want, when you want, and trust that the right person will respond favorably to it.
5. There's Consistency
When you're developing a relationship with someone, you should hear from them with some sort of consistency that feels predictable and comfortable for you and both your lifestyles. For some couples, that might be a few times a day every day. For others, it might mean several times a week.
Either way, you should never experience that "waiting by the phone for your partner to call" feeling. Contact with your crush or significant other should never give you any form of anxiety if the feelings are healthy and reciprocal. You should feel confident that they will reach out to you, and if they haven't yet, you won't feel insecure about reaching out to them.
If the texting in your relationship is healthy, you won't be questioning it or reading into it. You'll be able to depend on your partner to text you first and text you back.
What I'm saying is this: If you're thinking too much about the texting in your relationship, then it's probably not healthy. As with most things, follow your gut. If something doesn't feel right, then maybe it's not right for you.
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