Talking To Your Partner Every Day Could Be Hurting Your Relationship
Especially when your relationship is brand new.
When you first get together with someone, it might feel really great to talk to the person you're dating every day. Swept away by new feelings and the newness of partnership, you want to stay connected to affirm your feelings for each other. If a relationship is new, it’s easy to overanalyze how often you should talk when you first start dating. For instance, should you text every day when dating? Or is it OK when you’re dating but don't talk nonstop, all day long?
The answer depends on what feels right for you and your new partner, although it may be better to take things a little slow at first, Damona Hoffman, dating coach and host of The Dates & Mates Podcast, tells Elite Daily. “I tell my clients to practice ‘slow love.’ True intimacy and connection develops over time, and if you rush the early phase, you might reveal intimate parts of yourself too quickly or tire of one another prematurely,” she says.
Talking to one another constantly can also isolate you from the outside world when conversations you might otherwise have had with friends or family members all go straight to your partner instead. In a healthy relationship, your other relationships don't suffer. Figuring out how often you should talk when you first start dating is important so you can establish your expectations and set boundaries early on.
It’s also a good idea to identify how each of you likes to communicate, as everyone has their preferred methods, Diana Dorell, an intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, tells Elite Daily. “One person may prefer daily check-in texts, while another feels loved and appreciated with a weekly phone call. Establishing expectations can be helpful upfront,” she says. “No system is perfect, of course, but having that upfront discussion can save you a lot of time, energy, and heartache down the road.”
Part of managing expectations also involves knowing that the person you're seeing can't and shouldn’t be your everything. If you’re getting tired of talking to your partner all the time and you’re craving some space, talking a little less can help you both retain some boundaries that are important. Here’s why.
1. Personal Space Can Be Beneficial
The best relationships give you the space to nurture other aspects of your life. “It's important to also establish the things and people that are important to you in the early phase of dating, so those things and individuals don't get compromised as you dive deeper into your relationship,” says Hoffman. Having personal space and boundaries allows you to maintain the other relationships and activities that make you happy, and prevents you from relying on your partner to solely carry that responsibility, she explains.
“If you want [to get] off the emotional rollercoaster of the first phase of a relationship, make sure you’re still getting value from your hobbies, work, friends, family, and any personal practices that you enjoyed before you met,” she shares. It's actually meaningful and productive for you to take a step back from the relationship when you're apart. That way, when you’re together, you're completely together. And when you're on your own, you can connect with yourself.
Taking that time apart can also help prevent you both from feeling smothered, as Julie Spira, dating coach and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com, tells Elite Daily. “By taking a day off between calls here and there, catching up with your partner will seem more exciting and less mundane. It also gives them a chance to miss you, which they might not feel if they have to check in daily,” she says.
2. You Want To Save Conversations For Dates IRL
Constantly talking to or texting your partner can make you feel like your relationship mostly exists on the phone, or like you’re spending quality time with your partner when really, you aren’t. There's no comparison to connecting in person, face-to-face. “Texts are little snacks that fill you up before the main meal: your dates. You want to build anticipation in between dates in the early phase, and you can't do that if you're constantly in touch over text, phone calls, or video calls,” says Hoffman. A balanced relationship allows you to move through life separately and then return to each other. You’re in sync, but you stay whole within yourselves. You don't feel the constant need to talk all the time because you know you’ll be together in person soon enough.
3. Talking Constantly Can Build Codependency
If you feel like you should text everyday when dating, consider whether all that talking could be building codependency in your relationship. "[Codependent relationships are] fundamentally unequal relationships in which one person is subservient to the other person,” Dr. Jeffrey Rubin, psychotherapist and author of The Art of Flourishing: A Guide to Mindfulness, Self-Care, and Love in a Chaotic World, previously told Elite Daily. "Such relationships are harmful to both people. The one with power cultivates unhealthy qualities and the subordinate person erodes his or her dignity and self-esteem." You want to be especially careful about this if you have a history of codependency or an anxious attachment style in your past relationships, says Hoffman.
If constant communication is becoming a crutch for you because you don’t like being alone, or because you feel less secure in your own company, Dorrell says it's a good time to set a new boundary and dial back the frequency of your communication.
4. Talking Constantly Can Shorten The Honeymoon Phase
When you're in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, it's natural to want to spend every moment either with or talking to your partner. But it may lead to the end of this sweet period sooner than it naturally would. “You will start to fall into the mundane phase of a relationship too quickly, when you’re supposed to be in the new relationship discovery phase, where everything's more charged and exciting,” warns Hoffman.
It's not just that the novelty of talking all the time will wear off, but the quality of your conversations can suffer, says Spira. “When you first start dating someone, speaking every day reduces the mystery and the exciting getting-to-know-you phase. It also puts a lot of pressure on someone who might be busy to call you every day. When this happens, phone calls can end up becoming boring rinse-and-repeat check-in conversations to report on your entire day's to-do list," she explains. “That's just not sexy, and could jeopardize the romantic part of your relationship, landing you in the friend zone.”
5. Taking A Break From Speaking Allows You To Gain Perspective
An important part of dating someone new is getting to know them and finding out if they're the right person for you. While talking every day is great for the former, it can hinder the latter since it doesn't provide you with the time and space to reflect on your connection. If you're not sure how you feel about someone, too much communication could be to blame, explains Hoffman. “You need time and space to see how you feel about your person in their absence, and you should have the confidence to move through that,” she says. In other words, if you’re confused about your feelings, take a beat and slow down. Take note of how it feels to speak less and whether it makes you miss them, or it feels like a relief.
If your partner wants more communication than you’re willing to give, it's important to let them know that in a firm but kind way, Hoffman says. “Remind them how much you enjoy spending time together, and let them know that you don't generally text as much as they do, but emphasize it’s not a sign of disinterest. Always remind them you’re looking forward to the next time you see each other,” she suggests.
It's also good to be conscientious of their feelings by responding to their texts, whether it’s a quick reply or an emoji, she advises. “But be clear about your ‘textpectations’ early on, because that will lay the foundation for your communication later on in the relationship,” Hoffman explains.
Sometimes healthy communication means communicating a little bit less, along with being honest about that with yourself and with your partner.
Damona Hoffman, dating coach and host of The Dates & Mates Podcast
Julie Spira, dating coach and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com
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