3 Signs You & Your SO Have Unhealthy Texting Habits, Because Yes, You Can Text Too Much
At this point, it's probably safe to assume that everyone spends some of their time each day texting. More often than not, these exchanges are centered around communicating need-to-know tidbits of information with our friends and partners. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to develop unhealthy texting habits that can become surprisingly harmful to your relationship, which is why it's important to ensure that your texting hasn't ventured into toxic territory.
Look, I'm definitely not trying to be a Scrooge here, throwing shade at texting. After all, like most people, I too love the satisfaction of cramming a 20-minute conversation into a few concise lines of information. The appeal of communicating with ease and on our own terms are just a couple of the many reasons why texting has become such an indisputably vital part of maintaining our relationships. It's just so easy. Need to tell your bae to pick up some eggs on their way home from work? Nine times out of 10, sending a text is going to be way easier than calling. So, how can you tell if the texting habits you and your partner have developed are hurting more than they're helping? Well, I spoke with Anita A. Chlipala, LMFT and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love, to find out the signs your texting habits could use some improving.
1. Texting Too Often
"Texting too often doesn't mean it's unhealthy, as long as both partners have similar expectations around the frequency of texting," Chlipala tells Elite Daily.
Basically, if you and your partner are satisfied with how often you text, then there may not be a reason to label your texting as unhealthy, explains Chlipala — even if it's more than what others might consider to be normal, just keep doing you!
"If one partner texts often and then gets upset that they don't get as much engagement from the other, then it can become an issue and create hurt feelings," says Chlipala.
So, if either you or your partner aren't on the same page with what constitutes too much or too little communication, then it may be worth having a face-to-face conversation and coming to an agreement that works for both of you.
2. Getting Upset About Response Times
Most people have an issue with getting text responses hours later, or not at all. However, the truth of the matter is that life can get busy and sometimes responding to text correspondence gets bumped down on the priority list a few pegs.
"I have had clients who have caused a fight because they didn't get an immediate response," says Chlipala. "When they get an immediate text response, it assures them of their date or partner's interest. When they don't hear from them, it gives their mind time to come up with worst-case scenarios (i.e., they've lost interest in me already, the last text I sent was lame and now they don't like me anymore), and the anxiety may not go away until they get the actual text response."
If you or your partner start jumping to conclusions when either of you doesn't hear back fast enough, then it could be that your texting styles are leaving something to be desired. To avoid butting heads, talk to your partner about their expectations, and tell them about yours.
3. Texting With Others When You're Together.
"Phubbing" is too real. For those of you who don't know, Phubbing is when you snub the person you're hanging out with by excessively using your phone instead of giving them your full attention. According to Chlipala, it can be really toxic.
"The question is, why are they texting non-stop? Is it to create emotional distance between their partner?" asks Chlipala. "Relationships need to be nurtured through time and attention, so if a partner's attention is constantly directed elsewhere, connection can suffer."
We can all probably remember a time when someone wouldn't put their phone down. IMHO, texting other people during quality time can feel like a not-so-subtle way of communicating to them that they aren't your priority, which can be understandably hurtful. If this is something your partner does frequently, sit them down and talk about it. Tell them how it makes you feel when they spend their time with you in a whole other headspace. They might not know they're even hurting you.
In fact, if any of these texting habits frequently occur in your relationship, Chlipala recommends having a conversation about it. "Instead of assuming, talk with your partner about what your expectations are when it comes to your phone," says Chlipala.
If your texting habits are working for you and your partner, don't try to find a reason why they're not. Every relationship is different. While there are always ways to improve communication, remember: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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