It's probably not hard to tell when texts from your partner are funny or sweet, but it can definitely be difficult to know if you're texting habits as a couple are healthy. From frequency of texts and depth of messages to who seems to be initiating more contact, there are many signs of healthy texting that go into unpacking your digital communication with your boo.
"The downfall of texting is that it can create anxiety and conflict in relationships," Anita Chlipala, a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide to Lasting Love tells Elite Daily. "If your partner doesn’t respond as quickly as you want, or if texts are misinterpreted — it can cause anxiety and conflict."
Sending a text and waiting in panic for a response is about as comfortable as sitting in a chair with three legs or using a wet towel to dry off after a shower. But texting can also be a fun and flirty way to keep up the sexiness while you are apart, or a quick way to send a funny picture or sappy "I miss you."
Here are some signs of healthy texting between partners that are not to be left on read.
1. Your texting is consistent not constant.
If you're in love, you may want to talk to your boo all day long. Luckily, with the advance of cellphones, you can feel like your partner is tucked away in your back pocket no matter where you are. But just because you can talk all day everyday doesn't mean you need to.
"It's great to check in during the day but it isn't (or shouldn't be) necessary to be in constant contact," Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. "Certainly, there are times like a particularly bad day at work when we may need a bit more support than a typical day. But too much texting makes it less necessary and more difficult to connect with others throughout the day."
If you're glued to your phone, it may be hard to have a sweet impromptu convo with your barista who is wearing the same earrings as you, or give support to your newly-dumped coworker.
2. You can talk about your texting.
Of course, if you and your boo are both dedicated to talking all day, it could totally work for you. Or if you and your boo fancy yourselves "nature people" and never use your phones, that's OK too. Being able to talk to your partner about the role texting plays in your relationship is a good sign.
"Ideally, both partners agree on the amount that works for them," Chlipala says. "When communication needs and styles don’t align, both partners need to communicate their needs and expectations. Some people are better at expressing themselves in writing, so texting can help, especially with expressing feelings."
Healthy communication looks different for every couple. Check in with your boo about your communication styles and preferences and what works for you as a couple.
3. You have healthy texting boundaries.
Healthy texting boundaries like, "No texting after midnight" can be beneficial for creating healthy digital communication with you boo.
"It is important to have reasonable expectations for what your partner can offer during their day," Richardson says. "Limit texting to logistical things like when to meet, what to have for dinner, etc. and flirting. A little, 'Have a great day cutie!" can go a long way."
Richardson also named deciding not to argue or DTR over text as potential healthy texting boundaries for you and your boo.
4. The texting feels even (even if it isn't literally a 50/50 split )
It can be hard (and tiresome) to reread every text you and your partner have sent to see if the texting initiation and frequency is 50/50. Healthy communication isn't about the literal numbers of text sent or who texts first more, it's about feeling comfortable and supported in your texting.
"It should feel 50/50 but may not actually be a perfectly even split and that's OK," Richardson says. "It's most important that neither partner feels like they are doing all the work or that the other person is really needy."
If you feel like you're always texting first, or that you're getting too many texts when you're at work, it's OK to bring it up with your boo. Your communication doesn't need to be perfectly back and forth in timed intervals to be healthy.
All couples have different needs. If you're feeling uncomfortable with the texting habits in your relationship, try bringing it up with your partner. Having healthy boundaries set up and talking IRL about what happens on your phone can make your texting feel even more flirty and fun. When it comes to what counts as "healthy" texting with your partner, whatever is right for you is the only message that you need.