There are the ones who send novel-length epic messages. There are the ones who send five quick bursts in a row. Then there are the ones who take hours to text back. Indeed, your partner's texting style can say a lot about them. It''s pretty helpful to understand your boo’s digital communication habits because it might give you more insight into your bond.
“Knowing what to expect from your partner will help you interpret their texting (or lack of it),” relationship and etiquette expert and founder of Relationship Advice Forum April Masini tells Elite Daily.
Naturally, things tend to run a little more smoothly if you and bae are on the same page with texting. In fact, one 2018 study published in Computers in Human Behavior revealed that couples who share similar texting habits are actually more satisfied in their relationships. That said, it’s certainly possible to have a healthy, happy relationship with someone who handles texting differently from you. The key is identifying their style so that you can manage your expectations, and then work together to find a compromise so that both of your needs are met.
“If you’re a frequent texter and your partner is a few and far between texter, you’ll know not to expect a prompt response — and that it’s not personal,” explains Masini.
So, what if your SO checks in a lot throughout the day, perhaps sending multiple messages while you’re at work? This could mean one of two things, according to Masini. Either they’re super confident in themselves and enthusiastic about your relationship, or they’re showing signs of insecurity and dependency. There's sometimes a fine line between cute and clingy, so you may need to trust your instincts on this one.
“Frequent texters may simply be excited to be with you and they want to connect with a lot of texts, to accelerate the relationship,” says Masini.
Masini notes that it’s very common to text a ton in the beginning stages of a relationship when you’re super eager to get to know someone and can’t seem to get enough of them (the honeymoon phase is so real).
However, Masini adds that partners who need constant contact and get upset when you can’t respond for whatever reason may be showing their insecurity.
“When they don’t hear from you, they spiral into anxiety and fear — that you’re not interested, that you’ve met someone else, that it’s over, etc.”
There’s nothing wrong with frequent texting — in fact, some couples may enjoy staying connected to each other throughout their workday (myself and my boyfriend included). If your SO doesn’t show other signs of insecurity in your relationship, they’re probably just showing that you’re on their mind a lot. That's not a bad thing whatsoever. It's only problematic if you feel like it's somehow posing a challenge to your productivity, causing you anxiety, or otherwise negatively impacting your life in some way.
Then there are the significant others who barely text at all. There are several reasons for this. If someone takes forever to respond during the work week, it’s important to consider their job — there are certain kinds of work at which it’s not practical or allowed to have your phone on you constantly, which will obviously impact how responsive they are.
If someone constantly takes ages to get back to you, you might also want to consider the role their phone plays in their life. When you’re together, are they barely looking at it? Do they have alerts that sound when they get a text? If they’re someone who only checks their phone every few hours or when necessary, then you can rest assured their lack of responsiveness isn’t personal. Still, Masini explained that super slow responses may also indicate that “they’re just not that into you.”
Ultimately, the best way to suss out whether their sparse texting indicates a lack of interest is to take notice of their texting habits with others. If you feel like their unresponsiveness is unique to your relationship, then it's probably time to bring up your concerns to them.
OK, what if bae peppers their texts with tons of emojis? Some of us just like to enhance our conversation with some visuals (there's nothing wrong with adding a little flavor), but if the emoji use seems downright excessive, that may signal something else altogether.
“Heavy emoji users may have trouble communicating with words,” says Masini. “They feel that emojis express their feelings better than any sentence can. Emojis are great because they’re not nuanced, and simple people with simple feelings — or very simple communication skills — will find lots of emojis helpful in getting ideas across.”
If your partner has a penchant for sending along some funny GIFs or memes “just because,” their habits may actually indicate a lot more than mere boredom.
“Someone who sends lots of GIFs and memes is a creative person who’s thinking outside the box,” explains Masini. “Instead of using the standard emojis, this GIF sender is looking for something to express feelings that is beyond what’s normal.”
According to Masini, it honestly comes down to how thoughtful and clever the memes and GIFs you’re receiving are. For instance, if they’re sending things that are relevant to inside jokes between you to or conversations you’ve had, that’s probably a good sign. However, if they’re just sending you a slew of random or repetitive images that you don’t find amusing, that might mean you’re not super compatible.
“If you’re getting an inordinate number of cats with bobbleheads as gifs, consider that your sender is stuck in a cliche-like life without a lot of perspective,” says Masini. “When people live in small worlds, they’re more likely to keep sending the same thing over and over again. Those excessive gifs can be a clue as to your partner’s sense of humor.”
Let’s not forget about grammar and punctuation, either. If bae is extra diligent about spelling, adding periods to complete sentences and including commas where they’re needed, that might actually give you an insightful glimpse into their character.
“Someone who cares about spelling, grammar and punctuation is usually a responsible person who cares about appearances,” says Masini.
Of course, some people simply have more knowledge about correct grammar. However, sloppy texting may also indicate a touch of carelessness, according to Masini.
“They don’t think about the other person’s experience reading texts that are misspelled, poorly crafted and not well punctuated,” she adds. “Someone who texts as if they’re turning in a term paper is someone who is careful.
The bottom line is this: Your texting style doesn’t have to be totally in sync with your partner’s. But identifying your SO’s style can indeed help you to understand them as well as your relationship dynamic even better.
“Texting is just another way your partner communicates, and the more you know about their methods, the more likely the two of you can avoid miscommunication," explains Masini.
If there’s something about your boo’s texting habits that’s bothering you, the best thing you can do is bring it to their attention — after all, they can’t make a change if they don’t know it’s called for. And remember: There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to how often, when, where, or why couples should text. It’s up to you and bae to figure out what works best for you both to feel loved, appreciated, and supported.