If You & Your Partner Have A Lot Of Textual Tension, Don't Freak Out — Here's What To Do
You and your partner are on the same page about almost everything: You have similar schedules and you like each other's friends. Most importantly, you can both watch six hours of The Good Wife without breaking to stretch. Still, you and your partner disagree about one huge thing — texting. You want to text all day long, and they only want to text about logistics (or vice versa). Relationships can be tricky, especially when you and your partner disagree over how often you text.
The good news is that you can overcome textual tension. Even though texting is on the rise, it doesn't mean it has to become an enormous issue in your relationship. To figure out how to navigate the waters when you and your partner want to text different amounts, I spoke with relationship expert April Masini.
You might worry that your text disagreements come from texting too much, but keep in mind that there's no "right amount" to text another person. "One person’s texting 'too much' may be another person’s texting 'just right'," Masini tells Elite Daily. If you prefer to express yourself via text, that is totally your choice. "Some people live and breathe onscreen, and they say the L-word for the first time, and make all apologies by text," she says. Texting is just one form of communication, and while it may be your primary means of communicating, it's not right or wrong for someone else to use it in a different way.
Fortunately, if you are fighting over how much to text, there are ways to ease the disagreement. "Don’t reconcile fights about texting too much via text. Get off the screen, put your fingers down," Masini says. "Have a conversation about the texting issues in real life." In general, texting isn't a great place to carry out fights, even fights about the amount that you text, because it's easier to misinterpret what the other person has said. Talking in person allows you to see their emotions more easily so you can be sure you're not hurting their feelings. "Text fights are brutal because there’s a gap in communication that you normally don't have when you are in the same room or even on the telephone. Vocal inflections, body language and visual cues are all super helpful ways to communicate. And they’re lost in texting."
So, make sure to speak to your partner face-to-face about your texting disagreements so that you don't lose anything in translation that could potentially spark another fight. As always, communication is the key to building mutual trust and respect in any relationship.
To avoid texting drama, you should be clear about what want from your partner. "Don’t just say 'you should text me more or you should text me less,'" Masini says. "That’s too broad of a direction, and it feels personal. Instead, ask your partner if they could text you once (or twice or however many times a day you want). Or ask your partner to only text during hours when he or she is not at work." Unlike other means of communication, it's possible to quantify the amount that you text or limit it to certain windows, so take advantage of the fact that you can give exact texting instructions (it's like cooking, but no dirty dishes at the end). This specificity allows your partner to meet your needs clearly, instead of trying to guess what you want.
Texting styles will shift throughout a relationship, so even if you disagree about texting now, your POVs might evolve over time. Maybe you and your partner are arguing because you used to text a lot and now have tapered off. "It’s normal to text a lot in the beginning of the relationship when you’re excited about someone new and all the potential that lies ahead," Masini says. If this happens, you can assure your partner that you care deeply about them, but now you're trying to settle into a routine with work or life that involves being on your phone less. Let them know that you're open to hearing their concerns, and make sure you take their feedback into consideration.
Another important thing to remember is that it's OK to text different amounts. You and your partner aren't the same person, so it makes sense that you wouldn't have the same texting style. "If you text more and your partner doesn’t mind, so be it! If your partner texts more than you and you know it but don’t really care, that’s fine," Masini says. "Someone who texts a lot may just have a different communication style, and that’s okay, as long as the two of you are compatible."
Texting a lot doesn't mean you're more interested than they are (unless you somehow got Jake Gyllenhaal's number and are texting: "I love you soooo much why won't you respond!!!"). The key thing is that you and your partner are both comfortable with the level that the other is texting. Keep the lines of communication open, and make sure that no one feels guilty or uncomfortable about the way that they text.
If you and your partner disagree about how much to text, you're not alone. It's normal to have different communication styles, and this is something you'll discover about each other over the course of your relationship. Be clear about what you need from your partner emotionally, and always be willing to listen to their needs. If you and your partner keep each other's feelings in mind, you'll be able to work through all types of textual tension.