If Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend Always Texts First, Here's What It Means

When your phone is practically glued to your hand, it's natural for a sort of messaging pattern to develop with the people you talk to the most, especially with the people you're dating. Whether you always send a heart emoji before bed or like to swap funny memes everyday at lunch, developing a texting routine is totally common between boos. Still, if you're starting to notice that your boyfriend or girlfriend always texts first, you may be wondering if your pattern is getting a little off balance.

When it comes to unpacking texting styles in a relationship, it can be helpful to become more clear on the role texting plays. According to licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson, texting can be a great way for small conversations or making plans, but isn't ideal for big emotional talks. "Ideally, texting is used for logistics and flirting and not a primary form of communication," Richardson says. "Healthy texting includes checking in, showing support, flirting and making plans. It does not include trying to sort out problems or have big conversations."

According to the experts, if your partner is always texting first, it could mean that they're super into you and your relationship, which is obvious, because you're amazing. "The partner who texts first is expressing active interest — they want to know all about you, your day, and your thoughts," NYC-based relationship expert and love coach Susan Winter says. "You're important to them, as is the relationship." From asking about your day to checking in about dinner plans, your boo reaching out may be their way of telling you that they're thinking about you, even when you're apart. Texting during the day can be a reminder of your connection with your partner, and a validation of how excited they are to be with you. "Healthy texting provides confirmation and validation. Checking-in provides a sense of security. Even the littlest moments of connection provide comfort and reassurance," Winter says. Healthy texting in the relationship keeps each partner informed and aware of what's going on in their partner's life." If your parter is super verbal, or their love language is words of affirmations, texting first may be the way they show they care.

Additionally, if your partner is a super planner, it may feel more natural for them to check in more or ask more questions. Sending the first message then, may be their way of organizing their schedule. The way someone texts can be indicative of the way they speak IRL. "Initiating contact is very dependent on your communication style," Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method says. "If you are the type that likes to share details about your experiences to create closeness with your partner, your impulsivity will make you reach out first. For others, just reaching out to acknowledge that you're thinking of the person might make them reach out more than their partner."

If your boo is super chatty, it may be totally normal for them to text first, and text often. If you're dating someone that doesn't love to chitchat during the day, their texting may be a little slower or more logistical. Of course, dating someone with a different talking style may eventually rub off on you, and if your start to notice that your partner is always texting first, you may naturally begin to meet their texting style. "If you find your partner's ramped up his or her texting, you may find yourself doing the same," Winter says. "Couples tend to mirror each other." Of course, if you're starting to notice your boo always texts first, it could be fun and flirty to text them early in the day. "If you notice they always initiate, shake things up a bit and beat them to it one day."

Of course, if you're feeling the texting initiation is getting a little too off balance, it may be time for an IRL check in. "Relationships require constancy to survive, solid relationships have steady contact that keeps each partner in the loop," Winter says. "This is why texting has become so important in keeping a relationship alive. Maintaining ongoing contact drives the relationship forward." If you're slow to respond to your partner, or find their texting to be a little *too* much it may be helpful for them to understand that the best way to communicate with you may be a little slower paced. If you're noticing they seem more excited to speak with you than you are to respond, it could be important to check in with yourself about where your head is at and what you need from your boo to feel super supported in your relationship. "Acknowledging their texting behavior face-to-face can help the person stop avoiding the other by giving them hope that you’ll be able to negotiate through the hurt," Silva says. If your partner seems to always be reaching out first and its making you feel some feelings, it may be time to check in IRL.

If your partner is always texting first they're probably super happy to be dating you. And, duh, who wouldn't be?! Of course, if it's becoming a little too much, it's always OK to check in with them IRL to establish some healthy texting boundaries like, "I can't reply when I'm at work" or "If it's a big conversation, I'd rather call." When it comes to texting your boo, you know what feels right — emojis, memes, or 11 texts about Sweetgreen in a row.