Is It Normal If One Partner Texts More Often Than The Other? Here’s What Experts Say
I’m not a very strategic texter. When something pops into my head or I see something funny, I don’t stop to think about whether or not I should send it, or wait until I've heard back from the other person. As a result, I tend to initiate most of my text conversations. This only becomes a problem when I don't hear back. Then, retroactively, I start worrying about things like whether or not I'm bothering them. "Is it normal if one partner texts more or am I just being annoying?” I ask myself. Normally it’s fine and eventually they reply, and I fire off another blitz of texts like that momentary panic never happened, and on and on the cycle of texting and anxiety goes. (What a time to be alive!)
But what if it's not really a big deal for there to be an imbalance in texting frequency? Maybe it's totally common for one person to naturally initiate more conversations than the other and I am just wasting energy worrying about it. To solve that quandary definitively, I reached out to the experts. Here is why they say it is normal for one person to text more than the other (whew!), and what to do about it if you're concerned the balance is too far off.
Is it normal for one partner to text more often?
First things first: How common is it for one partner to text more than the other? According to Eric Resnick, dating expert and profile writer, the answer is very — especially in the beginning of a relationship. “It is absolutely normal for one person to initiate most of the text conversations, especially in the early days of a relationship. At that point, people are still feeling each other out and learning each other's communication styles,” Resnick tells Elite Daily. He says that in this situation, try to not let anxiety get the better of you while you wait for a reply. “It is also important to not freak out if your messages don't get instant responses. Remember, people have lives. They might be working, on the phone, in the bathroom, or just not next to their phone.”
Christie Tcharkhoutian, a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional matchmaker for Three Day Rule, agrees. “Fundamentally, if one person initiates more than another, there isn’t anything to worry about. It may be that that partner is one who is better at communication via technology, but the other partner has other relational strengths like planning a date or being present when the couple is actually together,” she tells Elite Daily. The key, she explains, is to establish healthy and direct lines of communication. “It is important … so that you are not jumping to conclusions based on whether you feel like you are pulling more weight in the relationship.”
Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert and author of Aren't You Glad You Read This?, offers an even more positive spin. “For many people, they feel more excited if they have a chance to miss you, which is achieved by talking less often,” she tells Elite Daily. While that sounds great, the temptation to assume the worst when there is an imbalance of texting is powerful. However, Jack Vitel, dating expert and founder of Road to Solidarity, tells Elite Daily to resist the paranoia. “You can’t rely solely on texts in order to gauge your partner’s interest in you,” he says. “It can be absolutely normal if one partner initiates texting more often than the other, but it can also mean that this person has lost interest. In order to know that, one must see one’s partner face to face. It will be during the time shared together in real life that one will be able to label their lack of investment in texting normal or not.”
Here’s what to do if your partner texts more than you do:
If your partner is the person sending more texts, and their communication style is becoming a problem for you — or for them when you don't reply as much as they would prefer — the solution, says Resnick, is better communication. “If you are not a frequent texter, but your partner is, you need to tell them you don't usually text as often as they do,” Resnick explains. “If you don't, you are going to get annoyed and end up pushing them away. If you tell them and they still assault you with a flood of texts, that might give you a good reason to move on.”
And here’s what to do if you’re the one texting all the time:
If you’re the party with the busy texting fingers, the first thing you need to do, according to Resnick, is practice a little patience and don’t bombard them with texts. “If you don't get the immediate response you want, don't send follow-ups. That makes you seem needy and desperate. It's one thing to send someone a text, but it is another to pester them to the point where they want to block your number,” warns Resnick.
The other issue with being the one who initiates the conversation is not so much about how they feel, but how that imbalance makes you feel, which can be just as detrimental to the health and success of your relationship. “The partner that feels like they are initiating texting more may feel resentful that they ‘always have to do the work’ and that can build up and cause negative repercussions in the long run,” says Tcharkhoutian. “If you sense a pattern, open, healthy, and nonjudgmental conversation is the best way to resolve any feelings of resentment or insecurity,” she adds.
If you’re not sure how to broach the subject with your partner, Tcharkhoutian says to avoid blaming your partner, but make it clear that it's important you. “Saying something like ‘I notice that you’re not a big texter, which I understand but sometimes when I am always the one to reach out, I feel like I may not be on your mind’,” says Tcharkhoutian. “Once your partner realizes that it’s important to you that they initiate some of the time, they will be more willing to work on changing that behavior, even if it doesn’t carry the same weight or meaning for them.”
Ultimately, the takeaway here is that it’s OK if one partner is texting more than the other. It’s only really a problem when it creates other issues like resentment or insecurity. But with a little old fashioned face-to-face communication, these are resolvable problems. Every relationship has its own rhythm, so don’t worry. With time, you will find it.