There has been the Machine Age, The Oil Age, The Golden Age and The Space Age, but no age has made the same impact on relationships quite like The iPhone Age.
We live in a society that thrives on constant communication -- none of which is face-to-face. People fail to realize that communicating solely through a cell phone eliminates most basic personal skills, including but not limited to eye contact, proper posture, appropriate language and conversational pacing.
It seems our generation is doing just fine, regardless, except when it comes to relationships. This time, we’re not blaming the guys.
Women need time to process, calculate emotions and essentially "calm down" before handling a variety of situations. News flash: Texting eliminates all of the above.
Why calm down when you can send a novel-length text of word vomit? Why process an argument maturely when you can verbally assault your boyfriend via iMessage in two seconds flat?
Here’s why and how to stop committing those texting faux pas that, to put it bluntly, make you look crazy and cause an unnecessary rift in your romantic relationships.
When He's Out With The Guys
Chances are, if your guy is out with his friends, he’s not going to be glued to his cell phone. Generally, men are pretty crummy at texting. Add any kind of environmental stimuli and that capability diminishes even further. Sending a text to check-in is totally fine, but if he doesn’t answer, leave it at that.
Chances are, he will respond eventually. Women are very good at creating problems that don’t really exist. Instead of sitting at home imagining all the horrible reasons for why he’s not answering, distract yourself. Read a book, binge on Netflix, take a walk, or better yet, go out!
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of sending 100 disgruntled texts in all caps, demanding to know his whereabouts, but it’s just as easy to avoid the craziness. As a side note, do not text any of his friends to ask why he isn’t answering. Paranoia and desperation are not a pretty color on anyone.
When You're In a Fight
First things first, texting is not a suitable form of communication if you’re actually trying to solve anything. Arguments are best handled face-to-face, where both individuals take the time to hear each other out maturely and respectfully. Of course, women generally monopolize arguments in person, but it’s even worse via text.
As emotional creatures, women will soften the moment we see that our words are hurting someone. This doesn’t exist with texting. We can shoot off 45 insults before the guy even has a moment to respond.
Instead of ripping your guy a new one with encyclopedia-length rage texts, take a minute to breathe. Chances are, when your anger lessens, you’ll be able to decide wisely against engaging in a text battle.
If giving yourself a cooling-off period isn’t working, take out a piece of paper and write all of your insults down. That way, you won’t hurt someone beyond repair or look like a basket case.
If that still doesn't work -- believe me, it's happened to the best of us -- turn off your phone, give it to a friend or roommate and repeat these words: "Do not give me back my cell phone until you're sure I can handle talking to (insert boyfriend's name)."
When You're PMSing
I’m not sure if there’s a force on earth stronger than a woman with PMS. Throw in a cell phone, and Houston, we have a problem. PMS for most women makes the littlest of things become major issues -- texting your guy is no exception. You’re likely to blow up over the use of “ok” instead of “okay,” or "haha" instead of "lol."
Better yet, your hormones may decide to trick you into believing that it’s a good idea to shoot a text to an ex saying, "I still hate you, but would you want to grab coffee some time?" Do not, by any circumstance, let the nostalgic feelings PMS drags up let you fall into that trap.
This isn't true of all women, of course, and it's unfair to say that you have to abandon your phone altogether during this time of the month, but to be fair, we can be pretty awful to deal with when it comes to Aunt Flow.
Instead of lashing out via text, or jumping to hormonal conclusions, try to explain calmly (preferably in person) that as a man, he will never understand what army is currently invading your normally pleasant self and that for the next few days, he should be on his best behavior.
When You're Drunk Without Your Guy
Remember when I said it would be unfair to ask a woman to put down her phone entirely? Well, forget that. When you're drinking, the best advice I can offer is to leave your phone off until it's absolutely necessary to use it (Instagram doesn't count).
There are three scenarios that occur when girls in relationships text when drunk: 1) They text their boyfriend who gets mad when he starts to realize all of the misspellings and overuse of emojis, 2) They text another guy who they shouldn't be texting, in a manner they shouldn't be texting him, or 3) They begin to confuse the texts between "other guy" and "boyfriend" and things get very ugly, very quickly.
Alcohol and texting quite literally make no sense together in the most fundamental understanding of the human brain. Alcohol diminishes hand-eye coordination, which coincidentally, is the ONLY thing you need to text. Just don't do it.
When You're In The Mood
Women have been sexually liberated for many decades; The Love Generation made sure of it. This doesn't mean we need to express that sexual prowess through text message.
Flirting is undoubtedly acceptable, even a suggestive emoji or two, but there is no need to go all-out with sexting.
While we're on the subject, let's talk nude pictures, shall we? In the South, they teach abstinence as the best policy in not getting pregnant, and it may not work (just watch "Teen Mom"), but in the world of texting, abstaining from sending naked pictures is, in fact, the best policy.
Sometimes it just happens, but don't forget the risk involved. Breakups turn people into nightmarish versions of their former selves. You don't want someone using photographs of your body as ammunition.
If you trust your guy wholeheartedly, that's your decision, but just remember: The Internet isn't coded in pencil, and once something is out there, it's nearly impossible to erase.
Photo via We Heart It