Like it or not, short text messages are here to stay, and they’re going to affect our relationships. But how they do so is up to us. New research shows that texting can be great for keeping up with each other, but it’s very bad if used to express negative emotions.
Photo by Comrade Foot.
While it might sound like common sense (a factor frequently lost in resolving relationship conflicts), the study found some surprising conclusions. Particularly that women apologising via text and men texting more frequently both correlated to lower relationship quality. In general, texting was a great way to stay in touch with your significant other, but is the worst way to have a fight:
Many of the couples used texting for stuff scholars call “relationship maintenance,” or the kind of conversations that help couples get on the same page. Ordinarily having these conversations is a good thing, but texting can get in the way and makes things worse.
“Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face,” Sandberg said. “There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.”
While it can be tempting to tell the person you care about that you have a problem in a text because it feels safer, chances are that it can only make it harder to resolve those problems. A friendly reminder that you care (or even just checking in on dinner plans), however, can go a long way. When you do have to fight, of course, it’s helpful to know how to do so effectively.
Texting Not Ideal for Serious Relationship Issues [Psych Central]