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It seems weird to think that, at some point in recent human history, you had to call your partner’s work phone to talk to them during the day – and only if something was really important.
Today, you can shoot off a quick kissy face to let them know that, hey, you’re thinking of them, and how great they are, and that’s it.
But alas, love is complicated. I recently wrote an article on ways to ruin your relationship and discovered that – you guessed it – frequent texting could be a big one.
Men who send or receive a lot of texts tend to be less satisfied in their relationships.
For the study, researchers had participants, who were recruited in couples, answer questions about how often they talked via text and social networks, and what kind of messages they sent. Most people said they had multiple text exchanges with their partner every day.
Participants also filled out questionnaires about how satisfied they were in their relationship, how many times they’d considered breaking up, and how much their partner paid attention to and listened to them.
As it turns out, women who texted their partner a lot said their relationship was more stable. But men who frequently sent or received texts from their partner were less satisfied with the relationship – and so were their partners.
The lead study author, marriage and family therapist Lori Schade, told NPR: “Maybe it was a way for them [men] to check out or not have to show up, by using their cellphone instead.”
What’s more, women were more likely to try to hash out tough topics via text – but those who used this strategy were generally less satisfied with the relationship.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, sending negative messages was also linked with a lower-quality relationship, while sending affectionate messages was linked to relationship satisfaction.
The takeaway here isn’t that you should delete your partner from your phone. The researchers can’t draw a direct cause-and-effect link between frequent texting and relationship problems – the data only suggests that the two are related.
But if you’re or angry or if you need to talk about a serious issue, it’s probably best to save it for an IRL conversation.
And if you notice that you and your partner have sent about 100 texts back and forth today alone, but haven’t had a heart-to-heart in a while, it might be time to carve out some “us” time to reconnect – maybe by trying something new and exciting.