When to Text, When to Talk?

Texting has become an accepted form of relationship communication, but how do you know when to text and when to talk?

According to a new Brigham Young University study, romantic couples who text each other with confirming messages (“How are you?” “How’s it going?” “I miss you!”) tend to experience greater relationship satisfaction. Confirming messages are best conveyed with an emotional dimension – communicating essentially: “I care about you,” and “You’re important in my life.” In fact, sending affectionate messages to one’s partner yield even greater emotional satisfaction than receiving them.

On the other hand, couples who text when fighting tend to experience lower relationship satisfaction. When texting, vital verbal, non-verbal and emotional cues are missing, which can severely limit a couple’s ability to reconcile and often can lead to even more miscommunication.

“There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.”

Interestingly, the study also found key differences in how men and women text during conflicts.

  • Men are more likely to text to attack or avoid
  • Women are more likely to text to diffuse the situation or back down

Arguing through texting may feel safer for some, but the digital barrier may actually contribute to greater relationship fallout.

“Women who text more might do so as a means to resolve issues or apologize; men might text more because they’re unsatisfied with the relationship and texting is how they avoid emotional intimacy.”

All in all – know when to text and when to talk.  Texting can be an effective tool for maintaining, nurturing, and stimulating a relationship. But, when arguments occur, dealing with the problem in person will produce better results.

Let’s discuss: Has texting been a help or a hindrance to you in relationships?


To read the full article, visit Psychology Today.

Photo credit: Emily Hildebrand’s Flicker page




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Categories: Statistics


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better place...one relationship at a time.

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