Can a Relationship Survive When Communication Is Done by Texting?

Find ways to use texting to enhance your relationship.
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You haven’t talked to each other all day, then right before bed, you receive a text message saying, “Hey. Good night” instead of a phone call. Relying on texting as the primary method of communication in a relationship can complicate things and may leave you wondering, “Is this ever going to work if all we do is text?” While it may be convenient, texting is not enough to keep a relationship on track. If used correctly, however, it can enhance how you communicate in a relationship.

1 Keep it Short

According to a report published by the Pew Research Center, young adults send and receive about 3,200 text messages a month. That breaks down to slightly more than 100 messages a day. With that many text messages being exchanged daily, it is best to keep your messages short and clear. Don't get caught up in extended discussions over text. If what you have to say can't be expressed or resolved in a few simple exchanges, it may be time to give the other person a call.

2 Keep it Sweet

Make an effort to send sweet and thoughtful text messages to your boyfriend or girlfriend. A 2013 study done by a group of researchers at Brigham Young University found that when both guys and girls use technology to express affection, they also report positive feelings of satisfaction and attachment in their relationship. Sharing statements such as “I miss you” or “I am happy when I am with you” via text can have a positive impact on your relationship.

3 Keep it Calm

To help your relationship survive, keep calm and do not use texting as a tool to handle conflict. Once it is sent, a text message becomes permanent and cannot be taken back. It is not easy to figure out someone’s tone in a text message, and that is why you should choose your words carefully. When in doubt, call the other person and tell them what your issue is, so that it can be addressed faster in conversation than over text.

4 Keep it Balanced

Although texting may have some advantages, too much of it can put a strain on a relationship because it is not intended to be a substitute for face-to-face communication. Clinical psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle explained in an article for CNN that the complex way humans communicate and build relationships is lost when text messaging becomes the primary way to interact with others. To give your relationship a chance at survival, do not rely solely on texting as a way stay in touch. Create a healthy balance by talking to each other regularly on the phone, online with free video chat services, such as Skype, or in person.

Amber Wright has been writing articles on relationships and communication since 2010. Her articles regularly appear on the marriage and family website, Wright holds a Master of Arts in communication studies with a specialization in interpersonal communication from California State University, Los Angeles.