Texting can be a great way to communicate shorter messages such as, "Please pick up milk on your way home," or "I love you and can't wait to see you later." However, texting can also create problems in your relationship due to miscommunication or the inability to see the emotional reaction of the recipient, according to Michael Halyard, a San Fransisco-based therapist, in the "PRWeb" article, "Warning: Texting May Be Hazardous to Your Relationship."
One or both of you may be using texting as a way to avoid emotions or issues in your relationship. Texting your girlfriend does not allow either of you to see the emotional reaction of your words. You can also avoid questions you don't want to answer or ignore messages. Speaking face-to-face allows you both to express emotions and discuss important issues, explains Susan Newman, Ph.D., social psychologist, in a "Shape" magazine article, "Disadvantages of Email & Texting in Relationships."
Although texting is assumed to be a faster, more convenient way to communicate with your girlfriend, it can also prove time-consuming when you have to resolve misunderstandings caused by excessive texting, Halyard says. Multiple texts might be exchanged in an attempt to understand one another, and the end result may be a fight that requires the two of you talk via phone or in person. Coming to the realization that it is often better to communicate with spoken words can save you a lot of grief in the future.
Resist the urge to answer emotionally-charged texts. Pick up the phone or pay a visit to your partner instead. If this is impossible to do immediately, kindly send her a text. An appropriate response could be, "Hi, Jenna. I just got your text. I can't call you for another hour but I'd like to discuss this. Does that work for you? I love you." This can prevent her from reading into a misunderstood emotion or tone. Text messages have the ability to create flawed communication in the sense that they don't allow the recipient to hear sounds that convey emotion, such as laughter or pauses in a conversation that could signal a problem.
If you feel that texting is spinning out of control in your relationship, don't be afraid to set some ground rules. Avoid habitual texting as a way to talk about issues and fears with your partner, suggests Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., psychologist and dating expert, in the article, "Ten Texting No-Nos in Dating and Relationships." To strengthen your connection and promote intimacy in your relationship, face-to-face conversations with your partner are essential. Halyard recommends reserving texts for short, loving messages that promote positive emotions. If you or your girlfriend are extremely reactive to texts, try eliminating them completely, at least for a specific period of time.
Perhaps, you and your girlfriend communicate just fine through texting. And perhaps your concern stems from the fact that she continues to text you while she's driving, walking alone at night, while working out on her treadmill or other dangerous texting behaviors. As you know, these behaviors pose a safety risk to her for various reasons. If you find it difficult to let her know just how much this bothers you, try sharing texting-specific statistics with her. Here is one that she might need to know: Texting while driving is the cause of 11 teen deaths daily, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
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