Text messages have become kind of a big deal when it comes to communicating with partners, friends, and family members. However, text messages can easily be misread. They can also begin to feel overwhelming if you’re getting too many texts from someone out of the blue. Text messaging can even make or break a relationship! This is why it’s really important to develop healthy texting habits in a relationship early on. That way, you know what the other person expects and what you want to receive.
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Text Messaging in Healthy Relationships
Facebook Messenger, Insta messages, WhatsApp, oh my! Text messaging has moved way beyond painfully typing each letter on a basic cell phone, giving us plenty of ways to communicate with one another. For many people, text messaging has replaced phone calls as the favored way to chat with loved ones. It’s no surprise why! It’s fast and easy and can be done at any time. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t some unspoken rules to texting your significant other. In fact, some of these common communication guidelines are even more important in text messaging than they are in face-to-face communication!
We’ve probably all had the moment where we sent a text message to a significant other and immediately regretted it. Maybe we were upset about something and reacted quickly, or perhaps we decided to share our feelings and then weren’t so sure that was a good idea. Or maybe we were so excited about a new relationship that we overtexted.
Below, you’ll find a list of healthy texting habits as well as a few common texting mistakes. These habits have been curated by our in-house team of relationship experts who have decades of experience managing relationships with friends, colleagues, and significant others.
Keep it clear and concise.
One of the absolute most important rules when text messaging in a relationship is that you keep your text messages clear and concise. It’s easy for things to be misinterpreted. To avoid this, reread your text messages before you send them, and try to understand them from the other person’s perspective. If you’re planning on meeting somewhere later, have you made the time and the meeting place clear? If they send you a message you’re confused about, did you ask for clarification? These simple things can really help keep everyone on the same page.
Keep a good rhythm.
One of the best ways to set the communication tone in a relationship is to keep a good rhythm. This means being consistent with your messaging both in terms of how frequently you send messages, the amount of text messages you send, and what kind of message you send. Think about the purpose of your messages, and craft them the same way you would a message to a teacher or work colleague. Take the time to double-check that your message is going to the right person!
If you’re in the early stages of a relationship and aren’t sure what tone of voice or tempo works for you, start by matching your significant other. If they send long messages, don’t reply with a one-word answer. Likewise, if their messages tend to be on the short and sweet side, don’t respond with a paragraph. If the style and speed of text messages aren’t what you want, try setting the pace yourself. Don’t go overboard and message someone every few minutes. Instead, make this a gradual transition until you are both at the same speed.
Set healthy texting boundaries.
We all know (hopefully!) how important it is to set healthy boundaries within our relationships. These boundaries ensure that we feel comfortable in how the relationship is progressing and that we have some sort of protection in case the other person turns out different than we expected.
One of the common texting boundaries you should think about early on in a relationship is whether or not you feel comfortable sexting. While sexting can be fun and exciting, it can also make you feel extremely vulnerable. It can leave you in a much worse situation later on if the relationship sours and the other person decides to use the sexts against you. Think about the messages you’re sending and who you’re sending them to. Is it someone you trust? How would you feel if those saucy text messages were shared with people outside of your relationship? Even worse, what if they were shared on social media?
We’ve all probably watched a little kid tugging at his mom’s purse strap while frantically repeating, “Mom!” as they try to get her attention. This has even turned into a bit of a joke when people talk about the patience it takes to raise kids!
This same feeling is easy to replicate when someone is overtexting another person. Each blink or ding of a phone notification is similar to a little kid nagging their mom, and it’s a surefire way to begin annoying your significant other. If that’s not the vibe you’re trying to set, pull back on the constant texting a bit. Excessive texting, especially when the other person is not sending a text back, can be smothering and make someone feel you’re a little too eager to communicate with them.
Don’t go crazy with emojis and memes.
Emojis are an awesome way to convey your feelings. However, you mustn’t go overboard with emojis and memes to the point where your message gets lost. It’s even worse if the emojis change the tone of voice you were trying to convey.
This doesn’t mean you need to stop sending emojis. It does mean that it’s important to make sure your texting styles are compatible before you start sending a ton of them. If your love interest tends not to use them, then try to cut back a bit during the text conversation. Throwing too many of them in can impact the message you’re sending and make the other person feel like you aren’t serious about the relationship.
Put down the phone.
Text messaging is great if you want to quickly check in or say good morning or good night to your significant other. However, if you rely on quick text messages rather than having long conversations over the phone or in real life, it may make your partner feel like they are not a priority. This could then impact their relationship satisfaction and even their mental health.
Healthy communication should be balanced to allow both people to get the most out of a relationship. Text messaging is just one form of communication you use. Rather than sending text messages all the time or sending a long text, make a phone call, or meet in person if you want to have an in-depth conversation. This will make it much easier to hear the other person’s tone of voice or read their facial expressions.
So, Ready to Text?
We hope this guide to healthy texting habits in a relationship has given you the tools you need to create a productive communication style regardless of whether you’re entering a new relationship or looking to reconnect with an old love. As you can see, there are many simple things you can do to hone your communication skills.
If you want to learn more fantastic relationship tips and tricks, head over to the Let’s Roam Connect blog. This blog is full of hundreds of great articles covering everything from family volunteer vacations to questions to get to know your friends better. We’ve got everything you need to develop strong, healthy bonds with your community, plus lots of fun activities you can do while at home or on the road!
Frequently Asked Questions
If your favorite form of communication is texting, make sure that you don’t overtext and that your message actually matches what you want to convey. Check the recipient, too!
Texting has become so popular because it’s quick and easy! You can send a message to a friend or love interest while on the move, knowing that they’ll see it when they have the time.
When you’re texting with another person, try to match the tone of voice and speed of texting. If they text back right away, try to do the same thing. But don’t force it too much!
Texting is great for communicating, but if you want to really connect with your partner, grab a scratch-off adventure book. Full of fun challenges, this is a great tool for reconnecting with loved ones.