November 13, 2013
Texting and Relationships
Texting has become a significant part of today’s dating world. Whether you’re single, just starting to date someone or you’ve been with your partner for many years, chances are you communicate through text more often than not. So how is texting impacting our intimate relationships? When and how should we use texting to communicate with our partners?
Dr.Jess recently sat down with Dr.Oren Amitay, Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Human Sexuality, to discuss the “dos and don’ts” of texting in relationships.
Here are a few points’ from Dr.Jess’ conversation with Dr.Amitay:
1. So much of communication is expressed through body language and tone.
Text does not allow you the option to express yourself with your body language or your tone. Sure, emoticons are a start, but nothing compares to the nuances of face-to-face communication. This is why Dr.Amitay tells his patients that even a thousand texts are not worth one face-to-face conversation.
2. Always know when to pick-up or put down the phone.
If a conversation over text turns to a conflict, it is time to pick up the phone and call – or perhaps it is time to put down the phone and meet with your partner for a face-to-face conversation.
3. Texting works well as an organizational tool but not so well as a tool for resolving conflicts with your partner.
If you feel overwhelmed by a conversation with your partner and need some space, then perhaps it is okay to take some time to organize your concerns into a text or email. Dr.Amitay suggests, however, that only 5-10% of texts between you and your partner should be about issues of conflict. The rest of your texts should be purely organizational (eg. “I need you to pick up milk and lube on the way home.”) Ultimately, conflict should be dealt with face-to-face.