“Most of us still haven’t grasped the fact that everything we commit to the digital space – not just our public blogs and broadcast tweets, but every private text message, email, and voicemail is likely to be stored and accessible. Forever.” – Douglas Rushkoff
Texting is how so many of us communicate nowadays that it seems just as normal as talking on the phone. It’s quick, it’s easy, and you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to answer a phone call. For a lot of people, communicating with their significant other through text is pretty commonplace. When we’re not together, we tend to text back and forth throughout the day. This goes double for people who are in long distance relationships. However, texting isn’t the same as talking on the phone, or talking back and forth.
Online dating expert Julia Spira says, “I’ve seen someone pen paragraphs of a ‘Dear John’ letter via text. If you were close enough to be naked with someone and talk about the future at some point, have the courtesy to call or meet in person. Sometimes there’s just a misunderstanding that could prevent a breakup.”
Therefore, make sure you don’t test these things to your significant other.
Here Are 5 Things You Should Never Do To Your Partner Via Text Message
1. Sending emotionally loaded texts
You can’t accurately read emotions over texts. We have managed to figure out some ways to express emotions, but for the most part, tone gets lost through text messages. So, when you send your partner an emotionally loaded text, your partner may not get the full implication of the message. This can cause a lot of frustration and hurt feelings. This also leaves the message open to incredible misinterpretation.
“Some studies suggest that up to 93% of communication is non-verbal. So if you are sending an emotional message with a limit of 140-160 characters, this increases the chances of misunderstandings,” adds relationship counsellor and Gestalt therapist Clinton Power.
If you’re sending a text with strong emotions, ask yourself why. If it’s something that can better be communicated through a phone call or face-to-face where your emotions can be better expressed, then it might just be better to forgo a text message.
2. Reading between the lines
As dangerous as sending an emotionally loaded text can be, projecting emotion onto a text can be equally frustrating for both you and your partner. When your partner sends a text message, it’s important to just read the words that are there and try not to interpret things that aren’t there. If you’re not sure what a text message is supposed to mean, it’s better to just ask to clarify. You can do this either through text message or by giving them a call so you can hear the emotion in their voice. Projecting emotion into a text that isn’t there can cause a lot of frustration and hurt feelings that don’t need to be.
3. Venting via text
If you have a lot of pent up emotions, like anger or frustration, you might be tempted to vent to your partner via text. Especially if you’re upset with them, venting or dumping your emotions through texts can be pretty tempting. But this is another thing you want to avoid when texting your partner. Text messages aren’t secure and anyone can read them if the person happens to allow others to see it.
Nikki Martinez, PsyD says, “Never have an important, in-depth conversation via text because of tone—we are too easily misunderstood, and take the very large chance of making the problem worse than it was in the first place.”
Not all relationships last forever, and your partner may have ill intentions with your venting texts. Make sure you’re careful about what you say via text message. It’s better to just vent to your partner face-to-face, or wait for yourself to calm down.
“Not only are you stirring up old dirt, you’re doing it in a passive aggressive way that prevents someone from responding in any meaningful sort of way. Things get misunderstood over text all the time since there is no tone of voice or body language to gauge, making a text the worst possible way to bring up an old issue,” lifestyle coach Jaya Jaya Myra
4. Ending a relationship
When it’s time for a relationship to end, it can be both sad and freeing. Depending on if the end of the relationship is amicable, both you and your partner can have a lot of feelings that need to be processed. Ending a relationship with a text message can be cold, callous, and make your partner feel like you don’t really respect them or care about their feelings. Imagine how you would feel on the other end, and realize that your partner deserves to have a face-to-face conversation about the end of your relationship.
Who doesn’t like a little sexy texting? A lot of people feel like it’s a lot of fun and a way to spice up a relationship. Unfortunately, it might be something you want to reconsider doing. Sending a flirty message is okay, but when you send a photo of yourself, either scantily clad or completely naked, you’re giving your partner a lot of power over you. Sure, we all want to trust our partners with the pictures we send them, but you might not be with them forever. If you end up breaking up, your pictures will still be on their phones.
“The issue here is if you choose to send a sexually explicit message to someone, even your partner, once that message has been sent it is out of your control. You have no say in where it goes, who sees it and where it is posted,” adds Power.
Keep those sexy pictures to yourself and let your partner enjoy the real thing.
Texting can be a great way for couples to communicate throughout the day, or when they’re spending time apart. But texting isn’t always the best way to communicate some things. Keep these things in mind when texting with your partner and make sure you don’t make these common mistakes.