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How Texting May Be Ruining Your Relationship

by Fox Van Allen on November 04, 2013

relationship problems - ShutterstockGood communication makes for great relationships, right? That may be true, but the means by which you communicate definitely makes a difference. A recent report published by Brigham Young University (BYU) in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy suggests that texting your partner could actually be harming your relationship with them.

As part of the research, scientists studied 276 young adults around the country in different stages of romantic involvement, from married couples to those who were dating more casually. Participants were asked extensive questions about both their relationships and how they use technology.

Of those studied, 82% trade text messages with their partners. Counter intuitively, however, increased texting can actually harm a relationship. One potential reason for this, according to researchers: Texting may cause an emotional disconnect, where reactions to messages can’t be seen and taken into account.

Indeed, the study calls women out for apologizing, working out differences and making decisions via texts, all of which lower relationship quality. Men who text too much similarly experience lower quality relationships, possibly because they're looking for a way out of the relationship.

“We’re wondering if this means men disconnect and replace in-person conversations with more texting,” BYU researcher Lori Schade said. “Maybe as they exit the relationship, they text more frequently because that’s a safer form of communication. We don’t know why, that is just a conjecture.”

It’s not all bad news in the study, however. Expressing affection by text is reported to enhance relationship quality. “In fact, sending a loving text was even more strongly related to relationship satisfaction than receiving one,” explain the researchers. So go ahead, send a quick "I love you" text right now. You'll feel a lot better for doing it.

For more about the Brigham Young study, visit the university’s webpage. You may also want to read up on how email can similarly hurt relationships, and how the self photos you post on Facebook can negatively impact intimacy as well.

[relationship problems via Shutterstock]


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