Do’s and Don’ts of Texting in a Relationship
In my counseling practice, which specializes in relationship issues, I have heard many hurtful, damaging situations as a result of inappropriate texting. To help minimize these situations, here are some suggestions of do’ s and don’ts regarding texting with your intimate partner.
- To set up plans
- Make changes in plans
- Check in how your partner’s day is going
- Check in how your kids are doing
- Check if anything needs picking up on way home from office
- To say “Good Morning” or Good Night” when out of town if calling is not possible.. Your partner knows that you are at least thinking about them
- Send a loving thought as long as these are also communicated in person
- Do not use texting to work through conflicts
- Do not use texting to communicate your anger
- Do not use texting to discuss touchy or sensitive issues
- Do not use texting to communicate sexual intimate topics
- Do not use texting to hide from what you fear doing face to face e.g. breaking up with a partner
1. Set up texting boundaries with your partner that use the above guidelines so expectations are clear.
This helps minimize disappointments and miscommunications. As a couple you may have additional ideas to add of your own.
2. Be clear about any unspoken expectations you have regarding texting and communicate with partner.
For example when a partner does not return a text immediately what is your feeling/reaction? Make sure to discuss your expectations and come to a mutual understanding that works for both of you.
3. ALL personal relationship issues need to be discussed in person.
If you are afraid/uncomfortable with conflict, sharing intimate feelings and being vulnerable you are not alone; however texting is not the solution. Learning how to overcome these fears and communicate them are needed to have a healthy relationship. Stay tuned as these skills will be discussed in my next blog post or even better set up an appointment for counseling to learn how to communicate in an open honest way so you can have a transparent relationship face to face. One of my greatest joys is seeing couples overcome their fears so they can experience real authentic connection and intimacy.
Cathy McCurdy is a Registered Social Worker and specializes in the areas of couples counselling, affair recovery, life transitions as well as many others. For more information on Cathy, her work, or other articles she’s written for Living Well click here to link to her full bio page.