Too much texting can disconnect couples

Posted on November 2, 2013

For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality (flickr)

Couples shouldn’t let their thumbs do the talking when it comes to serious conversations, disagreements or apologies.

Brigham Young University researchers Lori Schade and Jonathan Sandberg studied 276 young adults around the country and found that being constantly connected through technology can create some disconnects in committed relationships.

Here are a few highlights from the report they published this week in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy:

1) For women: Using text messages to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationship quality

2) For men: Too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality

3) For all: Expressing affection via text enhances the relationship

Many of the couples used texting for stuff scholars call “relationship maintenance,” or the kind of conversations that help couples get on the same page. Ordinarily having these conversations is a good thing, but texting can get in the way and makes things worse.

“Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face,” Sandberg said. “There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.”

For men, more texting doesn’t necessarily mean a better relationship. And they don’t just get tired of receiving texts; their relationship satisfaction is also lower when they send a lot of texts themselves.

“We’re wondering if this means men disconnect and replace in-person conversations with more texting,” 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.”

The good news is that saying something sweet in a text works universally for men and women. In fact, sending a loving text was even more strongly related to relationship satisfaction than receiving one.

The bottom line is that if you don’t have something nice to text, better not text at all.


Category(s):Communication Disorders Problems, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Brigham Young Univeristy


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