If you have proper boundaries around it, it can be a tool that can help, instead of hurt, your relationship.
Before this pandemic, my partner and I could be away from each other for up to two weeks at a time. One of us might be in another time zone or have poor phone reception.
If we were both in town, we still might be away from each other for up to twelve hours, just having time to kiss each other good night before collapsing into bed.
We weren’t a “long-distance” couple, but we had to spend a lot of time apart, so how (text, phone calls, FaceTimes, Messenger, e-mail…), how often, how long, and (most importantly) how well we communicated dictated how we were doing as a couple.
When you’re apart, it’s just easier to text. Your phone is always within reach, though your partner may not be.
There are definitely ways texting can be bad for your relationship, like if you’re using it to try to have a serious discussion, share something important, or argue. If you google “texting and relationship” you’ll find hundreds of articles telling you how texting is “ruining” yours, but there are benefits too that my partner and I can attest to.
1. When you text each other nice things
Turn on the news, scroll through your social media feeds, or hang out in your office break room and you’re bound to see, read, or hear how things just suck right now. While 2020 has been particularly hellacious, people always have something to complain about.
Your partner doesn’t need any more negativity, so instead, keep your texts positive.
Compliment them. Send them a cute video of baby animals (it’s been proven to lower stress!) or a funny meme.
Be the light, instead of the dark, in your partner’s life.
Need some examples?
“You looked _____ this morning.”
“I’m so proud of all you’ve been putting in at work/home. You’re such a good employee/parent!”
2. When you text each other just to chat
Since my partner and I could be apart for long periods of time, we may miss out on the silly and the mundane things that go on each other’s lives.
Knowing things like what someone did that my partner thought was weird while he was driving to work helps me feel closer to him and feel a part of his life, even if I wasn’t physically there.
Texting can be a place for breezy small talk. A quick text like, “Look at what I saw while I was out! [snapshot of a silly personalized license plate]” or a link to a trailer for a new movie streaming on Netflix with a, “Want to watch this with me tonight??” can be a little way to stay connected.
3. When you set a mood
Every healthy romantic relationship also has a mutually satisfying sex life.You may not have everything you want with your partner, but you should at least be able to communicate and compromise.
Good sex begins well before anyone is naked, which is where texting can come in.
Compliment their body. Tell them what you’ve been thinking about doing to it or what you most miss about it. Send them NSFW content (with a warning or at least a text to make sure they’re somewhere private they can view it). Text, I want you naked in bed by the time I get home.
4. When you want to share good news
When my partner got the raise he asked for, I found out about it over text. Was that a bad thing?
Not at all!
He knew I was at work and would be busy for a few hours, so he texted me the info, knowing I’d see it when I was next available. When I finally did get to my phone and read it, I immediately sent back, “YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!” with a ton of happy emojis.
Again, texting should bring lightness into your partner’s life. If you have something bad to tell them, an argument you want to have, or something you may worry could be misinterpreted, leave that for face-to-face or phone/FaceTime conversations. By all means, though, share the good.
5. When you just want to connect briefly
When my partner and I are around each other, we do nice little things for one another. We kiss each other before one of us leaves and as soon as we return. I make him coffee. He’ll bring me my laptop charger if he notices that I’m using it somewhere other than my office.
When we aren’t around each other to share these sweet little moments, texting can (to a point) make up for them.
I just wanted to let you know that I love you, and have a great day!
Good morning, handsome.
Good luck on your presentation today!
I know you’re worried today, but...
Texting isn’t an ideal form of communication. Nothing will ever be able to fully replace talking in person, but if you have proper boundaries around it, it can be a tool that can help, instead of hurt, your relationship.
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