Welcome to our Dear Mariam column, where each month Dr. Mariam Esfahani, Marriage & Family Therapist and founder of Beach Cities Counseling and Therapeutic Services, will help navigate tricky relationship dilemmas. Come back each month for relationships secrets, dating advice, and secrets to making love and dating less crazy and more fun.
Working as a marriage & family therapist for the past 10+ years, I thought l had heard (and seen) it all. Recently, however, so much has evolved that a whole new set of problems and issues can now plague our relationships.
Now there are virtually hundreds of ways to connect, hook up, snap, date, like, comment, swipe, and poke— and all of them can cause discourse in our relationships. Throughout this evolution, one thing has remained the same for healthy relationships, and that is that communication is key. This brings us to the topic at hand: 10 things to avoid when texting your significant other.
We’ve all adapted to the convenience of sending a quick text to our partners to convey a thought or need we have, but while it may make it convenient to get a quick point across, texting can also be the source of what causes the most strife, conflict, and tension in our relationships. And when you’re in a new relationship or trying to keep an older relationship stable, texting might end up ruining your relationship, if you text too much and say too much.
With all that being said, ahead are some things to avoid when texting.
1. Avoid Dismissive Texts Like “K,” “NVM,” and “Whatevs”
Sending a dismissive text conveys insincerity and clouds the text in an unfriendly and apathetic tone, which is never desirable. If you feel annoyed, don’t put it in texts, it reads a lot worse to the receiver.
2. Do Not End A Text With A Period.
While everyone knows it’s grammatically correct to end a sentence with a period, a recent study from psychologist Danielle Gunraj, reveals that people perceived texts punctuated with a period at the end as “insincere,” compared to those written without a period. Bottom line, be casual and keep texting as short messages, not formal notes.
3. Whatever You Do, Do Not Start Or Continue A Text Fight.
Your non-verbal communication is just as important as your verbal so it’s always best to save discussions for when you can be face to face. This way your partner gets a full understanding of how you really feel.
4. Do Not “Sext.”
Although this may help spice up the relationship, do you really know where your partner is and know with 100% certainty that they will be the only one seeing the pic? If the answer is yes then by all means sext away, but if there is even a 1% chance that someone else may see it, I would recommend not doing it so as to avoid future embarrassment or awkward run-ins
5. Avoid Cliffhanger Texts.
Cliffhanger texts can leave your partner feeling annoyed and frustrated, and you never want that. So instead of texting half-messages, call or show up IRL and tell them how it is.
6. Avoid Texting Information About Family.
Anything that has to do with family is important, so avoid texting information about each other’s family over text.
7. Do Not Add Your Significant Other To A Group Text Without Telling Them First.
Avoid putting them in an uncomfortable situation by notifying them in advance that they’re in a group text and who’s in it.
8. Avoid Ghosting Or Not Responding To A Text.
No matter how upset, annoyed, frustrated, and sad you may be, always respond with something as simple as, “I need some time” or “I’m not ready to discuss this right now”. Silence can unnecessarily escalate an already tense situation.
9. Avoid Talking Too Much.
We’ve learned (perhaps the hard way) that we shouldn’t put anything in writing that can come back to work against us. The same goes for text messages so think about what you’re sending…do you really want to be trying to communicate a point only to have your partner screen shot or bring up a text you sent 8 months ago that shows you saying otherwise?
10. Avoid Becoming A Predictable Texter.
Texting is meant to be a communication tool, but if you text the same thing day after day, after some time, it can get very boring. It’s best to avoid creating a predictable texting pattern when you send texts to your partner.