Most of us are texting pros when it comes to going back and forth with our friends and family, but texting a new romantic partner can be a totally different experience, at first at least. Although the initial texting might be awkward (and rife with wondering when the heck they’re going to write back), once you settle into a more steady groove with this person, you’re going to want to make sure you’re practicing healthy couple texting habits.
Yes, healthy texting habits exist, and they mean a lot sometimes.
Maybe you text your partner the same way you text your friends, and it’s not a big deal at all. But if you find that you’re staring at your phone, fighting IRL about conversations you had over text, or just really stressing over your notifications… Well, that’s not great. You deserve to live your best life! And your best life is not waiting anxiously for messages or bickering about when and how someone’s “tone of voice” in a text message.
It can happen to anyone, though, so don’t feel bad. Here are some ways to get back on track with your texting game.
First and foremost, if you’re already in a texting nightmare with your boo, tell them what’s up. You get anxiety by being left on read for three hours? Tell them to turn that shit off at least. Are you not communicating at all or too much? Let them know. Once you get your personal basics down, there are some other things healthy couples do when they text.
2They sign off.
Literally, you could go all day sending messages back and forth with your partner, but there are times that you have to focus on whatever is happening in your non-phone life. In order to protect the other person’s feelings (or your own), when you go to put your phone down tell the other person. “Heading into meeting so going to be MIA, see you at dinner,” or something similar is a great way to tell a person that you have things to take care of and need your time to be respected.
3There’s no fighting.
Sometimes it’s hard to not get wrapped up into an argument in the moment, but couple fights should never happen via text. Even if you know exactly what that emoji or speech pattern is in real life, wait until you are actually together to duke it out. A simple, “I don’t want to fight over text, let’s talk about this when we see each other later,’ can do so much. Or pick up the phone at that very minute even. When you text fight, you can basically “yell” over each other in big, blue blocks of text. That’s not how you want to be heard.
When appropriate, of course, healthy couples don’t use text messages just for business. You can keep each other interested throughout the day by keeping things hot in your messaging apps. Just make sure you’re sending the messages to the right person.
5They’re not obsessing about it.
It can be hard in the early stages of crushing and texting someone to not obsess over every emoji and length of message your One True Love sends you. But once you’re settled into a relationship, you really have to chill out a little bit. Don’t obsess over the amount of texts — if you want to check in with your partner throughout the day or have some sort of standard for communication, just use your words and say so. They can figure out if that works for them, too.
6But when you do text, it’s meaningful.
If you have deep, long conversations and stare into each other’s eyes every night, then spending the day sending fart GIFs to each other via text is probably alright. But texting with your S.O. should be meaningful otherwise. Talk about your day, make plans, tell them all the dirty things you want to do to them later. Whatever you do, make the texts worth it.