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The More You Text, The Less Stable Your Relationship Would Be, Research Finds

The More You Text, The Less Stable Your Relationship Would Be, Research Finds

Does it matter how often you text your partner?

You might think that if you text your partner frequently and they also message you on a regular basis, then it’s a positive sign that all is well in your relationship. After all, doesn’t text messaging prove that you are thinking about one another and want to stay connected throughout the day?

However, research suggests that the link between texting patterns and relationship satisfaction differs as a function of gender. In other words, men and women do not think alike when it comes to how often they send messages and how happy they are with their partners.

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How the research was done

Research published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy outlines a study in which the texting habits and relationship satisfaction of 276 emerging adults (those aged between 18 and 25) in committed relationships were asked to report on their communication habits and feelings about their relationships. Each participant was asked how often they sent text messages to their partner. Of the 276 participants included in the study, half were engaged or married. They were also asked other probing questions, such as how many times they had considered ending their relationship, and the extent to which they felt as though their partner cared for and paid attention to them.

Perceptions in common

In some respects, men and women use texting in similar ways. For instance, the study found that both sexes are more likely to express affection via text when they feel bonded to their partners. However, there was a clear sex difference when it came to other findings. For female participants, there was a positive correlation between the number of texts they sent on a daily basis and the degree to which they believed their relationship was stable.

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Negative correlation between the number of texts they sent and the stability of their partnership reported

However, this was not the case for the men in the study, who reported a negative correlation between the number of texts they sent and the stability of their partnership. Furthermore, there was a negative association between the number of texts the average male participant sent to his partner and his relationship satisfaction. The study also found that women were more likely than men to attempt sensitive or difficult conversations via text. However, participants who reported doing this as a means of resolving conflict were less happy with their partnership.

What is recommended to do then

The study results are correlational, which means that the researchers cannot say that, for example, sending many text messages causes women to feel more secure in the stability of their relationships. However, the findings can still present interesting and useful starting points for discussions around the use of technology in relationships. Lori Schade, lead researcher on the project, told NPR that men may use texting as a means of retaining emotional distance from their partners, which may explain why those who send the most messages tend to be the least satisfied.

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“Maybe it was a way for them [men] to check out or not have to show up, by using their cellphone instead,” she speculated.

Schade recommends that whilst there is no need to stop texting your partner altogether, tricky conversations should be saved for face-to-face meetings rather than a prolonged exchange of messages. She also believes that real-life conversations tend to result in fewer hurt feelings, because when texting people “have time to think about it, and stew about it, and then respond again. It’s almost harder to disconnect”.

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So when you message your partner, try to keep your communications light-hearted. Stick to talking about upcoming events or the positive elements of your relationship. Use your phone to make them feel loved and appreciated.

Featured photo credit: Studenten via studenten.net

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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