I’m definitely guilty of texting my partner too often. Even when they are at work, if a few hours of silence have gone by, I reach out just to say “Hi!” It’s become a bit of a habit, one that, as it turns out, may not be totally healthy. After all, is it normal to constantly need to text? Or is it a sign that there may be a problem in the relationship? Or maybe (as I hope) it just means you and your partner just like to stay in contact and all that texting is just the pattern and rhythm of your relationship. How can you tell the difference between what is a healthy amount of communication and what’s a sign of a deeper problem?
To help understand which texting behaviors are typical and which are a sign of something amiss, I reached out to Diana Dorell, an intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, and Erica Gordon, a millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This?. I asked for their expert opinions on if it’s normal to want to text your partner all the time, and when your need for communication becomes too much. Here is what they had to say.
When the need to text your partner all day is not healthy.
For a relationship to be a healthy one, there have to be clear and open lines of communication. So, of course wanting to talk to and text with your partner in general is fine. In fact, Dorell says it’s good to text with your SO — in moderation. “It can be really healthy for the relationship to actually text sparingly throughout the day and then anticipate seeing your SO later to share things and connect face-to-face,” she tells Elite Daily. The time to become concerned, she says, is when a lack of frequent texts negatively impacts your emotional well-being. “When you can’t function day to day if you don’t constantly text or receive texts, or need those texts for reassurance or self-esteem, that is unhealthy,” says Dorell.
Gordon says another sign that the need to text is something to be concerned about is when it causes anxiety. “[It’s] a red flag if you are anxious all the time when you’re not hearing from your partner, and constantly needing that continuous texting.” she tells Elite Daily. “This type of neediness is a red flag that your partner is your whole world. It’s not healthy if your world revolves around them,” warns Gordon.
What the desire to text all day could actually mean.
There are several reasons you may want to talk to your partner all day — and not all are unhealthy. Dorell says it could simply be a sign that affirmation is your love language. “If your love language is words of affirmation, then you may see it as a sign that you are cared for and loved more than average if your partner texts you sweet things regularly,” she says.
If your partner understands that and is happy with the frequency of texts, then great! However, if they aren’t able to keep up with your preferred pace, and you find yourself getting anxious or upset, then Gordon warns that you’ve crossed the line into unhealthy territory. “This could mean that you lack the ability to find that sense of happiness and validation within yourself,” says Gordon. “Self-validation is extremely important, as it’s very unhealthy to rely on external validation from your partner. Let attention from others enhance your mood, but don’t let it control your mood.”
She also cautions that a need for communication may be a sign of something else lacking in the relationship. “This could be a sign of distrust in the relationship,” she warns. “If you’re insecure, and you need constant texts to trust your partner, that could be a sign you should be working on yourself right now, instead of being in a relationship.”
Here’s what the experts say to do about it.
If you feel like you are texting too often and would like to slow down, both experts agree that you need to focus your energy on yourself and find ways to fill that need for validation and affirmation from within. “Instead of leaning on your partner to validate you [sic: is important] — do the things that brought you and bring you joy even when you are alone,” Dorell advises.
“Work on self-love, self-confidence and self-validation,” adds Gordon. “Discover your gift, discover hobbies that you love, and focus on your passions. Start a passion project that you truly enjoy devoting your time to, and suddenly, you simply won’t be looking at your phone or waiting on text replies as much,” she says.
Last but not least — and this may sound counter-intuitive — you should talk to your partner about what you are feeling. “Have a conversation with your partner about how it makes you feel. Let them be a part of this shift to more healthy texting,” says Dorell. After all, there is a reason you call them your partner, right? You can and should be able to lean on them when you need a little support while making a positive change.
Ultimately, the amount you text with your partner will depend on what works best for the two of you. It may be a little more or a little less than average, so long as you both are happy. If you are not, then like the experts say, it’s time to focus on you. Engage in the self-care you need to find the happiness from within that you deserve. After all, you’re amazing! You just need to put down your phone for a bit and remind yourself of that from time to time.
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