LIFESTYLE

How Often Should You Text Your Partner?

Pro tip: Avoid being a stage five clinger.

08/09/2017 02:11 SAST | Updated 08/09/2017 02:23 SAST
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How much is too much when it comes to texting and relationships?

Ah, the digital age. It's a weird and wonderful time. (Like honestly, what was life when you couldn't Google pictures of baby goats if and when you felt like it?)

But baby animals aside, all this pocket technology and speed and ease of communication has also completely shaken up the rules of dating and relationships.

Back in the days of normal phones (remember them? The ones with the cords?) you weren't expected to touch base with your partner or love interest several times a day, and if you did, more often than not you were considered a stage five clinger.

But now, with texting, it takes mere seconds to rattle off dozens of messages, and can be done any time, any where.

So how much is too much when it comes to texting and relationships?

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"Like any form of communication, the couple needs to set their own rules," dating expert Melanie Schilling told HuffPost Australia.

"This may be done overtly (so for example, 'five texts per day is my limit') or it might just naturally evolve. Sometimes, one partner has a higher tolerance for texting than the other, which can lead to misunderstandings, frustration and potentially conflict."

In terms of 'how much is too much', Schilling said it's important to read the signs your partner or love interest is giving you. So, in other words, if they are at work and haven't written back, texting 'why aren't you writing back? What are you doing? Where are you?' on repeat probably isn't the best strategy.

"It's important to read your partner," Schilling advised. "Notice the way they respond (or don't respond to you), learn to understand their texting shorthand and talk about their preferred modes of communication."

Guys. Do not text and drive.

For those wanting to put a number on it, psychologist Dr Nikki Martinez has previously stated three to five times a day is ideal for a couple who see each other morning and night, while if you live apart, you may want to text more often.

In saying that, Schilling said that excessive texting during the dating phase could scare the other person off, so if in doubt, it's best to reign it in.

"One of the goals of dating is to figure out the other person's communication style and find a way to compliment this with your own," she told HuffPost Australia.

"So during this exploration phase, it's a good idea to err on the side of conservatism while you figure out each other's preferences. Communication can be easily misinterpreted in the dating world and digital communication has made this even more prevalent.

"As a couple, you'll most likely have the rapport and trust to enable you to openly discuss your texting preferences."

Case in point: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend.

Where things become murkier is when you get into the world of sexting, which comes with it's own very precise set of rules.

"It's important that you ONLY engage in sexting with someone you trust," Schilling said. "And always keep in mind that anything you put in a text could be forwarded on to millions of people."

Especially in the earlier days of a relationship, you should also keep in mind whether or not a sext will be appreciated (guys, take note. Please never send an unsolicited dick pic.)

And even if you are in a loving relationship, remember that when it comes to technology, nothing is sacred. Just ask Jennifer Lawrence.

Finally, when it comes to texting, make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

"Texting has become one of the (many) forms of legitimate communication for couples, and each couple defines their own 'normal' when it comes to communication," Schilling said.

"For one couple, a text might be viewed as a poor excuse for a conversation, even as an avoidance of an issue. Whereas for another couple, it may be part of the normal flow of communication in their day."