They say a watched pot never boils, but that idiom should really be updated for 2017 to be a watched cell phone never pings. Seriously, is there anything that causes dating burnout or convinces you to do a cell phone detox more persuasively than a text message that goes ignored, or least without response, for 30 seconds (or way longer)?
If not, perhaps you are exactly the type of person who thinks a five-hour gap between texts isn’t life-shattering, or worse: totally normal behavior. Whichever camp you’re in, a new study published in Computers in Human Behavior claims that it’s not just IRL compatibility with your romantic partner that matters, it’s texting compatibility, too.
The study examined at a sample of 205 18- to 29-year-old adults, surveying them about their relationship status, habits, and satisfaction.
Here are 3 main takeaways about healthy-texting habits when it comes to relationships.
1. You text each other similarly often
You know the feeling that comes with sending off paragraphs of texts and only receiving one or two lines in response? No—just me? Well, no one likes feeling like they’re a burden. Texting each other paragraphs back and forth is not actually separation anxiety but a sign of a healthy relationship!
2. You initiate text conversations equally often
It’s not just about responding to texts with appropriately long- or short-form responses, but rather initiating conversations an equal number of times. Let’s be real, we’ve all been there and thought, “Well, I texted him the last two times, so it’s his turn.” Once things are truly balanced, you’ll probably stop all the mental arithmetic.
3. You text each other just to chat
Ever feel like you’re texting someone but have absolutely nothing to say? According to the study, “That’s actually a good sign of relationship satisfaction.” There you have it: Digital oversharing may in fact be good for your healthy relationship.
Originally published on October 26, 2017; updated on August 31, 2018.
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