A new American study has found that men who send or receive text messages too frequently might be unhappier in their relationships.
The Brigham Young University surveyed 276 18-25-year-olds in long-term relationships, finding that the way couples text is affecting their relationships.
The research was published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy with Jonathan Sandberg saying men might use sms to “disconnect”.
“Maybe as they exit the relationship, they text more frequently because that’s a safer form of communication,” Mr Sandberg said. “We don’t know why, that is just a conjecture.”
Unsurprisingly, if you want to have a serious conversation, discussion or fight, the advice is that it’s better to hit the call button or meet in person.
About 82 per cent of the couples, who were overwhelmingly white and highly educated, sent multiple texts per day.
It is also recommended to re-read your series of witty, sarcastic one-liners before a misunderstanding can have you grovelling.
If you do need to say sorry, beware – the study found that women who use messages to apologise, work out a fight or make decisions were not as happy.
“Reaction to disappointment and reality testing occurs more quickly face to face,” Sandberg said. “There is a narrowness with texting and you don’t get to see the breadth of a person that you need to see.”
That’s not to say don’t text at all, in fact, the survey found that technology is more important to starting a relationship than it used to be.
Plus, if you’ve got something sweet to say, a text is perfect and don’t be afraid to give – the study found in SMS land, sending makes you happier than receiving.
Urban dictionary define a “text message relationship” as one where one or both parties prefer texting than talking, usually a situation leading to a “text message break-up”.
While studies tell us what effect text message are having, the sms has also led to a proliferation of tech age dating rules.
Online advice ranges from the practical – don’t over abbreviate, and send and forget (ie don’t keep checking your phone for a reply), to the bizzare, like this pearler from Thought Catalog: “Text something kinky and flirtatious — you animal you — but chalk it up to auto correct. “How’s your dick?” Then: “omg DAY!! How’s your D-A-Y!!” The, um, ball is in his court.”
Perhaps the most poignant advice is from a San Francisco based therapist: “Think before you text.”