Tactful Texting: How SMS Can Affect Your Relationships

Tactful Texting: How SMS Can Affect Your Relationships

It’s clear to see that technology has changed the face of the modern relationship. While past suitors may have used lengthy phone calls on the landline or physical meetings to keep up with their partners, present relationships are held together with Skype, emails, phone calls, and, most of all, texting. Our readers had their fair share of texting-related relationship problems this month. Texting can be both a godsend and a disaster – it can enable two busy people to keep in contact throughout the day when they may not have been able to speak otherwise, but it can also lead to misunderstandings and strain when important issues are handled via texts instead face-to-face. Sometimes, what’s most important is to take the time to talk it out in person and leave the phone behind.

While a mis-sent text from your man may fill you with suspicion, it's important to talk it out in-person
While a mis-sent text from your man may fill you with suspicion, it's important to talk it out in-person

I've been dating guy for a month who has told me that he hasn't been in a relationship with a woman for a year. The other night, I received a text message that was clearly sent to me by mistake, talking about arranging a date with another woman who he apparently has substantial history with...they're meeting at their favorite restaurant that they went to just a few weeks ago, according to his message. I haven't approached him about it...not sure what to do.

Though meeting an ex sounds bad, you have to talk to him before you assume the worst. Approach him how you would if he accidentally called you and relayed the same information. Just because it was through a text and was obviously accidental doesn’t mean you must tiptoe around it. He is well aware of his accident, and I am sure he is waiting for some sort of response from you. However, if you do not tell him this upsets you, he won’t know, and you will continue to be in the dark.

My partner continually texts me throughout the day to find out where I am, what I'm doing, and who I'm with. It's starting to get excessive - he even texts me when he knows I'm in meetings - and if I don't immediately respond, he gets frantic. How can I make him understand that it's becoming a problem?

With a new era of texting, it’s easier to keep tabs on people. If your partner is getting frantic with a slow response, you need to let him know that this is not okay. Just because he has the ease and time to text you during the day does not always mean you do. You must be very honest and clear about that. He must also know that if you’re out with friends and do not want to text him back, you don’t have to. Even though it is an option to text at all hours of the day and night, it does not mean this option has to be utilized. If this problematic behavior continues after your talk with him, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.

Texting with your partner while you're busy at work or at home can add unnecessary stress to your daily life
Texting with your partner while you're busy at work or at home can add unnecessary stress to your daily life

My boyfriend sends me extensively long text messages when I'd rather he'd just pick up the phone. When I text him back immediately, it takes him an inordinate time to respond, and there's always an excuse such as "I didn't have my phone" or "I was in a meeting.” I feel like I'm being avoided. Why on earth can't he respond, especially given that on the rare occurrence I don't respond to his texts right away, he gets really angry with me?

If the slow responses bother you both, maybe you should implement a no texting rule during times when you’re working or busy. That way, neither you nor he has to put up with the annoyance of waiting for a response. If there is something important that one of you needs to discuss with the other, you should call instead of text. Also, the best way to get him to pick up the phone and call you next time he has a long message is to do it first. How will he ever know you want to talk on the phone with him if you always respond via text as well? Next time you get off of work, why don’t you call him? He will start to understand that when you want to say something you call him, and he may start to do the same.

A friend of mine constantly texts...when we're at the movies, in the middle of dinner, at events, and when I'm trying to have a serious conversation with her. It's really annoying and is starting to affect our relationship, but I am not sure how to tell her that I don't like it without making her feel uncomfortable. Not that I need to be the center of attention, but enough is enough.

Next time you go to dinner, both of you must place your phone face down on the table, and whoever picks it up and checks it first must pay. By doing this you will remind her of how much fun it is to shut off the outside world and have a good dinner. If she checks her phone, she’ll be kicking herself when it comes time to foot the bill. It’s a fun and non-confrontational way to try and get your message across. However, this may not stop her texting for good. If her rude texting habits continue, you may have to sit her down and tell her how much you dislike her constantly texting during your time together and how it makes you feel. Maybe after your conversation you will be able to make your friendship time cell phone free.

Don't limit yourself by adhering to old "dating rules" - if you're interested, pick up the phone!
Don't limit yourself by adhering to old "dating rules" - if you're interested, pick up the phone!

I've been out of the dating scene for ten years and am recently divorced at 42. I met a really nice guy the other night, and I am interested in dating him.  I know the old rules were that you waited for a man to call you. He seemed really interested, and we exchanged cell numbers, but it's been almost a week and I haven't heard from him yet. Call? Text? Or do nothing?

With a new wave of female independence comes the shattering of old dating rules. If you thought you hit it off well with this guy, call him. What is the worst that can happen? He’s not interested? At least then you would know instead of waiting around for a call or text that won’t happen. You may find that he is debating the same thing as you and trying to figure out the best way to reach out to you. Calling or texting someone that you are interested in for the first time can be scary, not just for women, but for men too. He may be relieved and happy that you decided to give him a call. However, you will never know if you do not put yourself out there. Who says the man has to make the first move?