What Your Texts Say About Your Relationship

Gosh, I’ve suddenly become self conscious about what I text. And so might you—but maybe that’s a good thing. According to a study I just came across, the words you use in your texts and IMs to the person you like (or love) reveal gobloads about how solid your relationship is.

Right or Wrong Texting

The study, which was done by Richard Slatcher of UCLA, and published in the journal Personal Relationships eight months ago, said that women who use the word “I” more often in their instant messages actually report being more satisfied with their partners.

Specifically, says LiveScience, the women who used the word “I” a lot were 30 percent more likely to stay in their relationships.

Also, the more that women used what the researchers called “positive negations” like the term “not happy,” the less satisfied they were.

And the more that men used “positive sarcasm” like the term “oh, great,” the less satisfied they were in the relationship.

The researchers apparently used a “linguistic word count program” to analyze participating couples’ texts—and more of the nitty gritty of the data can be found at the LiveScience article, Instant Messages Reveal Relationship Health.

Hmm, what does this all say to me? That sometimes the words you use reveal how you feel in your relationship. But I also think that sometimes the words you use affect how your relationship feels. Maybe the happy women were using the “I” statements because that’s a very effective way to communicate with people on a heartfelt, honest level. Saying things like “I like you,” or “I’m nervous about meeting your friends,” or “I feel bad I threw your T-shirt out…I assumed it was a dish rag”—these are straightforward ways of communicating with a date or partner without hurting someone’s feelings. They’re also a way to express what you need and want to be happy within a relationship, rather than keeping quiet and gambling that you get it. (Remember: People can’t read minds, but we can read iPhone screens!)

My advice? Text how you feel and what you think. But also ask the person you’re writing to do the same thing. And, ultimately, between you both, try to use as many “we”s in your writing as you do “I”s. Really, two “I”s can become a “we” if you set your spellcheck up that way.

Big love and positive typing,

Amy Signature 4

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