These days, couples are in constant communication. Whether it’s by email, text, video chat, or instant message, technology helps us to stay together even when we’re apart. But just because we’re communicating more often does not necessarily mean we’re communicating better. Texting opens the door for serious miscommunications in your relationship, which can lead to unnecessary arguments. Here are a few tips to avoid miscommunication in your texts.
Add An Emoticon
Take a look at these two messages:
See you later.
See you later
The words haven’t changed, but the tone is completely different. While they may seem silly, emoticons add significance to your texts, and can instantly clarify the message you’re trying to get across. When we’re communicating with our significant others face-to-face, we rely on cues like tone of voice, body language, and eye contact to determine their tone. It’s easy to tell if they’re upset, anxious, or happy. In texting, however, it’s not so easy. An off-hand remark can be misinterpreted as something more sinister, and before you know it, you’re not only not texting, you’re not talking! Add a quick smiley face or heart to let them know everything’s okay.
Stay Away from One-Word Answers
Yep. K. No.
Receiving a one-word answer like this is like texting to a wall. Not only is it a major texting faux pas, but it’s doomsday for good relationship communication. These seemingly innocent letters are conversation killers – they can be interpreted in endless ways, not one of them good. One-word answers are infuriating because it makes it seem like you can’t be bothered to write your partner a real response. A few extra words may not seem like a big deal, but they can save your relationship.
As much as our S.O.’s understand a lot about us, they cannot read our minds. And we can’t read theirs! This rule works both ways. If you read an unclear text from your partner, don’t automatically assume it’s something negative. Give them the benefit of the doubt! Maybe they were in a rush, distracted, or just aren’t expressing themselves clearly.
On the flip side, don’t assume that your partner understands what you’re trying to say. While your text might seem perfectly clear to you, it might not be to them. Take the extra time to review a message before you hit “send” to make sure it’s clear. And if your partner keeps misinterpreting what you’re saying, realize that the problem might be on your end.
Don’t Make Them Wait
Unless you’re legitimately away from your phone or unable to respond, if you see a text message come in from you S.O., acknowledge you received it as soon as you can. Not only is this good manners, but it’s also good communication. There’s nothing worse than having to wait hours for a response to your text: Why isn’t he answering? Is she mad at me? Is he okay? It’s all too easy to start spinning when faced with a silent phone. Don’t put them through it.
Know When to Call
Texting is more convenient, but if you start to sense that your S.O. is simply not understanding what you’re trying to convey via text, a quick phone call can instantly clear up the miscommunication. As well, it’s always nice to hear your partner’s voice unexpectedly during the day!
Also, if you want to bring up something important or sensitive, sometimes it’s best not to text at all. Put together a thoughtful email, pick up the phone, or wait until you see each other and talk in person. It might take a bit more patience, but it will definitely be worth it for your relationship. Save the texts for the simple things, like checking in, saying you love them, or reminding them to pick up milk.