Communication is key to a solid relationship, but does it matter how it takes place? While sharing your thoughts and emotions with your partner via text message may be better than not expressing them at all, many relationship experts and therapists make the case that serious arguments are best left for face-to-face discussions.
But what if you and your partner have gotten to the point of only hashing things out via text? If this is a habit you’d like to curb, here are some ways to break that cycle.
Is arguing via text always bad for a relationship?
Really, it depends. Every relationship is different, as are the circumstances that prompted the argument. On the one hand, arguing via text can have its benefits, like giving each person a chance to cool down and gather their thoughts before responding.
But generally speaking, a lot can be lost in translation when communicated via text—like facial expressions and tone—and that’s before even getting into the complexities of punctuation.
How to stop fighting with your partner via text
If you and your partner argue exclusively via text, and you’d like to change that, here are some strategies for breaking that cycle:
Send a text setting a boundary
The next time you notice that a text conversation is turning combative, respond to your partner (by text) saying that you’d rather discuss this face-to-face.
Not sure how to do that? Here’s a sample text you can use that relationship expert and matchmaker Jasbina Ahluwalia shared with Elite Daily:
“Thanks for your text. I think I can better understand your point of view, and share mine, by talking this out in person. When can you do that? Love you.’”
Respond with a phone call
Or, once it becomes apparent that you’re on the brink of a text fight, stop responding via text, and call your partner instead to let them know that you’d prefer to continue the conversation in person (or over the phone, if that’s working).
Schedule regular times to chat
Instead of turning to texting when something is bothering you, schedule a regular chat with your partner—even if you don’t have a specific concern to discuss. This way, you’ll get into the habit of clearing the air when something does come up, and you can avoid the anxiety that comes with receiving (or sending) a “we need to talk” text out of the blue.