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The new United States research reveals some of the ways that texting, as well as sexting, can bring couples closer together, but there may be a downside to these more recent forms of communication as well, which can lead us to feel more remote from partners and others.
The research carried out by investigators at Pace University and Purdue University Fort Wayne, included a series of studies looking at different ways texting can impact our relationships.
First Study Findings
The researchers surveyed about 205 adults in the first study in romantic relationships between the ages of 18 and 29 regarding their texting habits and relationship satisfaction.
They found that participants who described their partner as having an akin texting style to themselves reported greater relationship satisfaction. It did not appear to matter whether the messages sent were loving or complaints about trouble in the relationship, as couples were in sync about the kind of texts they sent to each other.
Second Study Findings
Although the second study also found that texting can bring people closer, it as well revealed that it drives people isolated, depending on what motivates people to text.
Here the researchers surveyed 982 adults between the ages of 18 to 29, determining that likewise texting each other for applicable reasons, people also text to flight their existing situation, since they are bored, or because they opt to express themselves through text than talking on the phone or personally.
"We text to check in with our spouse during the work day and to stay connected with friends far away, but we also text to avoid dealing with relatives at the family party and to break up with someone," said Leora Trub, Ph.D., of Pace University.
"Texting can become a crutch and eventually become a barrier to creating meaningful interactions," added Trub. "Texting all the time can also come from being lonely or bored, and that can lead to isolation and alienation."
Third Study Findings
The third study focused on sexting, surveying 615 adults who were in committed relationships. The team found that the bulk of participants did not sext with their partner, and although non-sexters were just as blissful in their relationship as people who did sext, sexters did report more sexual satisfaction than the non-sexters.
There was, however, a drawback to sexting: The researchers found that people who sexted several times a week, and those who sexted regularly or multiple times per day, were more probable to experience conflict and mixed feelings in their relationships, more likely to use social media to engage in behaviors linked to infidelity, and more probable to view more pornography.
"Sexting may help couples with intimacy and to spice things up, but we definitely did see the negative side of too much of a good thing," said co-author Michelle Drouin, Ph.D.
The findings were presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association, which runs August 9-12 in San Francisco.