What is a "Text-Lationship" (Texting Relationship)?

Paul  Hokemeyer, PhD
Marriage & Family Therapy

As cell phone use has increased over the last 15 years, the way we communicate in relationships has undergone dramatic changes. Texting might be the most prevalent use of new technology in how we communicate with friends, family, spouses, dates etc. Studies have shown 40% of people in the US say that texting plays a part in their relationship.

A "Text-lationship" is a relationship that is entirely over text. This may be between a mother and daughter who is away at college, an old friend that you have a hard time seeing, but most worrisome is a text-lationship in early dating, when the couple still has a lot to learn about each other. It's easy to create the fantasy of the person you want to be. Without meeting in person, you don't have social cues, interaction, or access to your intuition, which tells you if you think the person might be lying about who they are.

It's easy to hide behind the device, however, the basis of a good relationship (dating or otherwise) is intimacy, knowing what's going on in a person's life. Texting back and forth gives you a flavor but not the whole meal. While texting can certainly play a healthy role in a relationship, you need access to all of your senses, including intuition, to really have an understanding the other person.

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