As Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna fought constantly before the birth of their daughter Dream last month, they didn’t hash out their grievances face to face. According to Rob’s big sister Kim, “he texted her crazy things all night long.” And Chyna responded by texting back just as hard, which led to awkward separate entrances at their baby shower this past October- and the couple living apart for a period of time.
It’s not a big surprise that texting has become a normal form of communication, even for fits of anger. “The younger generation, they find this totally acceptable,” says Susan Trombetti, a relationship expert and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking. “Especially for a guy, the phone is connected to his hand, which goes straight to his brain. That’s why they are saying whatever comes out of their minds, and half the time texting pics of their junk.”
While millennials may feel that texting is a norm when coupling, it can lead to some major miscommunication that can derail even the best of intentions.
Penny, 28, had been seeing a new guy for a couple of weeks. They had another date planned one evening where they would get together after he finished work. She was getting ready in the bathroom and didn’t hear her phone ping when his text came in 30 minutes earlier than expected. When she finally saw it and texted him back – she wasn’t prepared for the messages she received in response.
“He accused me of blowing him off on purpose, even though we had been making plans all day,” shares the Hoboken, N.J. native. She explains how he then went into a tirade about her being selfish because she hadn’t text back right away.
This was after she had called to apologize. “I kept thinking, why didn’t he just call me on the phone when he was done? There would have been no issue.” They stopped seeing each other a couple weeks later.
For some men, ripping you a new one via text is “non-confrontational – it’ so much easier to communicate in CAPS,” explains Susan. But relationships “take real communication, and not via a device.” Being on the phone can’t set the tone of any relationship, especially when it comes to an argument.
So how do you deal with the guy who can’t keep his hands off his keys? Susan suggests you make it clear from the get-go that you won’t have a relationship via text, before you need to break his bad habit. “Tell him, ‘I’m not a texter’.” And if you do find yourself in the middle of a text-frontation, respond honestly, “I’m not going to have this conversation through text, you have to call me.”
If they don’t respect your wishes and can’t communicate face to face, that’s not the relationship for you.
“You’re worth more than the effort than it takes to text,” Susan declares. “And if he’s not knocking at your door or ringing your phone, he’s not interested.”
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