A team of psychologists recently published results of a study which analyzed the texting styles of people in romantic relationships, and they discovered there are 3 categories of texting dynamics. Using the psychological model of attachment theory, the team first gathered data about each couple’s technology-based communication patterns (i.e. how often they communicated with each other using text, phone, email, Internet chat, Skype). They also measured how often the couples communicated face-to-face. They quickly found that while some couples almost never used texting, other couples would send upwards of 500 texts per day which accounted for 90% of their communication in an average day. The biggest take-home lesson came when the researchers found a direct correlation between the highest levels of texting and the lowest levels of satisfaction (i.e. couples who text the most are the least happy together). The following are the 3 types of texting patterns found in couples:
1. SECURE ATTACHMENT STYLE: These people have the healthiest self-image, sense of personal well-being, and exhibited the lowest levels of texting in the study. They are not overly insecure and definitely not overly narcissistic. They are confident enough in themselves to give love and to know they are worthy of being loved in return. They do not require constant reassurance by texting or other forms of communication to assure them they are loved.
2. INSECURE ATTACHMENT STYLE: Highly active texters, these people seek constant reassurance that they are loved. They are consciously and unconsciously plagued by fears of abandonment, and exhibit a compulsive, anxious, and obsessive need to keep their partner as close as possible. Texting provides an endless source of temporary “pain relief” for the anxiety.
3. AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT STYLE: These people are the most uncomfortable with emotional intimacy, and texting (medium-to-high levels) allows them to create the illusion that they are fulfilled in the relationship, while at the same time keeping their distance from their partner and maintaing their precious independence. These people typically seek to be in full control of the relationship, and their “detached texting” style gives them this power. They almost never seek emotional support, and most certainly do not offer it in return.
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