A little sexting in a relationship can keep things spicy, especially when it comes to long distance courtship. But, if you don’t play your cards right, those very same texts can backfire and bring your relationship down with it. There is, according to research, such thing as too much virtual dirty talk.
“Hyper-sexters,” as they’re called, are the worst offenders. And while they may be the most sexually satisfied, according to a new study from the University of Alberta, the romantic relationships of these horny texters suffer in other ways.
Researchers surveyed 615 Canadian and American adults, all in relationships, about their sexting habits. The analyses revealed 4 distinct groups of sexters: non-sexters (71.5 percent), word-only sexters (14.5 percent), frequent sexters (8.5 percent), and hyper sexters (5.5 percent). Researchers then compared these groups on several factors that would indicate well-being and technology-related behaviors.
According to the study:
Frequent and hyper sexters reported greater sexual satisfaction but were not significantly different from non-sexters or word-only sexters in relationship satisfaction. Further, frequent and hyper sexters scored more poorly on other relationship variables (i.e., attachment security, commitment, ambivalence, and conflict) than non-sexters or word-only sexters and showed greater media and pornography viewing, technoference in face-to-face interactions with their partner, and infidelity-related behaviors on social media.
The study’s lead authoer, Adam Galovan, said sexting doesn’t seem to be a feature of a healthy relationship,” and that “My interpretation is that the sexters are focusing more on the sexual part of their relationship and may be neglecting other areas.”
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In other words, using a removed form of communication to replace actual face-to-face interaction isn’t exactly a recipe for a healthy, nurturing relationship.
These folks want to get to the end goal — a good relationship — without doing the hard work of talking, listening, and spending quality time together. It’s the instant gratification culture — we want it now. But it’s what you do to get to that goal that actually defines a good relationship.
According to Business Insider, previous research has found sexting is quite prolific in society, “with 58 percent of college students admitting they’ve sent at least one sext, and 62 percent saying they’ve received one.” And what could be a red flag for both partners, men were more likely to sext with a casual partner, while women preferred to do it with someone they were exclusive with.
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If you’re in a healthy relationship where trust has been established, go forth and sext. But just make sure to give just as much attention to all the other aspects of your relationship. Sexting can’t replace the heartfelt stuff.