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How excessive texting puts a strain on your relationships

Author: LaGeris Underwood Bell
Published: Feb 12 2014

One of the things you fear the most in a relationship is "another man" or "another woman" taking your spouse or significant other away from you. In recent years, relationships become strained or dissolve not because of another person, but because of texting.

Excessive texting, strain on relationships

Now, you're probably wondering what texting has to do with it. After all, it is just a convenient way of staying in touch with your partner throughout the day. However, research shows that too much of it with men indicates dissatisfaction with their relationship.

Within Relationships

A study conducted by researchers at Brigham Young University found that men who constantly text their "romantic partner" reported lower satisfaction with their relationship. Although it's not clear why, researchers surmised that men who want to disconnect from the relationship replace in-person conversations with using SMS (short message service).

On the other hand, women who frequently use this form of communication said they felt a "higher-quality connection" with their partner. In addition, the report found that texting to express affection enhances the relationship for both men and women.

The study focused on 276 adults, ages 18 to 25 who said they were in serious relationships, engaged or married. The findings were reported in the October 2013 issue of the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy.

When In-Person

Call it being selfish or insecure, but when you're with your spouse or significant other, you want them to actually look at you and talk to you. Too much messaging and not enough talking means your partner easily becomes distracted by someone other than you.

How many times have you gone out and as the conversation gets going, your partner's phone "tings" because of incoming messages? Of course, he or she feels a need to respond to each one. Talking to your partner while he or she is consistently focusing on the phone screen makes you feel as if you no longer take priority in your partner's life. "Who are you texting?" you ask. "Um, my mother." Yeah. Right.

While Driving

People text while driving all of the time. Regardless of the reason, whether it's an attempt at a closer connection with a loved one or a withdrawal response to a relationship, the activity represents a clear distraction from the important act of driving a 2000+ lb. vehicle on the public roadways. Typing on the phone while driving is a serious danger. A Manhattan texting and driving accident lawyer reports that a driver's reaction time is 35 percent slower than when one is legally drunk.

Laws have been enacted which address this issue. The state of New York has banned all drivers (commercial, school bus, and those in passenger vehicles) from using a hand-held mobile phone, sending an email, or a text message while driving.

If caught by the police, first-time offenders receive a traffic ticket, a fine ranging from $50 to $150 and five violation points on their driver's record. The fine increases up to $200 for a second offense within 18 months.

The penalties are more serious--and often fatal--when it causes an accident. Drivers could be charged with felony manslaughter if someone dies as a result of causing a texting-while-driving crash. Sometimes the driver is the victim. In October 2013, police reported that a West Hempstead, NY man died when his car crossed lanes, went off the road, and slammed into a tree. Police said the man had been messaging on his phone when he lost control of the car.

If you think what you have with your partner is "special," then by all means work on making it last as long as you can. However, if your relationship becomes strained, why not take what's considered these days as a "novel approach" by talking to your partner, don't text.

Writer LaGeris Underwood Bell seeks to promote safe driving habits leading to preserved lives. If texting has caused you to get into an accident in New York City, try searching for a Manhattan texting and driving accident lawyer for help. Be aware of what you can do both before and after making that crucial decision with your phone; it may save a life...maybe yours.

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