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How Often Should You Text In A New Relationship?

Experts say there are no hard and fast rules about digital communication and dating, but should there be?

Even some guidelines could be good. How often do you text someone when you're just starting a new relationship? Is once an hour too often (asking for a friend)? If he doesn't text back in 10 minutes is it because he's seeing someone else?

There is no question that it's a hard thing to navigate, the whole texting and dating scenario. What games should you play -- should you wait 15 minutes to text someone back to prove that you're not sitting gazing at your phone waiting for them to message you? What GIFs are appropriate? Emojis? What happens if your version of time between texts vs length of relationship is different to the person you're dating? Can you text too much too fast?

WHY IS IT SUCH A MINEFIELD?

According to a study published last year in Computers in Human Behavior, compatibility with your romantic partner is one thing, but it's also texting compatibility that's important.

The study examined at a sample of over 200 18- to 29-year-old adults, surveying them about their relationship status, habits, and satisfaction. What they found was simple really -- that similar texting habits mean you're better suited.

Firstly, if you text similarly often, and in similar amounts, then happy days.

As well as that, said the study, you need to initiate conversations equally -- in other words, if you have texted someone to start a conversation five times and he hasn't begun a chat at all, then that could be a potential red flag. If you're doing it a similar amount, then you're possibly on to a good thing.

And lastly, found the study, texting without having something to actually say -- "is actually a good sign of relationship satisfaction,” say the researchers. It can mean you're comfortable and just want to keep that connection going.

As for us at 10 daily, we're split on the subject pf how and when to text first up.

"In the early days of a relationship texting should be moderate." said one writer. "Less is more -- you don't want to freak your sweetheart out by a barrage of texts. Also, they likely don't care that you've "just finished work! ;)" -- you're not married. Cool it."

"I can't help myself texting  -- and I wait very over-eagerly for a reply even to my boring texts about what I had for dinner. So it can spiral quickly!" said another.

According to Lysn COO and Head of Clinical Tahnee Schulz, whichever side of the texting fence you fall on, you just need to tread carefully and don't, ahem, read too much into texts either way at the beginning.

"There are no rules when it comes to new relationships -- each one is different, it’s just about picking up on the other person’s social cues," she told 10 daily. "The beginning of the relationship is a great time to get to learn each other’s nuances and set the pace."

Crucially, she said, we need to remember that not all relationships are the same. And not everyone has the same relationship with their phone, either.

"Remember we all have a different past with different learnt expectations," she told 10 daily. "If you are concerned about how much to text, then let them take the lead for a bit. You might notice they are asking a lot of questions or texting often, which could mean they are open to a lot of texting. However, if you are the one texting and not getting full responses or perhaps they’re not asking you questions back etc, then you might be texting them too often for their liking."

"Don’t judge the number of text messages to 
represent how much they like you. Look at
the overall picture. Actions speak louder than
words."

So how do you discuss it if you do want to redress the SMS balance? If you're a chronic over-texter and your new love prefers to  -- gasp! -- call, for example?

"Perhaps it can be a light-hearted conversation that you have where you explain that you like to text a lot and ask how they feel about texting," suggested Schulz. "Some people prefer phone calls or face to face contact over texting, so why not find out what they prefer. In saying that, for the sake of the health of the relationship, it’s important not to bombard each other with texts or make it your primary form of communication."

Feature image: Getty