Human relationships didn’t include texting for most of history. Communication in relationships used to mean that you had to physically be with the person to whom you were communicating. Eventually, there were letters that could also be shared via snail mail. But there was no way to have instant communication with people far away – until the advent of email, the internet, social media, and texting.
Technology has helped us in many ways to be more connected with others. But sometimes, when we get things out of balance, all of this ability to constantly communicate in a “stream of consciousness” kind of way can actually hurt the intimacy we long for in our relationships. We humans need some down time. We need some time to ourselves. We need time alone with God to just be still. We need time to have quiet around us so that we can better hear God’s voice. We need time to get things done and to do things we are interested in that we can then share in our relationships later when we do reconnect. But if we are always connected 24/7 and expected to respond within a few seconds to every text and text messages are happening dozens of times per day – sometimes it is too much.
When we have too much connection, we can create a situation where there is nothing new to discover about each other. There is no mystery left. And we begin to grate more on each other’s nerves – kind of like brothers and sisters do. That happens because they are often together constantly – and too much togetherness without enough time to recharge and reconnect with God – can sometimes bring out the worst in our sinful nature.
When It May Be Time to Slow Down on the Texting (in a romantic relationship or with anyone) to Create More Balance:
- When he says he needs more space
- When you feel like you need more space
- When you are starting to annoy each other
- When there are frequent misunderstandings
- When the texting is so frequent that you really don’t have much time to be alone with God or to tend any other relationships
- When the texting is interfering with your job and other responsibilities
- When you realize you are idolizing that person
- When you notice you are texting out of fear, desperation, and insecurity
Sometimes, a bit of healthy space can actually increase emotional intimacy. If we don’t have enough space in our relationships, we tend to become very clingy, needy, enmeshed, and codependent. The only One we can safely be completely connected to 24/7 is Jesus. Other people need a bit of space. So let’s cling to Christ alone and find our contentment, security, purpose, peace, identity, and fulfillment in Him alone – then we will come into our other relationships already filled to overflowing with Him and then we will be much better equipped to be a blessing to others.
I hope to do a post in the next few weeks about when we need more space in a relationship.
What are your thoughts on how texting can impact emotional intimacy in a relationship? How has you seen it be helpful? How have you seen it be problematic? How have you found a healthy balance?
Much love to each of you!
Check out our visit to the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter in Kentucky this summer!
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