A woman in a healthy relationship smiling and talking on the phone.

These days, texting is more popular than ever—and not just among tech-savvy Millennials. According to a Pew Institute Study, texting exploded from 14 billion in 2000 to 188 billion in 2010. And, as referenced in Time Magazine, “that trend shows no signs of abating.” You can’t deny it—firing off a text on the go is easier than finding time and a quiet place to make a call.

But, despite the convenience, there is a hidden cost of texting: We lose an opportunity to connect to partners on a deeper level.

Technology is supposed to bring us together, but it eliminates the most common way we communicate–through non-verbal cues. Nearly 90 percent of every message is expressed through body position, facial expression, tone of voice, and verbal inflections. So, next time you want to express your emotions, remember: it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it that counts.

Case in point: “I can’t believe we’ve lasted this long.”

Does this message convey exasperation? Or, did you read something romantic? Instead of giving your significant other room to guess, you should just pick up the phone.

Exclusively texting can also stunt the growth of your relationship. Conversation teaches you to talk, pause, and reflect. When you text, however, you miss opportunities to express emotional depth. A “thank you” text will never convey the warmth and sincerity of spoken appreciation.

Even if talking on the phone isn’t your style, your relationship could benefit from doing so.

  • Studies have shown that we can hear people smile without seeing their face. You’ll be able to sense how happy your partner is to hear from you.
  • Researchers concluded that the sound of a loved one’s voice can be just as comforting as physical contact.
  • Calling shows a willingness to give your focus and time to someone else. Unlike texting, calling forces you to focus on the conversation in real-time. In our fast-paced world, your partner will appreciate your undivided attention.

You might not pick up the phone often, but you should. Adding depth and context to your daily communication will help keep your relationship strong and connected.


Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.