An active sexting life may seem like a sign your relationship is headed in the right direction, but new research suggests the opposite.
According to researchers at the University of Alberta, who studied the effects of sexting on the relationships of 615 people, there are some surprising consequences of hitting send on that sexy picture.
Researchers found that sending the “what are you wearing?” text can add some spice to your relationship, and people who regularly sext their partner have greater sexual satisfaction compared to those that don’t sext.
However, the research also revealed regular sexting can raise some red flags in a relationship.
According to the study, in addition to having a higher degree of couple conflict, sexters also reported feeling insecure in their relationship and displayed lower levels of commitment.
And frequent and hyper-sexters were overall far less satisfied with other aspects of their relationships.
According to Adam Galovan, a family scientist and the lead author of the study, this may be because “the sexters are focusing more on the sexual part of their relationship and may be neglecting other areas.”
Unsurprisingly, the research also found that the sexters reported a high degree of “technology interference” in their relationships - meaning time with their partner was spent on the phone.
This dependence on technology may be part of the problem - rather than putting work into the relationship by bonding, talking, and interacting in person, the sexters simply rely on phones and sexting as a primary means of communication.
According to Galovan, this precedence on technology over interaction is the issue. He said: “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.”
Galovan believes this is because we live in a culture of instant gratification - where we want everything now.
As for his solution to the sexting-mania? Galovan said: “They need to put the phone down and have a good old-fashioned conversation - spend some time together nurturing the relationship - instead of shortcutting with sexting to try to get a quality relationship.”
So the next time you want to bond with your partner, put down the phone and head to the bedroom.