Sorry, But Sexting Is Probably Making Your Relationship Worse, Not Better

According to a new study, sexting might actually be causing the problems in your relationship, not fixing them. Here are a few reasons why you might want to hesitate before sending that suggestive message or photo.

  1. It puts too much focus on the sexual aspect of the relationship. Sex is an incredibly important part of any couple’s life but it isn’t the only thing that should be maintained. Emotional and intellectual chemistry must also be kept fresh if the partnership is going to be healthy, and when most of your conversations revolve around sex, other parts of the relationship can suffer. Having amazing sexual banter is worth celebrating, but not when normal conversations start to feel awkward or worthy of avoiding.
  2. It creates jealousy. A good sexter is pretty irresistible, but at a certain point, it’s hard not to wonder if they’re a little too good. How did they become so damn proficient at this in the first place? And if they’re as obsessed with it as they seem, how could they possibly be satisfied with only one sexting partner? Even if your concerns are completely unfounded, sexting can open a door to all kinds of anxieties about your partner, and for good reason: there are a lot of varying opinions on whether or not it counts as cheating, and that can cause all kinds of issues in a relationship.
  3. It’s really easy to have a misunderstanding and cause hurt feelings. Have you ever had someone text you suggestively when you’re just not able to respond enthusiastically because you’re on the train or in a meeting or otherwise occupied? It’s just a fact of life that we can’t always be ready to take a sexy selfie or brainstorm some dirty talk, and for the partner trying to initiate something, this could come across as disinterest, or worse, complete rejection even when it has absolutely nothing to do with your amount of desire for them.
  4. Texting and reality are not the same. Sexting is not always indicative of a person’s sex drive or preferences. Sometimes people will go way farther with their sexting than they’d ever want to go in person, and this can create some confusion and conflict when the two of you actually have sex. Saying yes to something while sexting is not the same thing as consenting in person.
  5. It creates unrealistic expectations. Sexting is like social media: people tend to talk themselves up shamelessly and leave out the less than perfect stuff. A guy can say all he wants about what he’s good at or what he’s done, but eventually, the two of you will find yourselves naked in the same room without the safety of a screen to separate you from reality. In that moment, whatever exaggerations one or both of you made while sexting is going to be painfully obvious.
  6. It’s harder to recognize coercion through a screen than it is in person. Having a guy you like ask you to send nudes while telling you how hard he is can be a nightmare scenario. On the one hand, you’re really into him and know you’re hot as hell, but on the other hand, you might not feel comfortable sending explicit photos of yourself to him. This is an unfair position to put someone in, male or female. Sexting requires as much consent as sex, but because nonverbal cues are impossible to pick up on when you’re communicating through a screen, it’s very easy to feel violated or bully someone without intending to.
  7. Technology ends up interfering in other parts of the relationship. According to the study mentioned above, couples who have an active sexting life tend to spend more time on technology in all aspects of life, including at the dinner table and during one on one conversations. Needless to say, using your smartphone constantly while hanging out with your partner can cause a lot of issues and make them feel neglected and angry.
  8. It fuels your need for instant gratification. Let’s face it, sexting is pretty results oriented. It gets you where you need to be with just a few quick words on a screen. But not everything has a quick fix. If you start to treat your relationship the way you treat sexting, you’ll find yourself pretty miserable and unable to cope with real life. Sometimes there’s no shortcut to things. Sometimes you just have to sit down, do the work, and hash things out. It’ll take time.
  9. Sexting chemistry has nothing to do with sexual chemistry. If you’ve ever tried sexting a guy you’ve never met in person and the chemistry seems to be smoking, chances are you just assumed that that same level of steaminess would be there when you finally met face to face. But if you’re like the majority of pre-dating sexters, it wasn’t. In fact, it was probably kind of disappointing, like most dates that begin online. Some relationships are best left unconsummated, even the sexual ones.
  10. It makes it harder to settle issues in person. When part of your relationship translates perfectly from texting into real life, it can be tempting to try this with other aspects of the partnership as well. But while you might be able to reach sexual satisfaction through your phone, the same cannot be said for the more serious things, like arguments or genuine conversations. The more you use phones to communicate in your relationship, the harder it will be to resolve issues that can only be solved in person.
Rose Nolan is a writer and editor from Austin, TX who focuses on all things female and fabulous. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Surrey and a Master's Degree in Law from the University of Law. She’s been writing professional since 2015 and, in addition to her work for Bolde, she’s also written for Ranker and Mashed. She's published articles on topics ranging from travel, higher education, women's lifestyle, law, food, celebrities, and more.