Texting relationships seem to be the new ‘in thing’ because they provide immense flexibility and comfort. But is it possible to just text and have a full-blown romantic relationship? And what is a text-only relationship anyway?
A texting relationship is called a textationship. Such relationships restrict communication to texts, making them highly vulnerable to misinterpretations. You never call or meet in person. You may bond well initially, but the lack of verbal and physical contact can push things towards a dead end.
If the idea of a solely text-based romantic liaison intrigues you, then this article is for you. Not only we will discuss its core features, but also talk about how to start and end one!
Features Of A Textual Relationship (Textationship)
A textual relationship is entirely virtual without voice or video calls. Quick and easy communication combined with minimal efforts initially make it look like a piece of cake. But the lack of any physical intimacy will make it monotonous and even kill the relationship gradually.
According to the dissertation Textationships: An Exploratory Qualitative Study of Intimate Text-Based Relationships,
Within-case analyses revealed that the participants achieved high levels of intimacy and interdependence in their Textationships. Between-case themes included avoidance, secrecy, investment, interdependence, online disinhibition and issues of distance.J. A. Smith, 2021, Textationships: An Exploratory Qualitative Study of Intimate Text-Based Relationships, Kansas State University.
As unique and exciting as it may sound, it is essential to read the below-mentioned features before diving into a relationship of this kind.
1. No Calls And Face To Face Meetups
In a textual relationship, you only connect with the person through texts.
You never call or meet the person face to face but choose to express your thoughts or feelings via texting.
You both talk about your days, get to know every detail about each other, and sometimes try to give emotional support, all through text messages only.
You may be able to make a real deep connection for a while, but as you spend more time texting each other, the conversations begin to feel superficial pretty quickly.
2. Flexibility Of Making Minimal Efforts
When everything is just a click away without putting in too much effort, why put effort into making connections and finding love, right?
Texting is an essential aspect of every romantic relationship, i.e., it’s a part, not the whole identity of the relationship.
When it comes to textual relationships, efforts become minimal as you do not need to plan dates, spend money, show up, take a shower to meet the person.
Further, you are able to skip the most dreaded, initial in-person awkwardness.
Most people who want a text-only relationship are the ones who are fairly reclusive, might not have the time, or are uncomfortable around people, but still want someone close to share their feelings with virtually.
3. Largely Based On Imagination
When you meet someone in person or talk over the phone, you gather a lot of information based on their expressions, looks, or maybe the way they talk, which is missing in the case of text-only relationships.
Talking over texts becomes more like reading a book where character development is primarily based on your imagination.
They tell you their stories through text messages, but it’s actually your imagination that adds life and colors.
Your text buddy creates an outline, but you are the one who creates the actual scene.
If you’re able to meet the person someday, you might be very disappointed due to their voice, habits, looks, and all those things that texts hide from you.
4. No Actual Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is crucial for any relationship as it can be a complete game-changer. The lack of it usually hurts more than the excess of it.
In a text-only relationship, intimacy is limited only to words. You can have hot and steamy conversations regularly, but you never actually get to touch each other.
This might seem okay initially, but it makes you feel lonely over time as you do not get to experience intimate physical moments with your partner.
The most you can do is talk dirty, which is not always satisfying and can never replace the experience of human touch.
5. Ability To Give The Best Possible Response
Texting definitely takes off the pressure of quick thinking, so you get enough time to craft your response perfectly.
Having the freedom and time to think, you can present a better or socially acceptable response that doesn’t make you look like a creep.
Texting allows you to present the best version of yourself as you can fine-tune your responses and curate your replies based on what the internet has to offer.
Sometimes you can even seek help from a friend about what to say.
Moreover, you can respond to the texts whenever you want, or sometimes you can choose not to respond at all.
How To Start A Text Only Relationship?
To start a text-only relationship, initiate sending flirty texts without fearing rejection. Developing textationships demands consistency, authenticity, and effective communication. Do not assume that the other person might not be up for it. Use wit and humor to ease the tension on both sides.
Starting a text-only relationship can be tricky, but the below-mentioned points will help you begin with confidence and reduce the chances of failure to a great extent.
1. Be The First One To Text
First texts are always hard to send, but if you have decided to go for a text-only relationship, then don’t hesitate to send one out.
It is very important to reach out soon before the person on the other end assumes you are not interested.
If they have already given you their number, there are high chances of mutual attraction, so do not stress over the possibility of rejection and at least try.
Try avoiding initiating at odd hours, especially at night, if you’re just starting out. Why?
The person on the other end might feel that you are just looking for some quick no strings attached fun.
2. Your Texts Don’t Need To Be Special
Do not overthink your texts or assume that you need to send something special if you are looking for a textationship.
Begin like you would have if you wanted to go on dates and enter a relationship the conventional way.
A simple hi with a funny observation or a question works better than the perfectly crafted text that you are never able to send out.
It is much later down the line that you’ll need to break it to the other person about how you only see them as a text partner.
Only then you would need to deal with things like your crush being onboard with the idea or not being interested in a virtual relationship.
3. Make Sure You Both Are On The Same Page
You may not be very fond of talking on the phone and choose texting as the only way of communication to connect throughout the relationship, but do understand that not everyone’s the same.
Texting is a powerful way to flirt, but people often use it almost like an appetizer in relationships to build a connection until they land the first date or switch to phone calls.
Being upfront early on gives another person more clarity about your intentions and boosts your chance of making deep and long-lasting connections.
4. Text Consistently, Not Obsessively
When it comes to the early stages of a relationship, the frequency of texts matters, especially when you are going for a textationship.
To start a textual relationship, you need to stay in touch regularly. If you don’t, it will be hard to develop a connection.
Once you have a definite and predictable frequency, try to keep that up and do not deviate much.
Breaking the flow can lead to awkwardness and signal disinterest. But too much texting can destroy your chances too.
While consistent communication is important, texting like an obsessive lover might scare your crush away.
Observe their pattern of response and text accordingly. Else, it may seem you have nothing going on in your life, and you will look needy and desperate.
5. Be Descriptive With Your Texts
Without seeing the other person’s facial expressions or hearing their tone of voice, it can be hard to know someone solely through texts.
Use descriptive texts as an opportunity to break the barriers and let them know what kind of person you are.
Also, get to know your crush in-depth, which means going beyond talking just about their hobbies or favorite stuff.
Their views on different topics is a good way to start.
Know their likes and dislikes to keep things interesting and interactive but ensure that the texts don’t feel like an interview.
Describe the colors, textures, smells, thoughts, or feelings within your texts to help them form a better mental image.
With a wide range of GIFs and emojis available, use them to your advantage to convey your emotions more clearly.
If nothing more, they can simply put a smile on your partner’s face.
6. Check Your Compatibility
It is very hard to judge compatibility over texts, which is the building block of every relationship.
In a textual relationship, it’s very important to have satisfactory texting compatibility.
In other words, when both partners approach texting the same way, they make a happier couple.
For your compatibility as a couple, you can always opt for some interesting and innovative ideas available on the internet.
You can find a lot of fun questionnaires online that can be very insightful and can be of great help to know your prospective partner.
7. Avoid Texting Habits That Increase The Chances Of Miscommunication
Texts are often misinterpreted and can come out differently to the reader than how the sender intended them to be.
This can completely change the direction of a budding relationship and make everything go haywire.
Figuring out ways to communicate effectively plays a crucial role while trying to start a text-only relationship.
Be mindful of the texts you send to avoid small misunderstandings. Even minute details like how long you take to respond to the text can make or break the deal.
If you are busy and can’t reply within 5-10 minutes, let your partner know that you’re busy with something else, so they know what’s exactly going on at your end.
It’s essential to do so, so that your partner does not unnecessarily read between the lines and takes your late replies as a sign of disinterest and disrespect.
8. Put Your Best Foot Forward But Be Authentic
Sometimes, we tend to show our social media personality to impress the other person, which might be appealing but definitely not real.
Developing a connection over texts gives you a lot of time to frame the perfect replies.
Pretending to be someone you’re not might help you in the short run to look cool and funny.
But that behavior is not sustainable since your texts will become boring and unfunny if that’s your real nature.
If you want to start a healthy long-term textual relationship where your partner doesn’t feel as if they are texting a completely different person, you should be authentic even while putting your best foot forward.
How To End A Text Only Relationship?
To end a text-only relationship, find an appropriate time and explain why you are not interested anymore. Keeping your approach honest and mindful saves you a lot of time and energy. However, being direct doesn’t mean being hurtful and rude. End things courteously to move on peacefully.
Here are some ways to end things on text with someone you are in a dead-end texting relationship with.
Just avoid being too rude and try to honorably part ways in whichever way you find convenient.
1. Be Honest And Direct With Your Breakup Text
Even though you have had a virtual relationship, it is not always easy to end things with someone you have frequently talked to.
However, being honest and direct is the best way to end any relationship.
It becomes easier when it comes to a text-only relationship as you never have to actually face the person.
Given that you can skip the most difficult and awkward part of breaking up, try to be honest and unfiltered about your feelings.
Don’t let them hang in there wondering what went wrong, and tell them the exact reason without being too harsh.
2. Stay Mindful And Say Goodbye Maturely
It is always suggested to end any relationship on a good note so that you can move on with your life peacefully.
While you are ending a text-only relationship, try to compose a proper goodbye message and make sure you double-check it. Why?
To avoid any misunderstanding that can complicate or escalate the matter unnecessarily.
Remember, whenever you tell someone a bitter truth, always be careful with your words, even when hiding behind a screen.
3. Keep It Fairly Short
Whenever you decide to end your textual relationship avoid beating around the bush and just say what’s on your mind.
No one enjoys an essay detailing all the reasons why you don’t want to date them anymore, so do your partner a favor and stick to the point.
Crossing the unnecessary items off the list will ensure that your message goes out clearly without any confusion, and you don’t get stuck in a spiral of text exchanges.
Don’t make it any more painful than it has to be. Just rip off the bandaid and get over with it.
4. Your Timing Matters
When you are ending things, you have to be very careful about how and when you do it.
Know beforehand where the person is before dropping the bomb.
Reading a breakup text while driving, walking, or attending a meeting will not provide the person a conducive environment to process their thoughts.
Prefer sending the final breakup text or conversation starter at night and that too when you are sure that the person is within the comfort of their home.
The longer the breakup conversation lasts, the more anxious or agitated you might feel.
So, it’s better to begin when you have a fair idea that the person can respond quickly.
Try giving them a little heads up or ask them to ping whenever they are free.
5. Try Pulling Off A Slow Fade
A slow fade is when someone gradually ends communication with a person they have been dating or talking to.
If your interest in your textual relationship has started waning, the most convenient but somewhat unethical way is to pull a slow fade.
Start backing away bit by bit, making your responses cold and distant to display a lack of interest.
One-word replies are perfect for letting the other person know you are not up for a conversation.
No matter how easy and convenient this non-confrontational fade is, avoid using it even if it is for your text-only relationship.
It can deeply hurt the other person and leave them doubting themselves.
6. Stop Responding Completely
The moment you realize that a text-only relationship isn’t as fun as you thought it would be and decide to end it, you would want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
The fastest way to cut off all connections with someone is to stop responding to them at all.
Sure, it is technically ghosting, but if you are no longer interested in the person, there’s no point in investing your time or energy anymore.
To avoid any contact in the future, you may block the person on social media too.
But before you decide to ghost them, think about the time they have made you smile by sharing funny stories, experiences, and exchanging cute emojis.
Ghosting is harsh and cruel and can leave your partner scarred forever.
If your partner ever meant something to you, take the difficult but more mature road of clear communication.
A textual relationship is the result of a growing virtual world where we want everything easily with minimal effort.
Considering that texting will be the only mode of communication, it becomes very difficult to establish meaningful connections as people ultimately want to switch to phone calls or meet in person.
Moreover, texting doesn’t allow much room for a relationship to grow more serious, and it ultimately comes to a dead-end.
Do you think you can actually make deep and meaningful romantic relations without seeing each other in person?