Imagine a message saying “hello, I miss you” or “how is your day?” represents a simple gesture that enriches our emotional relationship. However, the symbiosis between Whatsapp and couples and the dependence on this blue double check can sometimes lead us to extreme situations, to dynamics of absolute control, to disputes based on misunderstandings that can end in ruptures.
A recent study published in the journal Computers in human behavior reveals how much our relationships have changed. A survey was carried out among the population of the United States, with people between 18 and 45 years old. The goal was to understand the importance of instant messaging services in their daily lives, especially in the relationship with their partner. The result was more than convincing: the use of Whatsapp was essential for this relationship and was a barometer to know the quality of the latter.
Texting is an essential form of communication for many of us. We use this means at the family, professional level, with friends and with our boyfriend. The immediacy of the response and the closeness provided strengthen the relationships that are still in the love at first sight phase. However, things seem to get complicated when we sharpen that bond and reach the cohabitation or consolidation phase.
Whatsapp and couples: how does it affect us?
Texting is delicately intimate and distant at the same time. They strengthen the relationship, give us a surge of tenderness when we need it most, and enrich the bond with the person we love. So we can’t erase its magic, extinguish its charm, or criticize its usefulness, because it does. However, this is where the inevitable “but” happens. One thing more and more is being noticed by couples therapists: this combination between WhatsApp and the couple is often a double-edged sword.
Many problems or conflicts are the direct result of this hyper-connectivity in which we are immersed. Couriers have a curious characteristic: whether we believe it or not, they represent a mirror that reflects our true personality. Our fears and obsessions are channeled there. Just like our ability to respect or not the person and our emotional maturity.
To better understand this point, we need to think about all these ways that Whatsapp affects our relationship as a couple.
How Whatsapp comes into our relationship
Constant contact: we can start our relationship by sending each other messages every half hour. But it is likely that maintaining this flow of communication will quickly become impossible. The moment this happens, one of the two members will start to have suspicion, fear or wonder if something is wrong.
Our resistance is put to the test: this symbiosis between Whatsapp and our couple is always tested with the famous blue double check. Leaving a message as read and not responding arouses suspicion. Sending a message at 6:00 p.m. and not seeing a double check at 6:15 p.m. generates frustration and anger in many people.
Who is he / she online with? Seeing that our partner is online with someone else leads to situations that are as incredible as they are conflicting. Some people stop being productive at work because they watch the instant their spouse logs on.
Whatsapp is not a good system for effective communication: despite everything we can think of, this mechanism usually gives rise to constant misunderstandings. It doesn’t happen as often when we’re face to face. Direct contact allows you to decipher non-verbal and emotional communication, which is basic in any couple relationship.
Passive-aggressive behaviors: many studies underline this point: the use of Whatsapp is an ideal way to reveal these passive-aggressive behaviors allowing to manipulate the other and to arrive at situations as painful as immature (and little assertive).
When we carry our love in our pocket
Just because we have a laptop or a computer does not mean that we are able to use it well. Whatsapp is not an easy to manage messaging service. Not when the messages move through a channel that we don’t control all the time: that of the emotions. We carry our spouse in the pocket. The love of the 21st century is portable and we don’t always put it to good use.
The fault does not lie with new technologies or constant progress. We ourselves are guilty, we the people who do not move in tune with these wonderful resources. Resources that ultimately exist to make our lives easier. In the news, the WhatsApp-couple combination once again highlights our insecurities, our immature and obscure voids. Those who make us doubt each other and turn jealousy into a weapon of mass destruction through texts, voicemails and emoticons.
Let’s avoid these situations. Let us educate our young people, make this resource an enriching mechanism for our relationships, but starting from ourselves. By working on our emotions, our trust in others. By understanding that the real communication, the most satisfactory, is that which is done through the eyes and not a double blue check.