We know flirting can be tremendously awkward; why not text to make it a bit easier?

In fact, texting usually begins very early in relationships.

Fox and Warber (2013) mapped out the typical sequence for today’s dating relationships: Frustrations with Texting Texting is used early and often in dating relationships, and while it might be easier, it does have downsides: Once texting begins, it might not stop.

In heterosexual relationships, women who text more frequently tend to feel happier in their relationships, and their partners do as well (Schade et al., 2013).

Interestingly, though, the more men text with a partner, the happy they tend to be, the less happy their romantic partners tend to be, and the more their partners tend to report considering breaking-up with them (Schade et al., 2013).

Technology that once supplemented relationship development is now, it seems, taking on a larger role in relationship formation and maintenance.

What is this role, and how healthy is a reliance on technology for the creation and sustainment of romantic relationships?

In the good old days, dating was defined by a series of face-to-face encounters.

People met, they spent time in each other’s company, they got to know each other's friends and family, and they evaluated the quality of their connection and compatibility .

In one sample, over 90 percent reported texting to connect with a partner at least once a day (Schade, Sandberg, Bean, Busby, & Coyne, 2013). Teenagers report an impressively high rate of text-based communications with their boyfriends and girlfriends, with roughly 20 percent of teens who date texting their dating partner 30 times per hour or more during after-school hours or the early or late evening (Teenage Research Unlimited, 2007).