The advent of social messaging apps such as Facebook chat, Snapchat, and WhatsApp has made the world a tiny village. With text, you can comfortably communicate with a loved one a continent away, order grocery or even call an ambulance.
New technology has had such a tremendous impact onour communications that, at present, texts and emails prove to be the biggest communication channels in the world. Given a choice, most people would choose to receive a text rather than answer a phone call.
Unique Challenges in Text Messaging and Relationships
The ramifications of this, however, are that emojis and memes have overtaken honesty, genuineness, and clarity. Face to face communication carries with it the ability to gauge truthfulness based on non-verbal cues such as body language, posture, facial expressions, and tone. Text messages bypass all this and ensure that the message you receive and your interpretation of it are fully dependent on the intention of the sender.
The challenge we are faced with herein is the ability to recognize accurate from wrong, genuine from feigned, and the truth. Worry not. Below I seek to give you the tell-tale signs of lies in a text.
Change in text personality.
Couples that have been together for a while and have built relationships solely on text communication find ways to tell each other’s moods based on how the other person texts, the kind of emojis they use and the subtle use of different punctuation marks.
If you truly know someone’s text language, it’s relatively easy to spot when something is wrong, when they are sick or simply not themselves.
If your partner suddenly changes their text personality, then something is wrong. Unexpected use of love emojis, or one-word replies when they would otherwise give a sentence shows that there is indeed something they are not telling you.
Thought bubbles flicker when you text.
Partner A: How was your day?
Partner B: …typing…typing…typing….typing…..[pause]….typing….typing…[pause]…typing….
It was fine.
Such simple questions would, in a normal scenario, elicit a direct, simple answer. The flickering thought bubbles point to an answer that got written, rewritten, probably edited and finally, the perfectly phrased answer sent. Simple ordinary questions such as “Where were you?”, or “What did you do today,” if replied to for over 10 minutes show a need to hide something and intentional secrecy.
If your gut says something is wrong at this point, you are probably right.
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Your partner gives non-committal answers
A: Will you pass by the grocery store and get some mayo?
B: I will try to. Or Maybe.
The use of non-committal phrases in a relationship, and especially of simple favors, points to a need for one partner not to set hope. By not committing, they are seeking to absolve themselves in the eventual case that they don’t manage to do what you ask, or end up hurting you. In any case, as long as a promise does not get made, any blame in the future lies in the hands of the partner who chose to put the stake on a “probably.”
When a certain question or line of thought changes with no prior need or cause. There is something that they’re hiding. Why else would the topic of where to spend the holiday dramatically shift to the fact that spring is so late this year?
Overcompensating in a text
A little affirmation here and there is good. It is even necessary. However, each partner expresses love in a different way. If your partner, normally collected, suddenly needs to tell you how great you are or how nice you looked on the Instagram picture you posted, guilt is lingering.
They could also be smitten with love, but in most of the cases, something is smoldering underneath the still waters.
Complicated answers to simple questions
Partner A: Did you get the milk at the store?
Partner B: I don’t understand why I have to be the one to shop for the groceries every damn time. I left the list in the house. It would have been nice not to get yelled at all the time.
Notice that no attack or accusation exists in the first message, but the receiver found it instinctual to be defensive. Simple questions met with complicated answers are red flags you should address.
In conclusion, reduced number or texts, change in text tone, overcompensation and longer reply times are some of the signs that there could be more than that what meets the eye.
It is important, however, to note that more facts go into longer texts or change in text tone that may have nothing to do with cheating. Seek to communicate effectively and address any trust issues you may have to remove suspicion.