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Fexting, a toxic blend of “fighting” and “texting,” simply means fighting over texts. It goes beyond romantic relationships; we’ve most likely experienced it with parents, friends or colleagues at some point.

Fexting may be convenient but can easily lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings, especially in romantic relationships.

So, before hitting “send” on that angry text, consider why fexting is a red flag and how to navigate conflicts in healthier ways.

With the advent of cell phones, text messages became a convenient means of communication, and while this has its good sides, it has its bad as well. A single text message, void of any apparent emotion or body language, can easily be misinterpreted, creating rifts between people.

At what point does a text exchange cross into the territory of fexting? Here are a few signs to watch out for:

  • Angry tone in messages
  • Hostility in the conversation
  • Blame game
  • Name-calling and hurtful words
  • Long, angry messages
  • Angry voice notes

It’s simple: heated arguments via text are a recipe for disaster, especially when sensitive topics arise, or emotions run high.

It’s easier to misinterpret a text message due to the lack of expressions that face-to-face conversations offer, which then intensifies the issue. One can easily misinterpret the tone or read too much meaning into the text. Even a delay in replying can add to the heightened emotions at play.

When it comes to texting your feelings or trying to fix a relationship over text, there is always the risk of permanently leaving an imprint. The feelings of anger and hurt can be forgotten, but the words remain like a permanent tattoo.

Face-to-face: Whenever possible, talk it out in person. Face-to-face conversations have nonverbal cues like tone and facial expressions that add context and prevent misunderstanding.

Voice or video calls: Instead of fueling the fexting fire, opt for this medium. For long-distance couples, video calls offer a similar level of intimacy and clarity as face-to-face conversations.

If, on the other hand, the arguments persist without resolution, you both can consider couple’s therapy.

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