Are sexts a sign that your current relationship is going strong, or a sign that you and your sexting buddy are just in it for the hookups? A new study tries to answer those questions. Researchers asked 459 unmarried, heterosexual undergrads at three colleges for detailed information on their sexting habits, and published the findings in The Journal of Sex Research.
It turns out, those dick pics, topless selfies, and explicit texts aren’t just tools of seduction — they hint at what’s going on in your head when you hit “send.” The meaning behind a sext has a lot to do with timing. According to the report’s lead author, Robert Weisskirch, “Sexting early in relationships (or before a real relationship has formed) may be a sign of relational anxiety or someone who is not interested in a long term relationship.” The next time you’re about to sext a virtual stranger, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Are you feeling anxious that they may not really like you, or just trying to make a hookup happen ASAP?
If the sexting starts after you and your partner have been together for a while, Weisskirch says it’s a sign that you’re in a committed relationship. Those hot messages mean you’re comfortable with each other, and that you want to make each other happy. Aww! Weisskirch describes sexting in a relationship as “a form of digital foreplay.” If sexting makes you and your partner feel good, keep right on snappin’ sexy selfies as you grow old together.
Just make sure there’s a password on your phone, because there’s some stuff your grandkids should never have to see.