What Is ‘Fexting’ and How It Can Hurt Your Relationship

Every day, a new relationship buzzword seems to be born. In recent months, the term “fexting” became a hot topic on TikTok, online message boards, and relationship articles. This term might be new, but you’ve probably fexted years ago. What is it, you ask? You might be surprised at what it means and how it can impact your love life.

Fexting Explained

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Before we discuss the problem of fexting, it’s important to understand what this buzzword means. “Fexting” is a portmanteau of “fighting” and “texting.” In other words, it’s the act of fighting with a significant other over text rather than in person.

If you’ve ever bickered via text, you’ve fexted.

Why Fext?

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If you’ve ever had a hard time explaining something to someone in person, you probably understand the allure of fexting. It’s easier for people to tell their true feelings over text rather than face-to-face. Fexting makes it easier to say difficult things they otherwise would never say to their significant others.

Most younger generations today prefer text messaging as their favorite mode of communication. So, it makes sense that fexting has grown in popularity over recent years.

The Perks Of Fexting

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Believe it or not, fexting can be useful at times. If you have a hard time confronting people about bad behavior, broaching the subject via text can help prevent further problems. However, this approach needs to involve tact in order to remain a healthy practice.

Confronting a partner via text can be a smart decision if you need time to compile your thoughts. Texting offers a time buffer that regular conversation often doesn’t.

Safety Concerns

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Fexting is often a smart choice if you are trying to break up with an abuser or if you are trying to document abuse. Text messages can be screenshotted and saved. Courts also accept text messages as evidence, so if you need legal help, fexting can be a smart choice.

Arguing (or breaking up) via text also gives you physical space away from your partner. If your partner has hit you before, fexting or doing a text breakup can help keep you safe.

The Problems With Fexting

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While texting can be easy and safe, it also has its pitfalls. Fexting can leave certain statements up for interpretation, and it’s harder to convey feelings and emotions through text compared to in-person interactions.

What you may have typed out as an honest statement may come off as sarcastic or brash to your partner. This can lead to further miscommunications down the line.

Letting Loose

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The biggest problem that many people have with fexting is that the “facelessness” of the argument often means partners are less inhibited about how they talk to one another. You might end up saying something that seriously hurts your partner, only to realize how damaging it is later on.

Are you not sure where the line is drawn? If you wouldn’t say it to your partner’s face, don’t say it to them via text.

Referees?

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If you’re like many people, you might have also shown your text argument to a friend to see if you were out of line. Maybe you just wanted them to cheer you on as you tore someone a new one. Or perhaps you wanted them to act as a “referee.”

This may seem innocent, but it can make your friends hate your significant other over time. They can read only so many arguments before they want to tell you to break up with your partner.

Public Humiliation

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Yet another damaging issue happens when someone uses your own arguments against you. We’ve all seen posts on social media where one person’s fexting conversation turns unhinged. When someone posts your conversations on social media for all to see, it can be humiliating and even reputation-ruining.

While it may be well-deserved at times, the truth is that these conversations can also be twisted around to make innocent people look bad. Depending on how bad it is, you might end up traumatized by this level of betrayal.

A Sign Of Immaturity?

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As mentioned before, there are some moments where fexting can make a lot of sense. However, continually arguing and confronting people exclusively through text can become a toxic trait. People don’t want to associate with people who can’t have tough conversations in person.

This repeated behavior can leave people wondering whether or not you are happy with them when you talk in person. After a while, people will start to walk around on eggshells or just leave you, tired from trying to guess when the next text argument will be.

Adding Stress

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Believe it or not, most people don’t like the vagueness of fexting. It can lead to them stressing out, confused about where they stand with you, or even just stressed about how you’ll behave when you finally see them. In other words, it’s a “bad vibes” move.

In many cases, live arguments or tactful conversations can improve things better than text conversations. This is doubly true if you’re worried about misinterpretation.

Choose Carefully

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Let’s be honest. Some arguments are better left via text. This is especially true if you are worried about your safety or if you are trying to get a simple point across. However, major conversations might be better done in person, where you can gauge a person’s reactions.

If you cannot communicate with a partner without relying on your phone, it might be time to pause your relationship. Communicating clearly and effectively is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship, after all.

Watch What You Say!

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Finally, if you choose to text-fight, you might as well use a little common sense. If you don’t want your messages posted on an online message board for all to see, don’t send them. Don’t send that text if you would never dare say something to a stranger.

The person at the other end of the phone is a human being. Remember that when you text them.

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