“If you really loved me, you’d send me a goodnight text every night.” Young women are now making this demand of their boyfriends in increasing numbers. Not only is sending nightly text messages to a lover unnecessary—it’s unhealthy, for both partners. The psychological mechanism that drives the demand stems from insecurity, narcissism, and entitlement. Its effect is toxic and can only lead to psychological damage.

Certainly, many women use text message demands as a tool of manipulation and control. And why not? The cell phone offers a unique advantage over all other forms of communication thanks to its ubiquity and ability to deliver messages immediately. These devices are carried on our body or within arm’s reach essentially 24 hours a day. Service coverage is nearly total everywhere in the world. Where there is no cell service, there is usually wi-fi available. This leads to the unavoidable expectation that anyone who owns one be reachable at any time anywhere. Even email doesn’t reach people as quickly and reliably as text messages do.

This post is for paying subscribers only

Sign up now and upgrade your account to read the post and get access to the full library of posts for paying subscribers only.

Sign up now Already have an account? Sign in