Woman looks at her cell phone and wonders to call or text
start free today
I am I am looking for

You can add more detail about your gender in your profile

For your security, use the following password format:

  • At least 8 characters
  • Letters AND numbers/special characters
  • Must not be the same as your email address

Call or Text? the Great Communication Debate 

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Just about any relationship expert will tell you that good communication is the cornerstone of success. In online dating, where it’s not possible to read the other person’s body language, it’s even more important to talk (or text) each other. But should you call or text? Let’s look at the pros and cons of texting and calling and offer a few tips on how to communicate better regardless of which you choose.  

Texting: pros and cons of communicating through messages 

More and more people are choose texts over calls, especially those under 40.1 Texts offer many advantages over calls, so here are six reasons why texting is better than calling:  

  • It’s less intrusive 
  • It’s useful when you want to send a quick message or confirm a date 
  • It let’s you think through your response 
  • It’s more private for when you’re in public and want to talk about something personal or even sexy 
  • It lets you keep a record of your conversation rather than rely on memory 
  • It lets you have conversations if neither of you are free at the same time 

However, texting does have several drawbacks: 

  • Tone can be really hard to read over text 
  • It’s not necessarily great for deep or personal conversations 
  • Having a written record can be risky, especially if you and your partner have sexted each other 
  • It’s easy to overthink and stress about sending the perfect message 
  • Not everyone finds texting easy (they might have issues that make typing difficult, for instance, or dyslexia 

The power of calls: pros and cons of a voice-first approach 

Humans have been using their voices to communicate since the dawn of time – phone calls just made it possible to do so over longer distances. There are several advantages to choosing calls: 

  • Hearing someone’s voice is more intimate than words on a screen 
  • It’s much easier to gauge tone and intention  
  • A phone date requires you to carve out time for them, which shows they’re important to you 
  • Research shows that calling someone creates a stronger bond than texting2

However, phone calls do come with some disadvantages: 

  • Both of you need to be free at the same time – a hard ask especially if time zones are involved 
  • Some people have hearing issues that make phone calls difficult 
  • You have to rely on your memory or take notes if you want to recall any important information 
  • Some people just don’t like talking on the phone

When you should decide to call

Deciding whether to call or text depends on how your relationship works, what you want to say and how intimate you need to be.

Emotional or sensitive discussions

If you need serious or emotionally charged conversation, calling often works better. It lets you hear each other’s tone of voice, which can help avoid misunderstandings and convey empathy.

For example, you and your partner need a serious conversation about the direction of your relationship. Calling will make for a more nuanced discussion, where you can express your feelings and navigate sensitive topics like commitment or future plans.

Complex or detailed information

When the message you want to send is complex or needs a detailed explanation, a phone call allows for real-time dialogue and clarity. This is especially helpful when discussing important matters or making decisions together.

Imagine you’re planning weekend trip with your significant other and need to discuss details like travel arrangements, accommodation and itinerary. A phone call allows for real-time dialogue to iron out the details and ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Expressing genuine interest or concern

If you want to show genuine interest or concern, calling can be more personal and mean more. It shows you’re willing to invest time and effort into the relationship.

Let’s say you’ve been dating someone new and want to get to know them better. Calling to ask about their day, share stories and listen actively shows you’re sincere about building a connection beyond surface-level conversation.

Building rapport and deepening connection

Calling can be a powerful way to build rapport and deepen your connection. Hearing each other’s voices creates intimacy and allows for more meaningful interactions than texts.

Picture yourself in the early stages of dating someone and wanting to deepen your connection. Calling to talk about your shared interests and values creates intimacy and strengthens the bond between you as you navigate the early stages of your relationship.

Resolving conflicts or misunderstandings

When conflicts arise or misunderstandings happen, a phone call can help you work it out. It allows both of you to explain your perspective and find common ground.

Let’s say a misunderstanding arises leads to tension or disagreement. A phone call opens the door to honest communication, allowing you to express your perspectives, address misunderstandings, and resolve conflicts constructively.

Celebrating achievements or milestones

 If you want to celebrate a special occasion, achievement or relationship milestone, calling lets you share the joy and excitement in real time. It enhances the emotional impact of the moment and strengthens your bond.

Imagine your partner lands their dream job or achieves a personal goal. Calling to celebrate, express pride and admiration and share their excitement in real-time strengthens your connection and reinforces your support for each other.

Establishing boundaries or setting expectations

When it’s important to establish boundaries or set expectations in a relationship, calling can be more effective than texting. It makes sure your message is conveyed with clarity and assertiveness.

Let’s say you’ve been dating someone for a while and want to establish boundaries or discuss expectations. Calling lets you express your needs, lay out any concerns and ensure both of you are on the same page.

When you should decide to text rather than call

Here’s some times when texting might be more appropriate:

Casual check-ins or updates

If you want to touch base with someone in a casual manner or give them quick updates, texting is often better. It allows for brief, convenient communication without the need for a full conversation.

Imagine you’ve been seeing someone for a few weeks and want to ask how their day is going. A quick text to ask about their day or share a funny story lets you check in without the need for a full conversation.

Sharing information or coordination

When you need to share info or coordinate plans, texting can be efficient and practical, and keeps a record of the conversation for reference.

Suppose you’re planning a date with your partner and need to agree on timing and location. Texting allows you to respond at your convenience and makes it easy to reference the conversation for planning.

Short messages or reminders

For short messages, reminders, or brief expressions of interest, texting instead of calling is ideal.

Let’s say you have a busy schedule but want to let your date know you’re thinking of them. A short text saying how excited your are about your upcoming date needs little effort but still shows your interest and enthusiasm.

Keep it light and playful

If you want to keeps things light and playful, texting often beats calling. Emojis, GIFs and informal language can add playfulness to your messages.

Picture yourself flirting with someone and wanting to keep things light and fun. Texting emojis, GIFs and informal language can make flirting fun and engaging.

Initiating contact or breaking the Ice

Texting can be less intimidating than calling when you’re trying to break the ice. It allows you to gauge their interest and establish rapport gradually.

Suppose you’ve met someone and want to say hi without coming on too strong. Texting lets you measure their interest and get to know them slowly without the pressure of a phone call.

Respecting boundaries or giving space

If you’re mindful of the other person’s boundaries or need to give them space, texting can be less intrusive. It gives them the flexibility to respond on their own terms and at their own pace.

Imagine your partner has mentioned they need some alone time after a busy day. Sending a text instead of calling respects their boundaries lets them respond as and when they like.

Non-Urgent Messages

If it’s just not that important, texting is better. The other person can answer when it suits without the pressure of a real-time conversation.

A good example is when you want to share a meme or an interesting article but it’s not urgent. Just text.

Follow-up messages or thank yous

Texting a thank-you message or a quick follow-up is a polite way to express appreciation without the need for a phone call.

Suppose you’ve had a great date and want to thank them. Texting how much you enjoyed their company and the date is just good manners, and doesn’t need a phone call.

Call or text: finding the right balance 

Regardless of whether you prefer call or text, the key to better communication is figuring out what works for you and your partner. Some tips: 

  • Ask how they like to communicate, whether that’s text, phone calls, or a mix of both 
  • If they prefer calls, figure out how to make that work – perhaps you could have a weekly phone date, or set times when it’s okay to call each other  
  • If they prefer texts, figure out how often they think you should text each other, and how long it’s okay to take to respond. Asking this at the beginning of a relationship can save many misunderstandings 

No matter how you choose to communicate, the most important rule is to make sure you’re clear and honest about your desires and expectations.  

Calling vs Texting – what really matters is that you communicate  

No matter how you choose to do it, communication is key. Regardless of what side you’re on in the great call or text debate, it’s a good idea to experiment. Don’t have anyone to experiment with? That’s where eharmony comes in – we have a large pool of singles all looking to connect with people who want the same things they do. Sign up for eharmony and get started on the path to real love today.  

How it works

Your search for a great relationship has never been easier with groundbreaking overhaul of the eharmony you know and trust.