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Fighting with your BF using an app — Is there actually something to it?

Zlata is a freelance writer covering a wide range of topics for several online publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering love, sex, relationships, beauty and travel. This full-time publicist and all-the-time comed...

The role apps play in your relationship

Think about a relatively important conversation you recently had with your significant other in person. You were able to hear their voice and tone, feel the emotion behind their words, and maybe even connect through touch.

Arguably, these are the most important elements for interpersonal communication. Abby Aguilera, dubbed The Relationship Guru, says that research shows only seven percent of the words we say makes up a conversation, 38 percent is the tone of voice and other vocal elements like pauses, giggles, changes to our voice, etc., and the remaining 55 percent is all about body language. This tells us that while we may be effectively communicating over tex, body language — the chunk that makes up most of a conversation — is missing.

But in a recent survey released by Durex, nearly 50 percent of people said they feel more confident communicating with their partners through phones. Innately, we know that face-to-face communication is best, but when (or how?!) would an app be helpful?

CouplesCom

This app claims to help you be truly heard by your partner. The iPhone and Android app creates a safe and effective place for the two of you to have important conversations that are needed to grow relationships.

Through a structured communication environment, CouplesCom prevents those difficult conversations from spiraling out of control, all while creating a safe and comfortable environment for both parties to be able to express and be heard.

CouplesCom

If, as the aforementioned study shows, people feel more confident communicating digitally, could this app be the solution to their problems? Jay Cadet is a relationship coach based in New York who believes the CouplesCom app is "great because it actually guides you through healthy communication techniques like mirroring, validation and making clear and specific requests from a partner to meet their needs. This app walks you through the process step by step." All that said, CouplesCom can be a great stepping stone for a couple to build strong face-to-face communication, but not as a replacement.

Psychologist Michelle Skeen is another fan of the app, since it includes three key communication skills she also highlights in her book Love Me Don't Leave Me: active listening, validation and empathy. She likes that a user can formulate a request from their partner and prompt them to give positive reinforcement when the partner has completed the request. "Genius!" she says. "While this may offend my fellow therapists, I think this app is preferable to sitting in a therapist's office and practicing communication skills in front of a third party, and it's much easier on the wallet."

Mary Jo Fay, "the Voice of Dating, Mating and Relating," likes the app if couples were to use it at the time of an argument, particularly while you're sitting next to each other so that you get the body language at the same time.

Conversely, Dawn Reid, owner of Reid Ready Coaching and a doctoral candidate, thinks that while CouplesCom is an interesting tool and template for communicating messages, it still cannot address emotional context and nonverbal cues. "It does not convey voice inflection, facial expression and body language, which are all strong components of communication that's lost in any text or email message, regardless of how neutral and assistive apps may be."

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