I can only tell from my own experience. It took me about six months to completely stop and get over my text addiction habit. I was addicted for over three years. Almost all of my texting had to do with an obsession over one man that I briefly dated and then lapsed into an on again, off again casual relationship with. If your text addiction is linked to a relationship then it can take a while and it becomes very similar to getting over a broken heart. They say it will take at least one month for every year you were together to get over a broken heart and getting over texting seems to follow a similar timeline, at least it did for me. If you are lucky enough to meet another person you really like it may shorten the time it takes however not everyone is lucky that way or ready to meet anyone else so quickly.
As for my text addiction, it was linked to a divorce. I got into a short term rebound relationship immediately after separating and unwittingly fell madly in love with the person when I was at a low point. I then saw him infrequently over a period of three and a half years and addiction texted him pretty much the whole entire time. I guess to a certain extent there was a friendship there because he never did block my phone number or change his although he threatened to. He claimed it was my constant texting, badgering and stalking like behavior that wrecked our chances to be anything serious early on. I believed and bought that excuse and at the time I was texting a lot it was certainly valid. But I came to realize this person just did not care enough about me, did not love me, and did not want to be with me period. Once I stopped texting him completely he still did not want to be with me. He said it was way too late for that.
At first, I tried to quit as a strategy to make him like me more, but as time passed I wanted to quit to get away from him
I realized I wanted to quit chasing him, get away from my addiction to him, and that I needed to quit texting. From the time I got serious about quitting it took me six months to really stop texting.
At first I thought that if I quit texting him I would actually have a chance to establish a more serious relationship with him. But I came to realize he just didn’t want to be with me period. I got onto the wrong track with this guy early on and never would I be able to get off it and change to a real relationship track. I was just a side kick and would never be more. Once I stopped texting I did still hear from him maybe a bit more than when I was texting him all the time, but it still wasn‘t enough to be of consequence or warrant me sticking around. It was every once in a while and so the relationship was still at a useless low ebb going nowhere.
That’s why I say you need to quit texting for you and not to try and convince someone to want to be with you. My change in my texting behavior did not flip him into wanting to be with me. Once the history with a guy has already written itself it is difficult to change it and go back. After a while though I just wanted to stop in order to get away from being stuck on him. Being with him no longer mattered since I was getting absolutely nowhere but older. It was a dead end so over time I wasn’t quitting to try and behave better so he would like me anymore. I was doing it because of wanting to break myself away from that dead end relationship for good.
Now, I actually hate texting. I still have it active on my phone because I have family members that text me from time to time. But its not a major form of communication. By the way, one of the reason text addictions start can come from being on the rebound from a long term relationship, breakup, or marrage/divorce as was the case with me. During those transition periods in life your thinking is always somewhat skewered so you fall into the danger of getting into less than normal temporary relationships. Without considering consequences, these short term relationships have the potential to become long term obsessions since they are happening at a point when you are vulnerable to falling hard and tolerating poor treatment.
Why does it take so long to quit?
I am not sure. I think its because you get used to texting and talking to that person on text all the time and somehow it fills an emotional purpose for you. Then you just get sort of addicted to it. When breakups happen, you go through a phase of denial particularly if you never wanted the breakup. During that whole period you could still be texting as way of trying to keep a pretty much dead relationship alive. You text and text as way of deluding yourself.
Rejection probably contributes to the texting habit too. When someone does not want to be with you and you wanted to be with them it really bites. You get hurt and you want to some how convince them to be with you even though they are a separate person who is going to do what they are going to do and you can’t control it. So, there is a little bit of obsession that comes into play when someone rejects you. You just don’t want to be rejected so you keep trying to convince them that you are the right one, ergo you keep texting to stay in touch hoping they will change their mind. The more they pull away the more needy and desperate you become unfortunately.
Years ago I was a smoker. I smoked for over a decade and then one day I just decided to quit. I quit cold turkey and never looked back. Somebody said something hurtful to me in regards to the smoking. It was actually a college boyfriend who said he did not want to marry me because I smoked. In reality he did not want to marry me period and we broke up. As an payback to him I decided to quit smoking. I had been thinking about quitting and had cut down to a lighter cigarette (Carlton Lights). His hurtful comments just snapped my brain into an impetus to quit. It was sort of an I’ll show him type thing but at the back of my mind I knew I wanted to quit smoking because it wasn’t good for me. I smoked socially for a decade and quit smoking that day and never looked back. I did it cold turkey.
Texting (at least for me) was ten times harder to quit than smoking! I am not sure exactly why but can only say that I fell into infatuation with the person I was texting. It was a rebound relationship. Rebound relationships can be big nightmares because you accept sub standard relationship behavior and rationalize it away by thinking you are on the rebound and just looking for some fun times nothing serious anyways. The problem with that is you could fall head over heels in love with someone that views you as casual. Then you have a problem. This type of lopsided relationship is exactly what can lead to the addictive texting.
I guess falling out of love obsession is a tougher ride even than kicking smoking. They have books on both but just understand that love addiction leads to addiction texting and it actually is a very hard habit to break. That’s not to say you can’t kick the texting habit. It might take you a while but quitting is definitely a doable thing. You can quit. Not only that you should quit because it is remiss to get into stalking someone on text. It gets you nowhere but trouble.
Will you be happy once you quit?
I was not happy for the first few months of quitting, in fact I was miserable. I started really looking at what I was doing and trying to stop. I checked my phone bill, started looking at how many texts a months I was sending, tried to cut back and so on. I really looked at my behavior. I could have simply turned off texting capability from my phone plan altogether but I suppose I really wasn’t ready to quit. I was still hoping to get texts from this person so I wasn’t about to quit my plan. Also, family members text me too so it wasn’t practical to shut it off.
I started trying to go for a day or two without, or just responding less and different tactics to basically cut back on it at least. That sort of worked for me but then I found myself bottling up for a few weeks and all of a sudden letting out a rant of a dozen messages in frustration. That went on for a few months but gradually I arrived at the point where I just wasn’t texting at all. I managed to just gradually work myself out of the bad habit.
My biggest problem was ceasing text communication with one person in particular. Every now and then if a family member annoys me I might send off frustrated text messages. So you’ll always have a tendency to want to text still just like when you quit smoking the smell of smoke always smells good to you still. But these aren’t people I am obsessed with or in love with, just friends. I probably send and receive a handful of texts each month. Less than a few dozen for sure. I just don’t like texting anymore.
To answer the question about being happy about quitting, I was not happy for the first four months. However when I actually really and truly stopped I got happy about it. I wasn’t going to lapse back into it after a few weeks like I was doing in the first few months. I knew that I had really stopped. It was at that point I got really happy that I quit texting. I felt good somehow. Sort of like getting back to real life, life before the texting problem. Normal is when people you care about call you and you aren’t texting them. It just feels good to quit texting. Once you start the process to try and stop texting try to have a long term view point.
You’ll feel lousy because you are usually trying to stop messaging one person and really what it actually is, is a break up. That takes time but eventually you deal with it and then texting will never be the same to you after that. You won’t be hooked. I just don’t care about texting anymore and when I get a message I am more annoyed by it than anything else. I never look at my phone anymore waiting for texts. Yes, you will feel really good when you kick your addicted to texting habit. Another thing that makes me feel good is that I was able to do it without turning off my texting plan. I still have the plan and I respond to texts from family members that are occasional and other than that I just don’t text much anymore. Wohoo!