Your phone use may be slowly destroying your relationship.
An increasing number of couples are reporting that they are dissatisfied in their relationships. The reason for this is their partner’s iPhone or smartphone habits.
Couples are ignoring their partners in favour of scrolling through social media or chatting to their friends online. Sound familiar? I am seeing almost all of my clients expressing their disdain for their partner’s phone habits.
So here are some rules of phone etiquette that may just save your relationship.
No phones at the table. Meal times should be a time to check in with each other. When you whip out your phone to text someone, check your emails or scroll social media pages you send a clear message to your partner who is sitting across from you. That message is this “What is happening on my phone is more interesting and important to me then you are”. If you send this message enough you will harm your relationship.
When spending times together, put your phone away or turn it off. This is about respect. When you go to see a movie you turn your phone off or at least put it on silent and away. Do you extend the same respect to time spent with your partner? It’s interesting that we often show more respect and attention to a movie that will last for 90 minutes then we do to a relationship we hope will last a lifetime.
To share or not to share, that is the questions. Agree on what you will and will not share on social media. Do you need to check with your partner before posting pictures of them? Do you have an agreement where you will not air your dirty laundry on social media? What if one of you is an open book on social media, sharing all aspects of your life, while the other partner is very private. How will you navigate this? Talk about it and work it out before it damages your relationship.
No phones in the bedroom. The bedroom is no place for a phone. Apart from causing sleep issues, a phone in the bedroom is bound to sabotage your sex life. A 2013 study from Harris Interactive and Jumio showed that 72 percent of Americans keep their phone within five feet of themselves the majority of the time, and 20 percent of young adults are actually on their phones during sex! Our phones were designed to help us connect more however they are actually helping us to connect less to our partners.
Make it happen – Spend sometime this week thinking about your phone use and the effect that it could be having on your relationship. If you or your partner thinks that your phone usage is a problem, try the tips above or come up with your own boundaries around technology.