Smartphones, tablets, and watches keep us more connected to the world now that ever before, but are all these gadgets keeping you less connected with your partner? More and more couples come in to my office with concerns about a partner’
s social media use. It’s not necessarily all about that person being unfaithful, but about more quality time being spent with the phone and not the loved one.
Have you tried to have a conversation at dinner with your partner about your son’s report card while they have one eye on their Facebook feed? Or asked your partner to do something for you at the same time a new Snap chat comes up? Which is paid attention to first?
It’s pretty easy to see, that in these moments, the phone or tablet is more important than you are. This isn’t a big deal every once in a while, but if it happens consistently over time, resentful feelings and doubts start to come up and communication between partners becomes less and less.
It is important not to jump right to “No One Can Have Their Cell Phones Anymore!” Sit down with your partner (this part can be sans cellphone) and talk with them about how their social media use is affecting you. Make sure to examine your own electronic use and take responsibility for times that you may have been guilty of ignoring your partner. Decide together when and where electronics use is appropriate and not appropriate. Try and set aside some time, maybe starting with once a week, to do something together with cellphones, tablets, and watches turned off. This can be as simple as sitting on the back porch together with some wine or coffee or cooking a meal together. It’s all an effort to stay face to face, fully present, and connected with your relationship.