Is Your Cell Phone Ruining Your Relationship?
Have you looked around a restaurant lately? If you have, you’ve probably noticed couples and/or groups of friends sitting at tables, and, instead of talking to one another; they are looking at their cell phones. It is fascinating to see a couple together at a table, not interacting or looking at each other, rather they are gazing romantically at their cell phone. Next time you are out at a restaurant, look around and see how many people do this.
I hear this complaint frequently, especially from woman. Many say their husbands are always looking at, or talking on, their phones. They are constantly checking their email or texting. In response, husbands often say their wives are always in their Facebook or Pinterest accounts during dinner. So why, when they are out on a date with no kids and finally able to spend quality time together, are they not connecting? It’s because they not appreciating and recognizing the present moment; they are not being mindful or taking advantage of that quality time.
My husband and I fall into this trap at times too, but together we decided to work on reminding ourselves to put away our phones when we are out to dinner or at the movies. We have even turned off our cell phones for the evening in order to be mindful, present and enjoy each other’s company.
Have you ever wondered; could our cell phones actually be ruining our relationship? You are correct to ask that question and there is scientific evidence to show it’s quite possible. According to an online article in Tech Times, “A new study published recently in the journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture found that 70 percent of its participants, all of whom were married or cohabiting heterosexual women, said that cell phones were interfering in their relationships. The study has deemed these “everyday intrusions and interruptions due to technology devices” as “technoference”—not to be confused with disrupting someone’s dance at a rave.
Researchers examined how often “technoference” occurs in relationships by surveying 143 women. They found that the majority of women had their conversations, meals or just hang out time interrupted by their partner noodling around on a device. Women who experienced “technoference” in their relationships were more likely to be less satisfied with their relationships and their lives overall. Wouldn’t you feel badly about yourself if your partner paid less of his or her attention to you in favor of checking out what random “friends” are posting on Facebook?
Social media, games, texting, and other apps can be interesting and fun, but they need to be used at appropriate times. You were probably not surprised by the findings of the research study. Playing Candy Crush while on a date with your wife or husband isn’t going to lead to great sex in the bedroom. On the other hand, great communication, connecting, holding hands, and paying attention to each other definitely could!
As tempting as checking your phone and playing those games may be, the best thing to do while with your partner is to turn those phones off. See what it is like to not have your cell phone in your hand and resist the urge to check it. Put the phone away, and tell yourself you can disconnect from your technology for a few hours. The world isn’t going to end. Of course, if you have children and they are with a babysitter, you need to have your phone on, but you can put it in your purse and only check it if you get a call from the babysitter or a text. Come up with a plan and set some rules about the usage of technology while you are on a date or spending quality time. Take the time to talk about it before so you are both on the same page, and then follow through. You will likely see how much more enjoyable your evening will be, and how you both will feel more connected and in touch with each other. When your date is over, you can have your phones back to catch up on what you missed. I think you will see that you haven’t missed much, and what you and your relationship will have gained in terms of connection and satisfaction will be worth much more than what social media would have provided.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Blog-Post-CTA”]