How much do you love your phone? Could this possibly be you? Let’s face it, who hasn’t a smartphone these days and who doesn’t rely on it? The minority. Research tells us that if you are emotionally attached to your smartphone and rely on it every waking minute, it may be harming your relationship and that it is possible that your phone is becoming the ‘third wheel in your relationship. For me, I’ve had to really seriously look at my business and my life as I am in danger of this happening – a scary thought.
Living in a society where we spend less time than ever with our partners we are actually making life that much more difficult for ourselves by committing so much time to our smartphones. If your phone is beginning to interfere in your relationship, even in a small way, it could seriously start eroding the quality of your relationship. If this behaviour continues over time and you are unaware of what is happening you will become less satisfied with the relationship and unhappier in life in general.
Some of us are spending more time on our phones than being with our loved ones scrolling through social media, checking emails and updating texts. And if we can’t use our phones we become panic stricken, angry and stressed out. And there are even some women who admitted it would be harder to be without their phone for a week than their partner.
So what is actually happening here?
We are allowing technology to interrupt our conversations, interfere with our intimate relationships and hinder our activities, which in turn will impose a huge negative outcome on our relationships. What appears to be a ‘crazy statement’ is actually too close to the truth – ‘These smartphones could end up ruling our entire lives if we allowed this to happen’.
The problem is all this has happened so fast we haven’t been able to catch up and set boundaries. We have to have our phones with us wherever we go; even in the bedroom and the bathroom. We feel ‘naked’ without it and this phone can ‘protect’ us from harm.
I knew had to take charge of my phone and my relationship as I resonated so much with all of this. As I run my entire business from my phone it is of utter importance to me…….but at what cost? That’s the key here – what is your smartphone costing you?
Your smartphone could ruin your marriage – here are 8 ways how to keep it from ruining yours:
- When you’re with your husband and he needs your focus, then keep your phone on silent. If you do need to check it, tell him, and then give him an explanation as to WHY you need to.
- Don’t get defensive towards him if he gets annoyed that you’re spending too much time on your smartphone. It’s his way of saying ‘I want to connect with you in person’.
- Don’t criticise him if he says, ‘You never pay attention to me anymore! All you care about is that Facebook!’ Criticism is a form of judgment and will lead to an argument which will start to put up a barrier between you.
- Talk about it and ask him if it’s a problem for you to be on your phone as much as you are. Don’t ASSUME it’s ok just because everyone else does it.
- Set the boundaries now that things are out in the open; it’s much easier to set some ‘rules.’ This will really help you to protect yourselves against potential conflict and you will both understand each other’s expectations.
- Be mindful as you go about your day and not detracted by your digital world – ask yourself do you really need to check that message immediately, distracting you from being in the here and now?
- How can you be intimate with your partner when you are constantly being diverted by the pings and alerts reminding you of the flow of messages arriving on your smartphone? Start talking to the person who you are with and not through social media.
- Remind yourself that all relationships are built on give-and-take and that by constantly using your smartphone, you could be losing sight of this. Also allowing yourself to become attached to strangers online, lose connection with the real world and actually start to depend on a virtual world altogether.
I hope some of the above points help to put your relationship with your phone into perspective; they certainly helped me to gain a healthy respect for my husband and my smartphone.
The impact of these measures has been profound for my husband and myself, and we’ve naturally incorporated these boundaries into our daily lives so we stay on track:
- We don’t allow the smartphones on in the bedroom after 10 pm
- No phones are allowed at the table whilst we are eating any meal
- During conversations with each other, we put our phones away
- We are open and honest with each other regarding the use of our phones ensuring we both understand how important we are to each other and also the impact our smartphones can have if we let things slide.
My smartphone is still a huge part of my life and business but I now have balance in all of my relationships, technology, and life. Having been married over 28 years to Ian the smartphone is a relatively ‘new issue’ in our lives. Thankfully through recognition and healthy boundaries, we have developed a deeper relationship and understanding together by communicating openly in person and not through social media.
Take the ‘Relationship Quiz’ today and find out how healthy your relationship is.