Without a doubt, smartphones are wonderful gadgets that allow us to do much more than anyone ever thought possible. However, a smartphone can also ruin your relationship! Far too often, people prioritize their cell phones over people. Read on to see how to let them go!
Glued To The Smartphone
Riley Morris, a 22-year-old blogger from Kansas, seemed like she had the perfect marriage. However, inside, things were not working. Instead, she and her husband needed counseling – because of their smartphone addictions! “When we were together or sitting alongside our son, we both found ourselves drifting towards our phones,” Morris wrote in a heartfelt blog. “It ended up causing major rifts in our relationship, like me not even knowing the name of his new boss! I was so engrossed in what was on my screen that I didn’t listen to him.”
Morris is certainly not alone in her struggle. In fact, nearly every American checks their phone too often, sometimes over 150 times a day! In addition to relationship issues, smartphone addiction can also lead to bad sleep, depression, and even brain chemical imbalances!
Meanwhile, choosing your cell phone over a partner has a name: “phubbing.” Sadly, a study from Baylor University revealed that 46% of people feel they have been phubbed by their partner. Even worse, 23% said smartphones had led to a quarrel! “It’s interesting that people are often glued to their phones due to FOMO [fear of missing out],” said Suzie Pileggi Pawelski, co-author of the book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts. Most importantly, Pawelski says that humans need touch and sound from their partner to build a relationship, and smartphones deprive us of that. Thankfully, there are things you can do to break a smartphone addiction!
Letting Go Of Cell Phones
The first step in fixing a smartphone addiction? Acknowledging that there’s a problem! Then, set a plan. Have a deep-felt conversation with your partner, away from the phones. Talk about each other’s needs for attention and how you can work to both use your cell phone less. Create rules about when it’s okay and not okay to use your phone. Setting aside personal time works well, like an hour of phone usage in the morning or something along those lines. “Unless there is an emergency, your phone should be out of sight and out of mind when spending quality time with your partner,” said Rori Sassoon, co-founder of professional matchmaking agency Platinum Poire matchmaker in New York City.
Soon, you will start to see your life transform in front of your eyes. Then, instead of grabbing the smartphone from the bedside table in the morning, grab your partner. Hug them, greet them in the morning, and enjoy their company. No need for overwhelming news and messages, just talk with the one your love. “You can also turn off notifications for emails and/or text messages to increase mindful engagement with your partner,” said Beverley Andre, a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of BeHeart Counseling Services.
If the problem continues, make sure to see a counselor, like Morris. She said that it brought more peace and quiet into her marriage, along with a few smartphone boundaries: No phones at the dinner table and an agreement to maintain eye contact during meaningful conversations.