Screens get in the way of our relationship with our partner.
At the end of a long day, most of us find ourselves checking social media, news feeds, or a random video. Our devices are our main source of comfort and entertainment. In the evenings, when we have the chance to connect with our partners, we don’t.
We engage with our phones and miss out on valuable time together
It is easier to focus on our phones rather than our partners. We could be worried about how our partners will respond when we try to talk with them. Maybe they will snap at you because they had a long day but in no way inform you about it.
Maybe you are still mad about something that happened the day before and don’t want to spend time with your partner. Or maybe just thinking about these issues exhausts you, and you would rather zone out with your device.
It may not be the easiest thing to do, but putting our phones away and engaging with our partner every day is important for a healthy relationship.
The more we focus on our phones rather than each other, the further apart both will become. It’s easy and fun to play around on our devices, but ease does not always mean healthy.
Here are three benefits of putting away our devices and engaging with our partner every day
1. Improved physical and emotional connection
Your connection with your partner will improve when you give your partner all your attention. When you put down your phone, turn to face your partner, and give them eye contact, you communicate an unspoken message that you care about them.
You are telling them they are valuable and interesting. When you engage in meaningful conversations and activities without any distractions, you will strengthen your connection with your partner.
When you interact with your partner, you will feel emotionally closer to them when you put your devices away.
Your partner will probably want to be physically closer to you because they feel connected to you. If you are unsure what to do with your hands now that you don’t have a phone in them, hold your partner’s hand.
Get close with your partner and snuggle if you both want. This doesn’t mean your partner will want to have more sex with you, but it could help improve your relationship. There are more opportunities to improve your connection with your partner when you put away your phone.
2. Fewer fights
Our partners can easily become frustrated when we are distracted by our phones and not interacting with them. Devices can keep us from hearing and understanding our partner.
We may hear what our partner is saying but can’t fully listen when we are distracted. As a result, fights can happen. The more we put our phones away and give our attention to our partners, the easier it is to hear and understand what they are saying.
Your partner will feel you are listening to them because you will be. We are not capable of fully listening when we are engaged in a screen. Watch the fights decrease as you put away your phone around your partner.
3. Increased happiness
The ultimate benefit for reducing your screen time around your partner is increased happiness for both. You and your partner will feel more connected because you both understand and hear each other. You are expressing your partner is valuable because you’re intentionally putting your phone away when you’re having a conversation.
You are loving the other person and feeling loved in return.
I understand it may not be practical to completely put your devices away all the time around our partners. You may need to be available for work, or a family matter calls for your attention. It’s okay to use your devices for these matters, but it is good to communicate that to our partners.
Check out this video featuring Anthony Ongaro, the writer of the film Break the Twitch, to learn how to break your phone addiction:
Improve your relationship’s health
Let them know when you can disconnect from your devices and focus on them. It’s not healthy to be focused on our work 24 hours a day, just like it’s not healthy to be on our phones 24 hours a day.
Make your relationship with your partner a priority. Set time aside to put screens away and have quality time with your partner. Your relationship will improve.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Jeremy is a licensed professional counselor who received his B.A. in Psychology at UT Tyler and M.A. in Community Counseling at UT San Antonio. He has six years of experience working with adults, teens, and children in various settings, including ADAPT of Missouri and Every Childs Hope as well as in private practice.