A Relationship Coach Explains How Putting Down the Smartphone Can Help Your Marriage

May 17, 2017 by

How long have you had a smartphone? One year? Two years? Half a decade?

There’s no denying that smartphones have had an incredible impact on the way we live our daily lives – much of it positive. But they also have a number of downsides, and if your phone is omnipresent in your relationship, it’s certainly not going to help.

Now, some aspects of smartphones and new technology can enhance relationships. For example, you can stay connected to your partner even if you’re in a long distance relationship. However, the overall effect is a negative one for most people.

A study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture looked at how our dependency on the devices – rather than how often we use them – affects our ability to connect with a romantic partner.

The findings included two interesting results:

  1. “People who were more dependent on their smartphones reported being less certain about their partnerships.”
  2. “People who felt that their partners were overly dependent on their devices said they were less satisfied in their relationship.”

We have all heard (or uttered) complaints about people being constantly on their cell phones and unwilling to have meaningful, “real life” conversations. This study is a good reminder that perhaps we need to reflect on our smartphone habits rather than looking at others.

For example, think about the last time you had dinner with your partner. Where was your smartphone? If it’s sitting on the table, your smartphone becomes a part of the dinner itself. There is a third guest at the table, and it’s a guest that can take away a lot of your focus.

Is Your Smartphone A Distraction From Your Relationship? 

Ask yourself the following questions:

Can I go a day without using my smartphone?

Can I completely shut off my phone when I’m talking to friends, family, or my partner? 

If the answer to either of these is no, you might have a smartphone problem. Now ask yourself the following questions:

How does my partner feel about my smartphone use?

How does my smartphone usage factor into my relationship?

Am I distracted by my phone when I’m with my partner?

Have an open, honest discussion about your smartphone with your partner – and before you begin, make sure you both shut off your phones and put them in a faraway drawer or cabinet.

How can you alter your smartphone usage in order to strengthen your connection and communication? When does your partner notice your smartphone usage? When are you relying on your smartphone as a distraction?

If you are having trouble distancing yourself from your smartphone, or any other distraction, and would like tips and tricks for bringing the focus back into your relationship, reach out to a Portland relationship coach.