It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the average person checks their phone 47 times per day. Not only that, but about 85% of phone users will grab their phone, even when they’re with friends and family. And we have some personal stories that will show exactly how phones can negatively affect a relationship. But we also have stories that show how ditching your phones can restore the emotional connection between couples.
Bright Side would like to remind you that ditching your phone a few hours per day can do tons of good for you and your partner.
“I am Paul and I am in a relationship with a phone addict. I do get frustrated because he will occasionally slip and use the phone even while driving. Personally, I believe the best way to beat an addiction is to first understand it. ’Likes’ on social media posts trigger dopamine responses that elicit a feeling of joy.”
“After being fed up with my phone use, my boyfriend finally said something. We made a rule that whenever we’re doing the same thing, phones are put away. That goes for watching TV together, having a conversation, and eating dinner. Obviously, we can respond to a quick text or something, but no just sitting and scrolling or watching.”
“My boyfriend’s phone gets more of his attention than I do. I have tried to voice this in the past but I seem to come off as naggy and make him feel attacked. I feel as though lots of times we don’t get to connect and communicate as much because he is always on his phone. We can’t even take a walk or watch TV together without him checking out to scroll through his Twitter feed.”
“Very early on in my relationship, my girlfriend caught on to my phone use and talked to me, and we made an agreement. We have a date night every Friday and phones aren’t allowed during dinner and whatever fun activity we’re doing. We use that time to talk about our day or just random stuff. Also, when we’re watching a movie at home, no phones are allowed.”
“My husband and I decided to institute an all-out, week-long cell phone ban. First, we set some ground rules, which consisted of keeping our cell phones out of the room at all times while we were together. Plus, we went totally retro and used a watch to check the time and set an actual alarm clock to get up in the morning. We went to a Guns ‘N Roses concert, have spent the evenings reading, and even started an official 2-person book club.
Instead of sitting inside and watching TV, we took a sweaty 3-mile bike ride to a new restaurant. We also went the entire week watching only one hour of TV on our laptop. Aside from that, we’ve disabled all push notifications to help limit distractions and have designated the bedroom as a cell phone-free zone.”
“When we were together or sitting alongside our son, we both found ourselves drifting toward our phones. Going to counseling to curb our phubbing was definitely a game-changer in my relationship. While working with the therapist, we implemented the following boundaries: No phones at the dinner table and an agreement to maintain eye contact during important conversations.
This has allowed our relationship to flourish because we’re more in tune with each other and our feelings.” It’s helped things improve by allowing us to truly talk to one another instead of saying, ‘Hey, here’s this YouTube video I found.’"
“So lately I have been noticing that my guy spends all of his free time on his phone, even watching TV simultaneously. The only time he is not on his phone is when he’s taking a shower. I, on the other hand, feel like I can’t start a conversation when I see him staring at the screen. I don’t see it as a genuine conversation or that he is present.”
“My husband uses the house phone a lot and we talked about it in premarital counseling. We have agreed upon phone-free times, but I love doing activities where it’s impossible to be using your phone. These activities include bike riding or taking walks together. We spend about 5 hours a week doing those together.”
“I would try to talk to my boyfriend about serious problems and he would either get upset or ignore me. I told him that it wasn’t fair that I had to give my attention to his problems but that he wouldn’t give me a second for mine. After we talked about the issue, every time I spoke to him he would look me in the eye and put his phone down.
He even limits himself to active screen time and we try to engage more when we watch movies and TV. I try to make it a mission to reduce screen time as well.”
Do you and your partner spend time on your phones while together? Have you noticed your relationship declining because of it?