It goes without saying that most of us are overly attached to our cell phones. And, while many of us recognize that we have bad cell phone habits, many don’t make an active effort to change, even when their usage is affecting their relationship. Here are some simple strategies you can use to make sure your cell phone doesn’t destroy your relationship.
Prioritize Your Partner Over Your Phone
This is an obvious point, but it’s still one that most people tend to disregard. Most of us are reasonable people; we understand that cell phone use is necessary in this day and age. But what really feels hurtful or frustrating is when your partner ignores or interrupts you to check their cell phone. It leaves you feeling second to a lunk of metal and plastic. Here are some easy ways to show your partner that they’re your priority:
•If you and your partner tend to get up around the same time, make sure you greet your partner before checking your phone. Say good morning, exchange a little kiss (morning breath be damned!), and spend a minute cuddling. Your day will be so much more pleasant if it starts off this way instead of having the first thing you see be the annoying email your coworker sent!
– Turn your cell phones off or put them away at night. Spend your last waking minutes interacting with your partner.
– You can also consider banning cell phones from the bedroom altogether.
– Aim to spend 20 electronics-free minutes a day with each other.
– Put your phones away or on silent and talk to each other during at least half of your meals.
– After sex, spend 10 minutes cuddling and talking before you reach for your phones.
Totally manageable, right?
Be Overt About When and Why You’re Using Your Phone
Most of know that our partners don’t like us spending so much time on our cell phones, so we tend to be sneaky about when we’re checking our gadgets. This strategy almost always backfires, as most of us aren’t nearly as slick as we think.
You can avoid hurting your partner’s feelings by being very clear with them about your cell phone usage.
If you had an insane day at work, tell your partner, “I’m really sorry, but I’m going to need to keep my phone by my side the entire evening to make sure the project gets off without a hitch.” If the story your partner is in the middle telling you reminds you that you may have left the oven on, tell them that’s why you’re taking your phone out of your pocket. Oftentimes, some incredibly simple communication will prevent fights from starting, and smooth things over.
Improve Your Listening Skills
Smartphones have made multitasking so much easier that most people think they can multitask while holding a conversation. Sadly, most partners do not take too kindly to this. Whenever you and your partner are talking, make an active effort to put down your cell phone and look him or her in the eyes (actual human interaction! Ack!). Don’t pick your phone up again until the conversation is finished. If you have a hard time reading social cues, you can ask your partner, “are we done talking? I want to check Facebook, but didn’t want to interrupt you.”
Read More: Here