For Love & Relationships That Last, Put Away Those Phones

I admit it: I'm sort of addicted to my iPhone. Okay, more than sort of. And I'm not alone. They even have a name for the phobia of being away from your phone for too long: nomophobia.

Those notifications, alerts, group texts with besties that I never want to be away from...it seems like staying connected is a full-time job. But to stay connected to the ones that matter most -- like the fiance, friend, or family member I'm physically with -- I know I have to put my phone away and focus on the person in front of me.

phone-addiction-relationshipsBut it isn't always easy. The worst offense is pulling out your phone to answer a text when you're mid-conversation with whoever you're phsyically with (known as "Phubbing"). But the fact is, messing with our phones when we have physical company, whether it's our other half or just a platonic buddy, is doing terrible damage to our connections with each other. And it can cause long-lasting damage to our relationships with our sweethearts.

Even if someone says they're listening, the effect is the same: while your other half reads things on their phone while you try to talk to them, it can foster feelings of neglect, or make you feel like they don't care. Add on to that the phenomenon of social media envy, which is when we feel jealous of the lifestyles other people portray on social media, and you have a recipe for an unhappy life and an even less happy relationship.

phone-addiction-relationshipsAlso, while we're on the topic, let's make one thing clear. People's social media personas are curated, perfected versions of themselves -- not the real thing. Some people even go into massive personal debt to portray themselves a certain way for their social media friends, so all those people having amazing experiences you feel like you're missing out on might not have such perfect lives after all.

There's nothing worse than feeling ignored by the ones we love, or like we aren't a priority to them. That's exactly what constant phone use does. So find ways to set aside phone-free time, like during meals together. It doesn't mean that you have to smash your iPhone or delete all your apps. Just practice being away from your phone. Put it on silent and leave it in the other room. Then, focus 100% on each other, so that time between the two of you is truly time between the two of you.

phone-addiction-relationshipsThe conversation will be better. The closeness will feel more intimate. The love will feel deeper. And the time you spend together will strengthen your bond instead of cultivating feelings of loneliness. Because ironically, the phones that connect us to so much of the world can also cause us to drift further apart. And that's not what you want when it comes to the one you plan on spending the rest of your life with. Dial it back (pun intended), be mindful of how often you're on your phone when you could be spending truly quality time together, and set limits for yourself when you're with the love of your life. After all, if you love someone with all your heart, you want them to feel that love in all its glory!

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