Being more aware of your mobile than your partner is very common today and doing so has negative effects on your relationship. We explain how to fix it.
The excessive use of mobile -or technology- harms the relationship simply because you stop paying the same attention as the beginning of what is yours. Talking about mobile phones, as a trigger, is the excuse for us to give you guidelines that encourage communication as a couple, the search for common spaces and the joy of being together and mixed up. Fortunately, redirecting the situation is relatively easy.
We live in the country with the most smartphones per inhabitant in the world, their use has doubled in the last five years, going from 41% to more than 80%. According to a recent study on the web rastreator.com, 3 out of 4 Spaniards say that they could not live without a mobile phoneand we dedicate 3.4 hours a day on average, being the main device with which the Spanish connect to the internet. The Smartphone allows us to communicate, entertain ourselves, inform ourselves … But how do we combine it with our life beyond the screen? Alarms should go off when we are more aware of the phone than who is next to us and with whom we share life. Elena Crespi, a psychologist, sexologist and couples therapist, affirms that there are people so aware of mobile abuse that some couples decide to turn it off after a specific hour. The reason is that they had lost the habit of being together chatting, looking at each other, touching each other or commenting on their day to day. Crespi recommends that if you stop doing with your partner what you usually did to surf the Internet or use social networks,technological detox .
At three years …
Just over a year ago, Veronica (42 years old) and Carlos (41 years old) have been a couple. They live an hour away by car and he has a 6-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. They remain every two weekends and the few loose days that manage to scratch a few hours to see each other. When they are together they are fully aware that they do it because they want to take advantage of the time . “We are dedicating, only, the weekend. Maybe if we lived closer or in the same house it would be different but now we enjoy all the moments we have, we live it as something very intense … “, explains Verónica. She admits that she loves looking at photos on Instagram and that when she is hooked on the app she thinks: “Stop, stop … You will see it later, because this is our moment.”
Despite the good intentions, in general, from the three years of relationship , it is easy for you to start looking more at the mobile by a mechanism of private exposure. It will depend on each person and the quality of the coupleBut when you have been with someone for some time you know yourself perfectly. You no longer take the other into account, you know how they will react or what they will tell you when they get home. “It is usual that you do not attend to the other so much and that any news before your couple catches your attention”, explains Dr. Francisco Cabello Santamaría, psychologist, psychiatrist and sexologist, director of the Andalusian Institute of Sexology and Psychology. Dr. Cabello assures that the first cause of conflict for couples is the passion-intimacy double. A mature couple relationship is the sum of passion , intimacy and commitmentbut after a while the attraction and the basis of intimacy, which is communication, go down, comments this expert. If you or your partner start looking more at your mobile than at yours, you should use strategies to improve communicationand do a proactive search for common goals, so that the relationship has a positive reinforcement. When you live together you face problems and it is usually common that there is less time for leisure or for sex. This leads to decreased communication and unconsciously can create rejection towards the other because we only associate it with problems. If we also add a parenting process, things get complicated. “It is hard, especially when the children are young. They give immense joy but at the same time they are a source of conflict. They mean more work, less free time, more headaches and require absolute dedication. Depend on the ability to resolve conflictsthat the parents have and whether they have a good relationship or not, but it is usual for any member of the couple to enjoy how much they have a moment of solitude to be with themselves . There the phone is basic. And don’t be disturbed! ”Explains Dr. Cabello.
“You can play your hands and feet. Well, you can risk your whole body that the ratio is 100 to 0. First the mobile and then my husband. ” With this firmness Marta answers the question of “Do you touch the mobile more than your partner?”. And she adds: “Not only that. My daughter’s father sleeps in her room with her, while I sleep alone. During the day we are working or with the girl. Now make numbers and draw your own conclusions, ”he says. He admits he was scandalized when he heard friends complaining about having little sex. She did not understand how having a partner and loving each other, they did not take advantage of it. Now that her daughter is just over a year old, she hardly remembers intimate moments. “And not only that, it is that I do not feel like it, logistics does not facilitate it and there are also many moments of tension between us. We love each other but I’m the one who jumps, he is offended,we feel estranged . On many occasions I have more desire to isolate myself, I do not make any effort in this regard, “says Marta. He admits that recognizing him saddens him. However, it is likely that the couple does not intend to lose complicity even if one feels it. In this sense, the couple therapists agree that it is necessary to explain what you would need to fill this gap. ” It is much better to talk than to accumulate because then it is when you have a hidden anger, you carry yourself and when the couple approaches you do not feel like it in the least,” explains Crespi. Marta feels that what she misses the most is being well together, laughing like before , she believes that the next step would already be touching, loving each other and making love. “But if I do not have an atmosphere of complicity and relaxation, the other does not come. So far I haven’t said anything about tiredness but it doesn’t help either, ”she says. The two consider that emotionally they have not been up to the task but they hope that moments will come to relax a little and overcome the situation. Life as a couple can be one of the best experiences but there are factors that can endanger the well-being of some of the members or of the relationship itself. ” When the positive is reduced and the negative increases, if they do not know how to manage conflicts correctly or pleasant exchanges are reduced (they stop having moments of intimacy, quality leisure activities, they leave less or equal but are discussed), the person can rethink the relationship, “he says Marta Ortega Otero, psychologist, sexologist and couples therapist at Luria Psicología (luriapsicologia.com). The key is good communication .
Crespi insists on the importance of being aware that quality time usually disappears when you make life as a couple everyday. Not only does being together count, but being together proactively counts. That quality time must be found. It does not appear by magic, because if we do not set a strategy, after dinner we will end up on the sofa with the phone in hand. We need romantic moments, which are not necessarily sexual, and understand that if we meet friends and family, we also have to do it with the couple, so he proposes to recover the idea of dating. No need to spend big bucks going out and looking for a babysitter. At home when the children are asleep it is worth spending 10 minutes looking at each other, touching each other, talking about the day and recovering the smiles that arose easily at the beginning of the relationship. It is imperative to actively seek quality time with the person you love.
When Jaime (38 years old) began his relationship with Andrea (34 years old) it was clear that he did not want to trip over the same stone. He was convinced that the mistake with the previous couple was to assume that they would always be as before. “With Andrea we have kept our leisure plots separate but we also plan our common spaces,” he says satisfied. Elena Crespi insists on the importance of cultivating the space of a couple , spending some time each day to cultivate complicity, remember stories or make plans: “In this way, the level of general satisfaction is higher and the threshold of demand will drop. On the other hand, if we take weeks to have an appointment we have so many expectations that if something goes wrong there is more risk of experiencing it as a failure. ” We hope that our partner contributes, supports and gives us joy. The harsh reality is that when you live together, as soon as the relationship is neglected, you already share more conflicts than advantages, hence the high level of separations. A few years ago in Luria Psicología they organize workshops in which they offer a space to understand and improve the couple’s relationship. The objectives of the workshops are to know the characteristics that define couples to understand the diversity that exists, because there is no model couple., all are built and evolve with the relationship. In these workshops they also identify erroneous beliefs that can hinder the smooth functioning of the couple (such as falling in love is eternal, that we have to be the same at all times or that you must guess what I think); they work to incorporate communication skills that allow us to express emotions, thoughts and desires in an assertive way; be aware of the importance of promoting pleasant and desired exchanges by the couple, and to know and consider the values and life projects of themselves and the other member to reach agreements if necessary. In short, it is about enhancing the relationship and strengthening the couple.