I once tried leaving my phone outside the bedroom at night – it lasted 0.7 seconds until my FOMO took over and I had to scroll through Insta. Checking our phone is the first thing we do in the morning and the last thing we do at night. Maybe it’s a millennial thing, maybe it’s a Facebook taking over the world thing. But either way our lives now revolve around technology and we’re obsessed with consuming what everyone else is doing. That’s great when you’re alone or waiting in the grocery line, but have you ever seen that couple at dinner that are both staring at their phones? What’s the point of hanging out together when you’re hanging out on the internet instead? I’ve even had friends who have to text each other from separate rooms to resolve conflict…wait, what? If that’s not anti-social AF, I don’t know what is.
By being so connected to the outside world, we’re losing intimate connection in real life.
Here’s an idea, put down your phone and actually look at each other’s face once in a while. He’s kinda cute right? That is, after all, the reason you initially started talking to them. The world won’t end if you unplug for a couple hours to spend time with bae. Plus, how do you become #couplegoals when you don’t spend the time to get to know each other.
Whether you’ve just started dating or you live together, it takes a little effort to stay connected to your relationship and not become distracted by cute puppy videos. The key is to have specific activities and times when phones are banned. That might seem extreme and you’re thinking “I just won’t check it,” well, it’s not and yes you will. I’ve compiled a list of 7 ways to stay connected:
- Pick a show to watch together. Whether you’re into Game of Thrones, Scandal, or Black Mirror. Find a show you both want to watch (so one of you doesn’t fall asleep) and watch it once a week together. You can bond over who you like and hate on the show, your predictions and surprises. It also gives you a specific date night that neither of you will want to miss.
- No phones or TV at the dinner table. Mom had it right, when there is TV on or everyone is staring at their phones, you might as well not be eating together.
- Head to a pool or hot tub. Somewhere where you absolutely, 100% cannot have your phone. If you have a hot tub in your backyard, even better. Now you have to stare at each other and actually have a real conversation.
- Cherish pillow talk. I won’t go as far to say that you shouldn’t have your phones in your room. For us, our cell phones are our only phone in the house and they double as alarm clocks. But every night, take a good 20 minutes or more to chat about your days, dreams, plans etc.
- Play a game. Monoply, Yatzee, Battleship – whatever your fave is to get some competitive vibes going. Make it interesting – whoever loses has to do dishes or give the other a foot rub.
- Go for a walk or run together. But don’t take your phones. Get those endorphins going, work off that pizza you ate last night and bond over some exercise.
- Cook dinner together. Get out a bottle of wine and enjoy the time spent together preparing a meal. It doesn’t have to be complicated, pizza making is perfectly fine.
It’s not rocket science when it comes to staying connected in your relationship but it does take effort and time. And once the honeymoon magic of the first few months of dating wears off and you’ve been in your relationship for years, you still have to make an effort to learn more about each other and spend quality time together.