Connect As A Couple
In this article ‘six steps to beat social media & connect as a couple’ I’m going to show you how to switch off social media and switch onto each other. Have you noticed lately that when you go to talk to your partner, you find yourself battling for their attention? There are so many other distractions that seem to get in the way, like the computer, phone or work! And when you finally do get their attention, they have one eye on the screen and the other on you? If this sounds like you, you’re definitely not alone. Many couples are increasingly finding that technology and social media are becoming the third partner in a relationship. In fact statistics claim we now spend on average 20 minutes a day on social media, compared with 5 minutes with our partner. So what’s going on and how do we bring back the intimacy this Valentine’s?
The rapid increase in screen time comes with all sorts of challenges for couples. Something that has become apparent is that many people are suffering from ‘status anxiety’, where they find it hard to put the screen down and focus on the relationship in front of them. Status anxiety is a term for ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ whereby we compare ourselves to others we believe to be our equals. We compare where we are to others financially, socially and even physically. Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are terrible for this because people continually post their highlights and touched up photos… and not the everyday realities. And so many individuals end up developing a form of anxiety, where they start to feel bad about their self and even their relationship.
What Do You Value?
Another reason for the increase in technology is many of us have put value on other things, rather than intimate relationships. Let’s face it, often we allow other pressures like work, finances and friends to take over and before long quality time with our partner is all but a distant memory. However, as a Relationship Therapist, something that has become very apparent with the rise of social media and screen time, is that it’s causing a disconnection between many couples. Basically speaking, if one person feels unheard in a relationship, they start emotionally withdrawing. Before long the lack of intimacy leads to a relationship breakup or breakdown.
Beat Social Media & Connect As A Couple
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The reality is that we need to exist alongside technology. After all, there are many benefits to social media and having technology at our fingertips. We just need to be aware that we’re not compromising our intimate relationships. So here are six really simple tips that I’ve introduced to make sure we’re bringing back our connection this Valentines.
Six steps to beat social media and connect as a couple
- Put the phone down or screen aside when our partner is talking
- Look your partner in the eyes and stay present when they are communicating
- Become screen free for the first 10 minutes after waking up
- Limit the use of phones or screens in bed
- Increase face to face time with your partner. Even if it’s an uninterrupted 10 minutes a day
- Give your partner a 6 second kiss when you say goodbye to them of a day. This is really simple and can really bring back the oxytocin (bonding chemical).
Generally speaking, we only need to introduce a few healthy habits into our relationship to keep our partner happy. And a great place to start is decreasing the amount of screen time when our partner is present. It’s not only going to lead to a happier partner, but is also a great way for us to slow down. And let’s face it, in this crazy world of immediacy, we could all benefit from switching off on a more regular basis.
If you’d like to learn more about how to ‘tune in’ as a couple and become more connected, author Danni Crews will be holding free seminars in Melbourne and Sydney on a regular basis. To reserve your place, go to her web site.
Author: Danni Crews is a Relationship Therapist and general student of love and life who specializes in Family Therapy and Systemic Therapy. She has worked alongside many individuals and couples with Australia’s largest Relationship Organisation and has recently published The Ticking Heart – Making Love the Priority. She is now holding seminars across Australia. You can book into the next seminar at www.relationshipworkshop.com.au