I Nearly Lost My Partner Because I Couldn’t Put Down My Phone

I can’t go more than a few minutes without checking my phone and I know I’m not alone. I cycle through my Instagram and Facebook feeds only to go through them again 10 minutes later purely out of habit. Even though I know better, I can’t put my phone down and it’s affecting my relationship.

  1. When we eat dinner together, we may as well be in separate rooms. While we make a very conscious effort to keep our phones off the table when we’re out to eat, all bets are off when we’re home. We hardly even speak as we sit across the table from each other catching up on our social media feeds and the latest news. Occasionally we’ll share something we just read, but there’s little eye contact as we do it. I’d love to have a phone-free home, but after a long day of work, I just want to allow myself to turn into a zombie. Unfortunately, zombies make terrible wives (or so I’ve heard).
  2. Our smartphone ruins pillow talk time. There’s something about lying in bed next to each other that makes your conversations so much more meaningful. You discuss everything from how big you think the universe is to potential names for your future children. All of that goes out the window when we lay next to each other glued to our phones with a Netflix show playing in the background.
  3. The iPhone is the ultimate turn-off. Speaking of the bedroom, staying glued to our screens totally ruins the mood. It completely eliminates any physical contact and is a serious distraction to what’s really important: sex, obviously. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to scroll through your Facebook feed while your arms are wrapped around someone’s body? When we’re not touching or even paying attention to each other at all, there is no opportunity for action.
  4. We stay connected all day, leaving very little to talk about at home. I can only imagine how exciting dinner time was before cell phones were invented. You would hold onto a big piece of news all day because you didn’t have another choice. Now we immediately text every little detail of our day, leaving nothing to catch up on at the end of the day.
  5. I feel neglected when he’s on his phone. Like, is he even listening to me? When I’m telling him a story and his eyes are glued to his phone, I kind of want to slap him. Even when he says, “I’m paying attention, I promise,” no one is that good at multitasking. Plus, body language and eye contact are an important part of a conversation. What does a girl have to do to have your full, undivided attention? Strip?
  6. I expect an immediate response from him. When I don’t get a text back within an hour, I hold it against him. What could he possibly be doing that’s more important than me? If the response takes longer than an hour, my mind assumes the worst: a car accident or cheating.
  7. Misreading texts has admittedly led to a few arguments. A period instead of an exclamation point can change the context of the entire phrase. Is he mad at me, annoyed, or just distracted? Was it a typo? God forbid you use the wrong emoji or your iPhone autocorrects to another man’s name. You’ll never hear the end of it.
  8. My social media feed makes me cranky and I take it out on him. Is it just me or is does everyone have a perfect life on social media? When I see my friends traveling to remote islands with their sig o’s as we lay in bed watching the 1,000th episode of Forensic Files, I get super grumpy. Take me to a remote island instead of learning how to cover up a murder!
  9. We’re never REALLY off work. In the age of smartphones, we can kiss the 9 to 5 goodbye.  Our bosses know that we always have a phone in hand, so they demand an immediate response. Your time at home should be stress free and undisturbed, but these days that’s just not an option. Work calls and emails are interrupting everything from massages to important arguments and it’s an unhealthy disturbance.
  10. It’s time to make some changes. Our phones aren’t going anywhere, so we’ve decided to find ways to minimize their disruption to our personal time. It’s time to cut back. To start, we’re leaving them off the dinner table. Once we get into bed, we hide them completely. It was nearly impossible to break the habit those first few weeks, but I have to tell you, things are heating up in the bedroom already and our dinners have been so much more enjoyable.
Caitlyn is a freelance writer living in Washington D.C.