I’m definitely not here to preach—I love my iPhone as much as the next millennial—but I’ve seen how our addiction to technology can destroy a relationship, namely mine. Here’s why my ex-boyfriend’s addiction to his phone ruined us:
- When we started dating, he was rarely on his phone. Oh, the wooing stage, where both parties in the relationship are on their best behavior. Everyone’s dirty little secrets are hidden and their bad habits suppressed. And just like any relationship in its beginning phases, I really started to fall for this new guy. Ironically, one of the things I loved about him at the start was the undivided attention we gave each other. When we were talking, it seemed like it was just the two of us in the room, and that made our relationship feel incredibly intimate from the get-go.
- As the frequency increased, I was too nervous to confront him. Once we’d defined our relationship, the honeymoon phase ended quickly. There weren’t a lot of huge discrepancies from how we acted when we first met–the sex was good and it was frequent, we still went out on dates, and we continued having our own personal lives. Everything was great, except for one thing: his phone had become the third person in our relationship. As soon as he got comfortable with me, the phone came out more than I’d seen it during the “wooing” phase.
- Our communication began to dwindle. I don’t mean just our in-depth life talks necessarily (although they did suffer), I mean all of our communication, down to the most basic, “Hi honey, how was your day?” Conversations seemed dumbed down and hollow, as if he was just going through the motions of small talk so he could “politely” plop down on the couch and start fiddling on his phone. This was so disappointing to me because one of my favorite parts of being with someone is being able to share with them the good and bad parts of your day—like an at-home therapist you can eat Chinese food with.
- It became a defense mechanism during rocky times. When we would fight (whether it was about his chronic phone usage or not), he would take out his iPhone and check his Snapchats. If I started getting heated about something, he was automatically deleting emails or reading texts. His phone became this wall that I couldn’t reach him through, no matter how much I yelled.
- His attachment to his phone made me extremely paranoid. Needless to say, seeing him on his phone pretty much 24/7 caused a great deal of paranoia on my end. I mean, what would you think if his face was buried in his screen while he was with you? Probably that was seeing another woman—or multiple other women. Whenever I would bring it up, he would immediately gaslight me; he’d tell me I was “acting crazy” and “trying to invade his personal life too much.” Comments like that were just fuel to my fire.
- I threw in the towel when he brought it into the bedroom. Basically, the only time he wasn’t on his phone was when we were having sex. Otherwise, the moment we sat down to eat or went outside to go on a walk or ANYTHING, his fingers were darting around his iPhone screen. Me taking my clothes off seemed to be his only kryptonite. So, when I noticed him “casually” checking his phone while I was on top of him, I lost my mind. I certainly think it was called for and I don’t regret it, but it was that argument that ultimately led to our (inevitable) breakup.
- Looking back, I wish I had done it sooner. I’m not sure what kept me with this person who clearly was more interested in a piece of plastic and glass than me, an actual human being. Not just that, but a human being he had feigned interest in dating for three months before becoming my “boyfriend.” We only lasted two months after becoming official and I wish we had ended things sooner; I was just a sad, desperate person in that relationship, relying on my boobs to get me a nugget of interaction from my partner. I’m not sure if I was just holding out hope for him or if I really didn’t want to be alone then, but I know now that it’s better to be alone than with an iPhone 5.