Smart Couples, Foolish Phones

Put Those Phones Down: Strengthen Your Commitment Outside the Device Strengthen Your Committment Outside the Device Your tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc., may be your best friend, but it doesn't have your best interests at heart when it comes to your relationship. It's great for connecting with friends, sharing videos of your toddler's adorable first steps, posting and pinning photos of the cute dress you just bought, or even getting some serious work done. It's not so great for communicating with your partner. But with these 3 tips, you can learn to put your relationship with your spouse before your relationship with your device, without sacrificing your social life.

  1. Specify a Time for Both Commitments

It's all too easy to pick up the device as you roll out of bed, then find yourself crawling back at night without ever having put it down. Set aside time every day to spend with your partner sans technology, even if it just means enjoying a cup of coffee together before work or taking an hour to talk about your day before dinner. Similarly, allow yourself a set amount of time for socializing online, and don't try to multitask during this time.

  1. Dedicate Two Days a Month to Your Partner

Two days a month without the device, or once every other week, isn't too difficult to start. On those two days, do something fun with your partner, preferably something that involves physical activity like playing tennis, taking a long walk, or going dancing. You don't have to turn the phone off, but only answer a call if it's a work emergency or family crisis -- Facebook can wait until tomorrow. Once you've gotten in the habit, up it to once a week.

  1. Tune in to the Real Conversation

Far too many conversations between partners consist of the odd remark about something you found online, a few laughs over a funny video, then awkward silence as you both delve back into your respective virtual worlds. Next time you forsee one of those awkward silences, make an effort to start a mini-conversation that will pull you both into the time you are spending together for more than just a few minutes. It doesn't have to be serious or deep, but it will help you connect on a deeper level no matter what the subject.

These three tips are simple, actionable, and effective at strengthening your relationship when you spend most of your time in the same room but worlds apart. Like everything that's worth having, a strong relationship requires intention to develop, so start intentionally engaging with your partner today.