In the context of relationship communication, it’s crucial to divert your attention from screens to your partner. A simple conversation, even a daily check-in about your day, can have a profound positive impact on your relationship.

In the last two decades, technology has advanced significantly, offering numerous ways for couples to stay connected, especially when separated due to work or care-giving responsibilities. However, in many households, technology has unwittingly become a barrier to genuine connection, leading to decreased relationship satisfaction and the risk of burnout.

The challenging part is that habits related to technology use often operate unconsciously, causing us to mindlessly repeat detrimental patterns. But the good news is that awareness can pave the way for change. In this article, we’ll delve into common relationship communication patterns and propose strategies to enhance your connection and overall happiness as a couple.

Here are six common reasons why people turn to technology and how you can redirect your focus towards each other:

  1. Staying Up Too Late – Balancing the Need for ‘Me Time’: Many mothers juggle childcare, work, and household responsibilities, leaving little time for themselves. Late-night scrolling may seem like the only option for ‘me time,’ but it often leads to negative feelings. Instead, consider finding moments for intentional self-care throughout the day or earlier in the morning.
  2. Resentment – Embracing Shared Responsibility: When partners pull away emotionally, it’s natural to respond defensively or distance yourself further. A more effective approach is to use the Gottman Softened Start Up method to initiate conversations about observed behaviors and feelings, leading to open communication and solutions.
  3. Escape – Coping with Overwhelming Feelings: For those who struggle to share their emotions due to past experiences, turning to screens can be a coping mechanism. Discuss with your partner how you used technology for emotional support during childhood, allowing them to understand your need for space. Alternatively, explore soothing activities your partner can engage in to foster connection.
  4. Pulling Away – Distinguishing Past from Present: Attachment experiences can make us feel alone, even when we have supportive partners. Instead of turning to screens, consider journaling to identify and contrast past beliefs with your current reality. Share these experiences with your partner, encouraging support and understanding.
  5. Staying Plugged in for Work – Establishing Better Boundaries: Create screen-free zones and times in your home, such as during dates, to set boundaries. Communicate openly with your partner about exceptions, like work-related demands.
  6. Boredom or Mindless Habit – Embracing Shared Activities: Sometimes, screen use stems from a craving for dopamine. Engage in physical activities or competitive games with your partner to combat boredom and release endorphins.

Prioritize shared activities that promote emotional and mental well-being. By rekindling the sense of connection you had when dating, you can create a new narrative where love and communication thrive.

For additional resources on relationship communication, listen to the ‘Pillow Talks’ podcast episode by New York Times best-selling authors Vanessa and Xander Marin. Explore our free guide for insights into screen use and modeling a healthy tech relationship.

Check our Book about Healthy Relationship Communication