There are many stories of couples that are obsessed with their screens.
When both partners are mindlessly scrolling, swiping, browsing, and typing without any real awareness, then this (worrying) behavior won’t be discussed in depth.
However, when one partner “awakens” and becomes conscious of his/her useless activities on social media and devices while the other partner isn’t, then that can become a problem.
How can I convince my partner that he/she is spending way too much time on screens!?
That’s a question I hear often.
What is important to remember, is not to attack your partner.
Start with your own behavior first.
You are aware of your actions now, so show your partner that you are perfectly capable of locking your phone and leaving it locked for a while.
Take initiative and propose any plans and activities to take on together.
At the end of the day, the problem is not necessarily that your partner is on his/her device, but that you feel that your partner isn’t paying enough attention to you.
You will want to discuss these issues instead of placing the focus on technology.
With your control over tech, your partner won’t be able to say that you’re a lot on your device too.
So by taking control of your screen time first, you will avoid any unnecessary discussions about your own screen use.
When you see that your partner keeps using the smartphone excessively, track his/her screen time, or ask your partner to track his/her own screen time.
Oftentimes we are not aware of how much time we waste on screens.
Numbers speak for themselves, so focus on tracking your partner’s screen time, preferably by both of you.
You can use Screen Time, Digital Wellbeing, or apps like Freedom, Moment, and RescueTime.
When the behavior continues, share with your partner your pain and what you miss in the relationship.
Again, do not attack your partner’s screen time, show empathy for his interests in any activities he is taking on.
The problem is not that he/she is taking on those activities, but that he/she loses himself/herself in the smartphone.
When you see your partner is willing to set boundaries and would like to work on habits and routines with you, be ready to introduce multiple strategies that will help you both.
You are probably using some of them already since you’ve already controlled your screen time!
You can inspire your partner by sharing your strategies with them and how your focus on the relationship is motivating you to be the master of your smartphone.
The fact that you are in a relationship gives you both an advantage since you both have automatically an accountability partner!
Having an accountability partner can help one drastically to stay on point with the implemented strategies.
- Show exemplary behavior
- Share your feelings and concerns
- Track and present your partner’s (shocking) amount of screen time
- Share ideas on how to set boundaries for your devices
- Share constructive ideas on how to focus more on connection and less on devices
When your partner still uses his/her device a lot and doesn’t really seem to care about you, your feelings, and your relationship, then there might be a root problem that needs to be addressed.
Continue to value yourself as a person and be clear about what you accept and what you don’t accept.
Sometimes an extreme happening needs to occur before a partner finally wakes up and understands the grand prize (you) should not be taken for granted.