I want you to be honest with yourself: How often do you sit with your partner, and one or both of you are on your phones?
Unfortunately, this reality plagues many relationships. Whether it's texting, looking at Facebook, checking Instagram, looking up scores to the sports games or updating a fantasy team, the bottom line is you are not connecting with your partner.
A study conducted by the advertising platform, Flurry, stated Americans spend almost three hours a day on their cell phones.
This is a problem, but the bigger problem is cell phones are distracting excuses for partners to not communicate with one another.
Don't blame yourself and don't blame your partner. Constant connectivity to the outside world is an addiction.
So, how do we treat this addiction? My solution is airplane mode.
For those of you who don't know what that means, it is a simple setting that restricts the use of data on your phone. Therefore, you cannot go on the Internet and you do not receive texts.
Some people feel leaving their phones in another room is sufficient. But, you can still hear your phone ring or buzz if it is not on silent.
This will lead you to envision and imagine texts and notifications coming to your phone. The bigger problem is that sly "walk by" move.
You know, that move where you go to the bathroom or get a snack and you casually walk by your phone to see those notifications? We've all done it.
So, put your phone on airplane mode. Not only will this improve your relationship, but over time, you also will start to notice how calm you feel. You shut yourself off to the outside world and finally have room to breathe.
The anxiety and/or stress you felt over the course of the day slowly fades away. You don't need to rush to send an email or answer your nagging boss.
Now, imagine you and your partner feeling that way together. It is pretty romantic because it communicates just being with one another is enough.
You don't need to know what your friend is eating for dinner, which celebrity got incarcerated or whether the Knicks lost again.
Instead, do something fun with your partner. It could be something simple, like watching a movie, or you could get crazy and play strip darts (you're welcome for giving you that idea). Whatever it is, you are enjoying the company of your partner. I want to emphasize that this is a practice.
At first, it might be more difficult than you anticipate, but I guarantee you will feel better and your relationship will improve the more you attempt this joint experience. We need to value "alone time."
Our generation is so obsessed with what everyone else is doing. We don't stop to just be in the moment and enjoy what is right in front of us.
The reason, hopefully, you are with your partner is you find each other smart, funny, insightful, attractive and entertaining (okay, so maybe not ALL of those things).
The bottom line is the amazing person I just described is sitting right next to you, but you are too busy to even notice. So, maybe you need to ask yourself, "Is using my phone now worth wasting this time with my partner?"
If you answer "yes," maybe you have something to think about regarding your relationship.
If you answer "no," put your phone on airplane mode, leave it in the other room and enjoy the company of the person right next to you.