There’s no doubt that technology has made life more convenient, but having it at our fingertips has also meant that we are often caught in the trap of neglecting those around us because we are busy looking at our mobile devices to catch up on our shows, check our social-media feeds or play games. This can cause strain in a marriage.
So, instead of letting technology tear us apart, why not use it to draw closer to one another? Gary and Joanna Koh of Focus on the Family share their views on some ways technology can aid you and your partner in building a stronger relationship with one another, and how to lay out technology boundaries.
Use phones to schedule a regular date night
Having children means that you often find yourselves busy meeting their needs and when you throw work into the mix, there is a chance that you may not see one another much. That’s when you start to take one another for granted, which isn’t good for any marriage. To prevent this from happening, make it a point to go on regular dates with your partner, as you did before you got married. Text one another to make plans, and set alarms and reminders as needed on your devices.
During your date, be sure to engage one another. If you have problems coming up with conversation topics that don’t just skim the surface, the Focus on the Family app has conversation starters covering a wide range of topics that may help.
Use Google to discover new adventures to take together
There’s no better person than your other half to try something new with. Not only does it help keep your relationship fresh, you’ll also spend more time together. Use your mobile device to search for a new skill to learn together or find a new, hidden, location in Singapore to explore together. If you have the ability to head overseas, take a spontaneous trip and use your mobile phone to navigate a new destination. You’ll have lots of fun and learn more about one another.
Set guidelines for the time you spend with one another and your mobile devices
Studies have shown that you should give your spouse undivided attention for a minimum of 15 hours a week to meet their emotional needs — this excludes the time you spend planning your schedule for the day.
To do this, you need to put your electronics aside and be a good listener. Listen to what your spouse is saying and how they feel. Women do speak more their male counterparts, so husbands do be patient with your wives who may be describing each event down to the smallest detail; your wives do treasure the fact you are listening to them.
Figure out how much time you are comfortable with one another spending on your devices, and set a fixed amount of time that you stick to. This will help lessen the number of potential squabbles that could arise from one another spending too much time on their personal devices.
Couples should also set social-media boundaries that include what you can post and whether is okay to be friends with exes. The rule of thumb in any relationship is: if any party feels uncomfortable about something, it is an issue that should be talked about.