With all the benefits of technology, it can be a HUGE relationship killer. One reader asks our in-house advice guru, “How can I get my partner to unplug?”
How do you express to your partner that their cell phone use drives you insane?!
Most mornings, instead of rolling over to say ‘good morning’ to me, he rolls over to grab his phone. He will spend at least an hour or two (or three!) reading news stories or doing other things on his phone during downtime at home when we could be connecting. We will go out to dinner and instead of spending an hour with each other without interruption, he’ll have to check his phone for emails.
He works from home, so I understand it’s important for him to stay in contact, but I don’t understand why he can’t go just one hour without being on his phone—especially when we are sharing time together. We’ve discussed it many times and he has attempted to stay off the phone when we are spending time with each other, but the attempts only last a few days before he goes back to his old ways. What do you do when you feel like your partner legitimately has a phone addiction?
Dear Love Plug,
In a world where technology is such a prevalent part of our daily lives and being “plugged in” is as automatic as drinking water and sleeping, finding a healthy balance with our plugged in time, can be challenging. Many people do become addicted to having the internet at their fingertips 24/7—as if they are missing out on something if they aren’t constantly tapped in, or they are more connected with their internet presence than their physical energetic presence. Yet, the distraction this can cause can be detrimental to the health of our relationships as well as the health of our most meaningful connections to life, which can minimize and even blind us from the opportunities to fully experience the heartfelt depth that our purposeful existence is providing us.
We can very easily lose sight of the attention our experiences are asking us to have and therefore miss out on the beautiful and intrinsic details that connect our hearts and spirits to the deeper meaning of our paths. The truthful and empowered realization with this is we always have a conscious choice as to where we place our attention, focus, energy, and intention, and where we invest in every moment.
Asking your partner to be present with you in a moment that is calling for it is as simple as asking for just that. “Hey love, I’m so grateful to have this time together right now, can you please unplug and be with me in this moment? I feel like you’re not fully here with me, it’s so much better with you!” Or leading by example through following your own desires and intentions, while still creating awareness gently, “I’m going to shut my phone off so I can fully be here with you, (because that is your desire,) let’s have the next two hours together with no distractions! YES!! I want all of you and I want to give you all of me.”
These are just examples of speaking from a place of non-judgement that will allow your partner to not feel criticized for their actions, but you’re actually opening a door for them to walk through and meet you in a way that allows them to feel the desire to do so and of their own free will.
If it feels like you’re still unheard with your request and more communication around this is needed, being conscious of your expectations will be your key to finding a compromise that brings you each contentment. Expecting your partner’s attention whenever you think it should be there will not bode well for either of you and is an unrealistic expectation. But recognizing there is a need for balance—that there is a time and place for being plugged in as well as a time and place to be present with others—is the most loving choice we can make to honor their presence… now THAT is the sweet spot of true harmony!
Actively creating that intention will organically inspire your partner to participate and make you feel full by honoring your heart and what you desire. Guide your partner in seeing that one important truth and how invaluable it is. Awareness is created gently and lovingly, with honest words of truth that every heart knows and understands.
If he can’t disconnect in order to connect with you, you deserve a partner who holds your connection in the highest and most loving regards—one who honors the cultivation of true connection and spectacular love!
Stay plugged into Love!