Cell phones have changed the way we communicate with our friends and family.
While this technology can help us stay connected more than ever, it can also hurt our relationships if we spend too much time looking at a screen instead of our partner.
To keep your relationships going strong, keep these cell phone etiquette tips in mind when you’re conversing with your partner.
Put Your Cell Phone Away During Date Night
Whenever you’re out on a date with your partner you should put your cell phone away.
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Not just sitting off to the side of the table, but completely away in your purse or pocket. A study completed by psychologists at the University of Essex showed that even having a cell phone in view but not in use disrupts important conversations and lowers relationship quality.
Researchers put a cell phone or a notebook on a table and asked study participants to discuss certain topics with each other.
The group that had the cell phone said they felt that trust and empathy with their partner was lower during their conversation.
While the phone never vibrated or rang, and most participants had to be prompted to remember that it was there, its presence still affected the conversation quality.
Having your cell phone out during a date basically signals that the conversation you’re having with your partner isn’t important enough for your full concentration.
Don’t Have Important Conversations Through Text
Even though it may seem easier to have important conversations through a text message, you shouldn’t use that screen as a shield.
It’s impossible to tell mood or tone through a text, which opens up the possibility of a misunderstanding.
And don’t carry on a text conversation with another person while you and your partner are talking.
Send a Romantic Message
Of course, cell phones aren’t something that will completely ruin every relationship. They’re still a great communication tool.
You can use your cell phone to be alluring while you’re away from your partner. Send him an exciting text or leave her a romantic voicemail.
Or, if someone is out of town, use FaceTime or Skype to still see each other.
There are many new smartphones that have video chat capabilities. But you don’t have to spend fortunes on a new smartphone, you can get a great deal on a phone with the same capabilities such as the Galaxy S5 from carriers like T-Mobile.
Join an Online Space for Partners
If you’re friends with your partner on your social media websites, it doesn’t really give you the chance to create stronger bonds online.
You don’t want to share your intimate details on the same account that your mom sees, and you don’t want to be the couple who annoys everyone with their constant declarations of love.
Instead, consider joining an online space that’s just for couples. Websites such as TwoCup and Between let you share private photos and messages between just the two of you.
Get the Cell Phone Out of the Bedroom
While 75 percent of people admit to falling asleep with their cell phones within reach, experts say that not only can this habit affect intimacy, it can affect your sleep as well.
Even though it’s very convenient to use your cell phone as an alarm, it also makes it very easy to check your email or social media accounts one last time before you go to sleep.
The blue light given off by the LED screens inhibits melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep.
Cell phones are also a distraction that prevent us from falling asleep quickly and stop us from reaching a deep sleep.
If you have to leave your phone in the bedroom, plug it in far away from the bed so you’re not tempted to reach for it during the night. And for the same reasons you shouldn’t take your phone with you on a date, you shouldn’t take it to bed with you, either.
There’s a time and a place for using your cell phone. While it’s a great way to stay in touch with your partner, once you’re face to face it’s time to put your phone away and enjoy each other’s company.
My wife and I were thinking of going to a performing arts center this week for date night so that we can experience a little bit of our local culture. I thought it was interesting when you explained that having your cellphone with you on date night can affect the quality of conversations that you will have. I think it would be best to just turn the phone off entirely when you are out with your significant other.