How to Be Loving in the Age of Twitter


How to Be Loving in the Age of Twitter
Dr. Lisa Firestone offers tips for how to have a romantic relationship in this digital age.

The second key is to “tune in.” Tuning in means setting our focus on our partner and setting aside distractions. As Love explains, “You cannot be intimate when you’re multi-tasking.  So, during those important moments when I look at you, I really see you.  And you can tell when I look at you with soft eyes that I really hear you, and I’m present.” Tuning in allows us to be fully there with our partner, not just taking actions out of form or habit, but paying attention to those actions. As Love said in her interview, “[There is] such a difference in taking someone’s hand and holding their hand and feeling their hand.”

Love’s third key to showing true tenderness involves “tuning in long enough to understand our partners,” to see how they are different and to pay attention long enough to understand them. This understanding facilitates the fourth key factor, which is to ensure that “my behavior will be congruent with that understanding,” meaning essentially that our actions will match our partner’s real wants and needs.” We love people who love us. It’s pretty simple.  But we really love people who get us.  And their behavior shows it in those subtle little ways,” said Love.


It is easy to see how these steps illustrated by Love are vital to improving and sustaining an intimate relationship. However, it is equally easy to see how we allow ourselves to be too distracted to take the time to complete these steps. This is not to say that it isn’t difficult to make time; careers, kids, and countless complications get in the way. However, all of these distractions make it all the more important to carve out time in which we can closely relate to our partner.

Intimacy itself triggers a range of complex, and not always pleasant, emotions, such as jealousy and anxiety. Along with the natural toll of stress and schedules, the issues that arise between one’s self and one’s partner can make it easier to go to Facebook than go face-to-face with the emotions that being close can trigger. When the going gets tough, many of us unconsciously seek out excuses to avoid intimacy and ways to tune out the negative thoughts and feelings that flood our minds.

TV, the Internet, and technology in general can present the perfect platform for escape, the perfect avenue through which to distract us from emotions. Losing ourselves in mindless activities not only disengages us from our partners but from ourselves: our own wants, needs, and feelings. By becoming aware of times we may be using these devices to disconnect instead of to connect, we gain valuable insight into our own compulsions to cut off.

Once aware of this tendency, we can ask ourselves what we are avoiding and show integrity in facing these issues head on. We can make an effort to decrease our time online and instead spend these minutes and hours forging, strengthening and repairing our real relationships. Through this process, we can shift our focus to what lights our partners up and bask in the positive effects this has on our own happiness. In making this effort, we not only reconnect to loved ones but to ourselves. A fulfilled couple knows the importance of spending time thinking about who each of them are, what brings them joy, and getting to know the 140 characteristics about each other that cannot be contained in 140 characters.

Read about Narcissistic Relationships in a Digital Age

Read More From Dr. Lisa Firestone at

This article was originally published at PsychAlive . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Lisa Firestone


Dr. Lisa Firestone PhD

Director of Research and Education

The Glendon Association

(805) 681-0415 x216

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression, Family Support, Parenting, Stress Management
Other Articles/News by Dr. Lisa Firestone:

7 Reasons Most People Fear Love


Around this time last year, Virgin Mobile USA proclaimed Feb. 13 to be “National Breakup Day.” They did so after conducting a survey in which 59 percent of people said that if they were looking to end their relationship, they would hypothetically do so before Valentine’s Day to save money. The beginning of the year is often said to see a spike ... Read more

Creating Loving Relationships: A Weekend Workshop Retreat


Description: This workshop will explore the actions that go into making love last. Participants will learn techniques to identify and challenge the ways they defend themselves and create barriers to genuine intimacy and explore methods to challenge their fear of intimacy. Mindfulness exercises will be practiced throughout the weekend. Open to Individuals ... Read more

It's Not You, It's Me: Turning A Breakup Excuse Into Love Advice


Anyone who's done their share of dating has probably been on one side or the other of the, "it's not you, it's me" routine. These five common words, which strive for compassion, in reality just leave our exes confused and puzzling over what went wrong. No one buys this explanation... and why should they? After all, most perpetrators of the ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Most Popular