4 Ways Technology Is Ruining Your Relationship

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technology in relationships
Feeling disconnected? It may be time to log off and plug back into your relationship.

2. "Checking things online" interrupts your quality time together. Folks who connect over so many electronic channels with their loved ones may be doing the same with friends and business partners. Therein lies the problem. Maintaining all those connections can slice and dice your time with your main loved one. Each and every interruption to your time alone together diminishes the intensity of your connection. 

3. Virtual connections can't replace physical intimacyWhen you receive a text or read an email, all you get is information. You don't receive smiles, hugs, laughter or touch. What fosters loving feelings with significant others usually involves physical contact—simple things like gazing lovingly at each other, holding hands, whispering sweet nothings. Eye-to-eye and skin-to-skin contact all turn on the love hormone oxytocin. This chemical in your brain enhances your feelings of affection and increases your sense of bonding with your partner. This is something you can't express over a text message.

4. Messages are easily misinterpreted. Texts can only convey so much through words without what psychologists call "prosody" or the sound of voices. This means that misinterpretations of texts can run rampant. Sending a text that reads, "See you after work" can be interpreted as an annoyed order if the receiver is sensitive. In this regard, at least phone calls (which add voice to the bandwidth) are less likely to create upsets from misperceptions.

Sharing thoughts makes at least some emotional connection, which is part of why many couples like to talk as a prelude to sex. At the same time, talking enhances connection power when you are physically together, because you can see each other, hear each other and touch each other. And that can never be conveyed over technology of any kind.

Psychologist and marriage counselor Susan Heitler, Ph.D. is author of the book, the workbook and the website called Power of Two. These resources are alternatives to counseling for helping couples to communicate in ways that build a strong and loving partnership.

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