'Deadwalking' KILLS Relationships (3 Ways To Kick The Deadly Habit)

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While we've all heard about the dangers of being distracted by your smart phone, a recent Baylor University study reveals that "p-phubbing" (partner phone snubbing) is actually dangerous to your relationships

According to Roberts and David, p-phubbing is the extent to which people use or get distracted by their mobile devices while in the company of their relationship partners. When you're constantly distracted by your respective cell phones during a conversation, your connection as a couple suffers, causing great harm to your relationship.

For example, p-phubbing can lead to depression by one or both of you, a decrease in the level of satisfaction with your romantic relationship, negatively effects your personal sense of well-being, and at times, even makes one (or both) of you angry or jealous over the lack of personal attention you're being paid.

But, your tech device isn't just ruining your relationship, it's also ruining your life. 

A recent article referred to people constantly distracted smart phone users as zombie-like creatures or "Deadwalkers." 

We've all seen people texting and talking on the phone while jogging. People send text messages or email while on escalators, while driving, while working, while attending their child's extracurricular events, while on a date, and the list goes on.

How many people have walked in front of your car while you're making a right turn because they're too preoccupied with their hand-held device?

Of course, the great dangers of deadwalking are clear: The Internet, newspapers, and other sources tell us daily stories about people who got hit while staring zombie-like at their mobile device, who wrecked their car while texting, and who got hurt at work while preoccupied with their smart phone.

So whether you're deadwalking or p-phubbing, there are serious dangers to you, your loved ones and your love life.

We first wrote about the negative impact smart phones can have on your love life nearly a decade ago. And the truth is, it seems the distraction problems associated with these devices has only grown worse.

So, how do you keep yourself from the "crack" addiction to your Smart Phone? Here are three strategies that can help you begin the withdrawal process:

1. Turn off distracting alerts 

Alerts are the first interruption to your relationship. Instead of concentrating on the one you love, each ping of the phone distracts your attention away.  

Natural curiosity takes over when you hear the ding and you just "have to" check what just came in. Turning off the alert system is a great first step in taking control over the urge to get on your Smart Phone constantly.

2. Put your phone out of reach during a conversation

You can't have a good conversation if you're not truly paying close attention to the other person. Conversing with the one you love is more important than whatever is popping up on your phone.  

Put your phone on the table upside down, or better yet ... in your purse or pocket. And then leave it there and focus on the real human being in front of you. 

3. Check at designated times only

Determine if you are going to check your phone once an hour or every two hours. Since messages are asynchronous (are not in real time), you can delay your response. The conversation and attention to the one you love, however, is in real time, which is adversely affected by p-phubbing or deadwalking.

We say often: "Love is simple to understand. The problem is people won't do the simple things required to make love work."

It's so obvious that putting your phone down and paying attention to the person you're with is important. Yet, over and over again, we see couples on their phones while walking together, while at a restaurant together. It's sad. They're not connected at all, not even looking or speaking to one another. 

Like most things in life, there is a time and place for everything, including your smart phone.

The time you spend with your partner (or other loved ones) is precious. The latest cat meme your friend just posted, we promise you, is not! Walking and talking without distractions is one of the best things couples can do for their relationship.

Leave the smart phone at home when you spend those moments (you'll survive 45 minutes away from your phone while you take a walk, we swear!). Save your phone time for when you're alone. Your relationships will thank you for it. 

The great marriages we write about are often achieved as a result of lots of walking and talking together! Maybe we will see you on one of those walks. Without the smart phones, of course!

Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz, America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts, share what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material in How to Marry the Right Guy — the latest multiple award-winning book by the Doctors.

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