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It’s a daily ritual we could all stand to lose. Right before bed, you whip out the smartphone to scroll and scroll and scroll some more. First thing in the morning, wake up to your phone alarm to start scrolling and scrolling again. Our connection with techonology can be a hinderance to our real life connections, and you don’t have to look farther than your own bedroom to figure it out.

Dr. James A. Roberts & his colleague Meredith Davis launched a study of ‘phubbing.’ a word comprised of the words ‘phone’ and ‘snubbing,’ to find out how mobile phones are hurting intimacy between partners.

Phubbing occurs when your significant other if focused on you, and then their attention is grabbed by something on their phone. According to their research, people are checking their smartphones every 6 minutes on average–no wonder you can’t get out one sentence during your romantic date.

The research team surveyed 175 adults in relationships and asked how often they felt ‘phubbed’ from their partner’s phone usage.

Turns out, ‘phubbing’ impacts relationship satisfaction just as much as sex or money. Researchers have two hypotheses to suggest why ‘phubbing’ carries such a heavy weight in our relationships.

The first, the ‘Displacement Hypothesis’ suggests that time spent on smartphones displaces (or reduces) interactions with your partner, thus weakening the connection.

Another theory, called the ‘Smartphone Conflict Theory’ suggests that when you see your partner choosing their device over you, the tension causes arguments.

So here are some quick tips:

  1. Put down the damn phone: Put your phones at the center of the dinner table when you begin your meal, and don’t touch them. Time is limited, and you don’t want your S.O. to feel like Instagram has more to offer than your conversation.
  2. Leave phones in the living room before bed: Yep, use that antiquated alarm clock to wake you up. Not scrolling at night and in the morning leaves space for, well, sex! If you guys aren’t rolling over to answer emails, you can roll all over each other instead.
  3. Leave the phone at home: Risky, I know, because emergencies do happen. But take your love on an hour long walk so that you can both be extra present. Your love deserves at least that much undivided attention.


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