Is Your Relationship Wi-Fi Compatible?

When our phones get low on battery, we are frantic to find the charger––we will dive over beds, run into doors, or risk electrocution to get a phone plugged into an outlet in time. Are we putting that much energy into our relationships? Taking a realistic look at how technology is affecting your relationship can be a game changer in connecting with your partner. Is technology enhancing your relationship and helping charge it up? Or is it draining the battery?

Here are five rules for how to use technology to supercharge your relationship!

1. No technology in the bedroom

Going to sleep with your laptop and waking up with your phone can easily become a habit, but at what point does your device replace your partner? Which gets more of your attention? Keep your bed and bedroom a space just for you and your spouse. This will allow you to always have a place and time to connect, no matter how busy you both may get. Waking up and saying good morning to your partner is a far better way to start your day than checking your e-mail.

2. Save the big discussions for in person

Whether you need to share something important with your partner--whether positive or negative--the important conversations need to be done in person (or on the phone if in-person is not an option). Texts, emails, and instant messages are easily misunderstood, leading, ultimately, to miscommunication. When it comes to something important, you deserve to have your partner understand what you are saying, and your partner deserves to hear it from you, not from a phone.

3. Ask yourself: Would this make my partner feel loved or hurt?

Social media has allowed us to connect to others in more ways than ever before. You can catch up with old friends, find new ones, discuss important topics, and even share ideas. However, the ability to connect to others can lead to issues of trust and security in your relationship. Every relationship is different, so the basic question above is a great way to know if you are using social media in a way that is honoring to your partner. Are you investing in your partner first and foremost? Are you honoring them in public? In the end, enriching your relationship is far more important than how many Instagram followers you have.

4. Never use technology as a weapon

All couples go through struggles. How you handle those struggles is what either builds your relationship up or tears it down. When you are working through an issue with your partner, just because you have the ability to contact them in multiple ways, does not mean you should. This only leads to your partner feeling attacked by you and completely bombarded. Using social media, texting, or instant messaging to degrade your partner will in no way strengthen your relationship––though it may be difficult at times, save the technology for praising your partner.

5. Make time to be unplugged

Have date nights, vacations, or even just a weekend at home where you are both completely unplugged from technology. Having your phone so you can call your partner if you are split, or for family to get a hold of you in an emergency is important. However, keeping your phones for just those purposes and not getting on social media, email, or your laptop will quickly charge up your relationship! Even if there are no pictures to Instagram, snapchats to send, or statuses to post about your time together, it still happened, and better yet, it is a memory and time together that just the two of you share. Taking that time will help you connect with your partner on an even deeper level and create a lasting bond between the two of you.

We can either allow our relationships to be controlled and consumed by how we use technology, or we can allow technology to become a helpful piece in the way we communicate and connect with our partners. So, tonight, instead of just looking at your phone, take a good look at the way it’s used; then put it away. Technology will continue to change and grow, but the way we connect with our partner, is something that Wi-Fi can never replicate.

This article was originally published in New Leaf Resources’ Summer 2015 Newsletter.

About the author — Angie Cerniglia, AMFT, LPC

Angie Cerniglia is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist and works at New Leaf Resources. Her areas of specialization include marital, couple, and relationship issues; parenting and family issues, pre-marital counseling; managing stress, coping, and life transitions among others. New Leaf Resources is a nonprofit counseling center with offices in Lansing, IL, CrownPoint and Wheatfield, IN. For more information, call (708) 895-7310 orvisit

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