Bad Habits. We all have them, we typically hate to admit it, but we all have them. I know for myself there can be many moments in my sessions with my clients that I realize I am recommending they do something in their relationship for the health and wellbeing of the partnership that I myself need to start doing more of. Nobody is perfect, even those who know better don’t always do better. I guess that is part of being human. For me one of my worst habits in my relationship is my cellphone. It is like this weird world I get absorbed into even when I don’t want to be. Do you know what I mean? When you are restless and bored and sometimes overwhelmed all at once so you choose to check out with social media, the news, emails, texts or really anything so to not properly take care of yourself or be in the present moment.
I find myself doing this all the time and truthfully I hate that I do it. It means there are times when I could be properly connecting with my partner, or when he is talking to me about things that I am neither present nor have I actually told him I am unavailable. I’m there physically but not mentally or emotionally.
Cell phones have a massive impact on our relationships today. We spend hours upon hours connecting to them, while we disconnect from our actual lives that are right in front of us. They can cause issues in communication, connection and even our sex lives as we choose to turn towards numbing out with other people’s lives instead of engaging in our own. Even for myself I sometimes wonder if I am addicted. One of my most favorite things is being in places where I don’t have cell reception, where there is literally nothing else I can do but read a book, talk, hang out and enjoy my time with both myself and my partner. Yet when I don’t have the luxury of not having service, I find it extremely difficult to put it away and not try to answer emails, check in with friends, watch a show, do some exercise, talk with my partner, walk my dog, and do my invoices all at the exact same time. And then repeat said process precisely two minutes later.
Can you see why in our relationships today we find it so much harder to be vulnerable? We have a constant escape right in our back pocket that can pull us away from vulnerable moments at any time. We also get to delay having some important conversations or even just connecting through playing a game or going for a walk because instead we just check out on the couch and lose 3 hours unintentionally to things that don’t actually matter to us. We then have the excuse that we are so busy and just don’t always have time to do the things that matter. I would argue we all have the time, we just don’t always make the time.
I think it is important to realize what role your cell phone plays in your life and the ways you may want to change that. Do you find you arrive at bed time not having accomplished any of the things you really wanted to do during your evening? How is that book you’ve been meaning to read? When was the last time you went on a date night without your phones at the table? How about that walk along the beach watching the sunset? Sure it sounds cliché, but don’t you think it might do your relationship some good? I am sure you will feel better in your partnership doing that than staying on top of the latest sports scores or gossip. I think for myself I am going to commit to putting my phone away every evening for at least an hour straight and see how I feel. I am also going to check in and see how doing so makes my partner feel.
What are your bad habits in your relationship? Are there any small changes you can make that will make both you and your relationship better off?