This annoying habit could ruin your relationship according to experts

This annoying habit could ruin your relationship according to experts

Scrolling on your phone is a habit that is difficult to break on a daily basis. This practice not only impacts our concentration, but it can also affect our romantic relationships, especially in the evening when going to bed.

We know that screens have become formidable enemies for our attention span. Their presence often monopolizes our interactions, even during precious moments with our friends and loved ones. But what about the impact on our romantic relationships?

According to Tracy Ross, marriage and family counselor, interviewed by HuffPost US, “parallel scrolling” – silently scrolling on your phone while in bed next to your partner – could ruin a relationship.

Indeed, phubbing (ignoring people physically present by checking your phone rather than communicating with them) and parallel scrolling are scourges for many couples in our current society. In an American study carried out in 2017 by Baylor University among 143 people in a romantic relationship, 70% of participants stated that “cell phones interfered 'sometimes', 'often', 'very often' or 'all the time' in their interactions with their partner”.

You reduce the chances of intimacy and affection, or simply engagement with your partner“, explains Tracy Ros in the columns of HuffPost. She adds: “Connection is essential for a strong relationship, and it must be regular, flawless, for the couple to flourish”.

For example, lying in bed at the end of the day with your partner is a crucial moment to reconnect with each other. But it turns out that many couples neglect this moment of intimacy. Ross says his patients often complain that their partner is “constantly on the phone” or seems “distracted,” which makes it difficult to pay attention and, in turn, can increase the chances of a breakup.

However, Aimee Hartstein, a psychotherapist also contacted by HuffPost, acknowledges that it might be unrealistic to expect couples to write off screens for an entire evening. “Like it or not, our phones are here to stay, and it's an unusual couple who's putting them aside for the night“, she declares. In fact, the telephone has become essential for obtaining information and interacting with loved ones.

So how can we remedy this relational scourge, so anchored in our daily lives? First, try to understand why you or your partner use your phone in each other's presence. “Ask yourself if you are using the phone to avoid your partner and if so what might it be?”, suggests Ross, before adding: “Habits tend to stick, and unless we actively try to change them, they persist.”.

If scrolling significantly encroaches on your life as a couple, you can discuss it with your partner to set screen limits. For example, it could be avoiding the phone at bedtime, or at dinner. You can also try digital detox, which consists of stopping screens for a day, or several days, depending on your abilities.