“The mobile is the extension of my wife’s hand” … How the smartphone rots romantic relationships

“I dream of our parents ‘and grandparents’ days when the cell phone did not exist,” sighs Elise, 28. My friend can not even wash his hands without taking his eyes off his phone. The smartphone, the couple’s best enemy? As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this Monday, many of our Internet users recognize that the laptop is a source of conflict in their couple. Even a love killer.

A Bouygues survey from January 2021 shed light on this problematic trend: 62% of French people find that their other half spend too much time on their laptop.

“If we’m on each of our phones, we might as well make a roommate!”

This little tool takes up a large space in our daily lives … and often monopolizes the attention of our other half. “If we’re at each other’s our phones when we get home, we might as well make a roommate!”, Grabs Elise.

Illustration of a smartphone.
Illustration of a smartphone. – Pixabay

“The excess cell phone bothers me when we have not seen each other all day and my partner is on it for a long time in the evening. Or when we go to see friends and of course when we are at the table, write Gaël, 22 years old. Sometimes I will confiscate it or throw it away. Sometimes she does not listen to me when I talk to her because she sees things on her phone. “The mobile phone is the extension of my wife’s hand, even her prosthesis !, Mehdi, 31, is startled. Notifications at the table give her temporary squints and in bed she falls asleep by laying it next to my head, which has the gift of driving me crazy! »

“The smartphone can become the couple’s enemy when use is excessive,” confirms Magali Briane, a psychiatrist and addiction doctor. There is also a person or two who are less accessible. But how do you define “excessive” use? “It’s not a question of duration, but of behavior,” continues one who is also a member of the Scientific College of the Ramsay Health Foundation. In addiction there is the fact of increasing the consumption of the product but above all not being able to do without it even when it poses a problem. »

“Our sex life got a big hit”

Anaïs, 25, has lived with her partner for six years and has always known he was addicted to cell phones. “His addiction is so strong that he buys a phone about every 18 months or less. One night he had a car accident that cost him more than six months of stopping, he began to realize that he was neglecting me because of the time he spent on his phone. It only lasted a while … Our sex life has also taken a big hit. “An impact on the intimate life that more readers evoke. “It’s been hell, my spouse always has something to do on the laptop,” laments Sylvain, 36. It kills libido. In addition, the Bouygues study revealed that one in two couples consult their smartphone in bed, separately. A phenomenon that is even more accentuated among young people: It is 75% among 18-34-year-olds.

How do you try to detox?

Many strive to find a life as a couple a little more passionate, but do not know how. “My husband is H24 on his phone, he spends his time playing, looking for things, he always finds something to do, it’s unbearable, complains Soraya, 28. But hey, we live with it, we have no choice . “Really? If it’s obvious that going without a smartphone today can put a spoke in the wheels on the professional side, it’s not impossible to establish a few rules to live better together.

“You need to talk about it, hear what it makes the other person live,” advises Magali Briane, an addiction doctor. Try to set rules that suit both. For example, not using the mobile phone while sitting at the table, interrupting notifications at certain times, deciding on moments of sharing and interruption, such as a movie theater, a sport. The idea is not to throw out the smartphone, but to regulate its use so that everyone gets something out of it. “Why not choose a time together without a smartphone, then with it? Or a drawer where you put your laptop away from you for a meal, a game, a movie?

“We have set some rules”

Some readers share their parades. “From now on, when she takes her phone during a movie, I put it on pause to make her understand that it’s bothering me and that I’m waiting for her to put down her phone to continue,” explains Pierre, 19 years old. . It works pretty well and she understands pretty quickly. »

Gaël, 22, also found solutions by talking to his girlfriend. “We have sometimes agreed that I will take her while she works so that she will not be distracted. We have often quarreled about the subject, but we each do a lot of what the other blames us for, and we have laid down a few rules, especially no phone at the table, and not when watching a movie. But it does happen sometimes that certain bad habits associated with the phone return, probably due to a different education around the use of monitors. »

Because the question of the smartphone is sometimes just the tip of the iceberg … “I have established rules, the laptop no longer enters the room or at the table,” Mehdi insists. I therefore point out that it may give rise to another concern … communication. The one without the package, the right one. »

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