One thing technology has definitely changed is romance and dating. We no longer wait days or weeks to talk to someone. With cell phones, everyone is always available. Portable phone technology has changed how we communicate with each other and has drastically altered our expectations for our relationships. Because everyone is “always” on and available to talk, we expect our relationships to move quickly and satisfy us around the clock. Texting has become one of the most widely used forms of communication and technology is only making people more and more accessible to each other. We crave immediate communication and use it to measure our level of fulfillment because that’s what’s normal.
If you grew up with technology like I did, it’s sometimes difficult to put how we communicate with each other into perspective. Flirting via text message is commonplace for us; communicating often and daily with your significant other is expected. We know of no other way. However, I think it’s important to remain self-aware of how our behavior is changing due to technology and how it can deteriorate our relationships. It’s not enough to mindlessly use our devices and let our new expectations run/ruin our lives.
When we go through difficulties in our relationships, these strange new expectations become glaringly obvious. Every moment staring at the phone feels like a lifetime. We expect change, forgiveness, and love immediately because that’s how we communicate. As we adapt to the new world, we have to see technology for the tool that it is and use it mindfully to support and nourish our relationships. So on that note, here’s a few things to consider as you navigate a rough patch with your significant other in the digital world.
Distance Yourself from Your Phone
I think the easiest thing you can do to take your mind off of relationship troubles is distance yourself from your phone. I say easiest because it’s such a simple action, yet I know from experience, that it can be one of the most difficult habits to break. Because our phones have become somewhat of an extra limb, it takes a special sense of self-awareness to recognize how often it monopolizes our time. With all that mind-numbing scrolling, it’s hard to see how much time we are giving to other people. Absorbed into other people’s lives and highlight reels, we miss the opportunity to reconnect with our own and deal with the challenges in front of us. Sometimes a break from the internet is in order so we can have an uninterrupted moment to ourselves. In times of stress and discomfort in your relationship, make time for yourself but put your phone down first. Your life is worth paying attention to too, you know.
Wait It Out & Talk in Person
Although it may seem obvious that face-to-face communication is better when discussing serious topics, I don’t know that all of us are truly putting that into practice. Let’s face it, our lives have changed and the world moves a lot quicker than it used to. Sometimes this means we see the people we care about less often than we’d like so we resort to whatever forms of communication we have available to stay close to them.
During a rough patch, see if you can wait it out and talk in person. That gives you time to cool off when angry and collect your thoughts when sad. Instant communication gives us the ability to react in the moment, spreading our negativity before we realize our own mistake. Even worse, the words you write down, you can’t take back because they ultimately become part of a record. Although it’s tempting to react immediately because we’re able to, don’t. It might save you a whole lot of headaches later on and be more conducive to supporting the person you love.
Forgive Your Significant Other for Their Digital Faux Pas
Faced with adapting to a relatively new form of communication, we are all a little unstable. Digital faux pas are far from being obsolete, as we all make our fair share of mistakes and will continue to as technology develops. I think keeping this in mind is a good way to not take digital communication so personally. We are all learning how to navigate our new world of technology and oversights occur, not because we don’t care, but because we don’t know what we’re dealing with. The way we communicate and interact with our phones is still evolving so we haven’t had much time to be mindful of our behavior and how it affects other people. It’s a zoo out there.
Next time your significant other disappoints you when communicating via phone or texting, take it lightly and remember that we are all mostly unaware of the ways we disappoint people. Tell them how you feel but always forgive first and try to work it out from there.
Recognize That Matters of the Heart Take Time
Our world may move at breakneck speeds but our hearts don’t. We still need time to fall in love, see the fault in our ways, and get to know the person we share our world with. In times of difficulty, it isn’t reasonable to expect our significant other to come around so quickly. Although we may communicate rapidly, matters of the heart still take time. Anyone worth investing a lifetime in, is worth waiting for. Could you imagine if we made serious decisions about our relationships just as quickly as we expect to be communicated with? It would be disastrous. Yet without considering our own behavior, we’re nearly there. So as you navigate your own challenges, remember to put this into perspective: more frequent communication isn’t necessarily the key to mending concerns of the heart.
Say You’re Sorry BUT Challenge Yourself to ONLY Say It in Person
Going along with the previous point, immediate communication gives us the ability to apologize constantly. We think we can send a quick apology text anytime transgressions in our relationships occur. Not only do we often forget that things take time, we also over use our apologies to maintain positivity in our lives. However, I think the more we say we’re sorry the less it counts and the more likely we are to fall into negativity. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t express regret when we’re wrong. We should just put more thought into our apologies so they are meaningful to the people receiving them. In difficult seasons, challenge yourself to wait for the right moment to apologize in person and truly mean what you say. Fast paced communication shouldn’t obscure our need for meaningful and constructive conversation.
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P.S. – 🎅🏻 Jingle, jingle! Holiday posts coming soon. And pictures, I promised pictures.