I’m not going to lie. I’ve gone to sleep with the familiar glow of the smartphone in front of my face and I also read the news in bed, while my partner does the same on his iPad.
But after reading the results from a new study about how using devices in the bedroom can seriously screw up your love life, I’m definitely going to be rethinking my habits with my smart devices and maybe you should, too.
Interviews have recently been conducted around England about how people use technology and how that might impact modern relationships. And the results are pretty daunting, with 40 per cent of people admitting that they have put off having sex to make a call, check their messages or search websites online.
Even more disturbing than that, some participants said they had even rushed lovemaking so they could respond to messages or had even answered the phone during sex. For goodness sake, people! Have we really become so consumed with being connected online that we’ve forgotten how to connect with the person sleeping beside us? It certainly seems that way.
The sample size may have been small — only 15 couples were interviewed — but the results do say something about the way modern couples interact with each other, or, more to the point, don’t interact with each other.
With these results in mind, let’s make a pact that we’re going to make a conscious effort to reconnect with ourselves and our partners and stop those addictive smart devices from becoming the third wheel in our relationships. Here’s how we can do it.
1. Keep the devices out of the love nest
The bedroom is a sacred space; it’s where couples should be nurturing their love for each other and having a damn good time in the process. If that phone of yours has a green light flashing through the night, signalling a new message has come through, or if those message tones ring at all hours, then of course that’s where your attention is going to be pulled, instead of in the direction of your smoking-hot partner beside you. Ditch the devices in the bedroom, STAT.
2. Turn them off at a certain time
If you really must be contactable at all hours of the day and night, perhaps we need to have a conversation about work-life balance. Do an experiment with yourself and turn the phone off completely from a particular time each evening. It might be 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. or before dinner — whatever time it is, turn the phone off and direct your attention to your partner instead of your device.
3. Tackle this together
Of course, if you’ve got the phone off and out of the bedroom, but your partner is still checking the news in bed until 11 p.m. at night, then this just isn’t going to work. Talk about what you have to lose (a connection between the two of you and an awesome sex life) with your partner and they’re sure to come on board eventually.
4. Avoid checking e-mail and texts first thing in the morning
Instead of busying yourself first thing in the morning with checking the e-mails that you missed last night, wake up properly. Have a cup of tea or some water, hydrate yourself; maybe you want to have a morning snuggle or something more. Just think of all those early-morning moments you missed because your nose was buried in your phone. Let’s stop that from happening, shall we?
5. Reclaim your space
There’s no use saying no gadgets in the bedroom when they’re just going to be all around the other more regularly used spaces of the house instead. Leave the devices for the study or the home office or put them away in a drawer. Organise time to use the device and schedule that time into your daily life. And keep them away from living rooms and areas where you spend time catching up or eating. Reclaim your space and show that device who’s boss!
What do you think? Has your device caused havoc in your own relationship? Share your opinions in the comments section below.