Picking Up Your Phone May Hang Up Your Relationship

By Amy Haywood

Cell phones affect our ability to sleep, connect with people and focus on simple tasks. Some research says cellphones are even ruining our most meaningful romantic relationships, particularly since we check our phone every six and a half minutes, or about 150 times each day.

The practice has become so common it even has a nameWhen you choose your phone over your partner you are “phubbing.”

Researchers, James A. Roberts and Meredith E. David, at the Hankamer School of Business of Baylor University, surveyed 145 adults in relationships and asked them to rate how often they use their phone, how often their romantic partner uses their phone, and if they feel satisfied in their relationship on a measured scale.


According to one study, 70 percent of participants said ‘phubbing’ negatively affected their relationship and they felt they couldn’t connect with their romantic partners when in competition with a cell phone.

They found eight types of phone snubbing behaviors that are common in romantic relationships. Check the list below.  If you exhibit this behavior, your relationship might be suffering.

  • During a typical mealtime that my partner and I spend together, my partner pulls out and checks his/her cellphone.
  • My partner places his or her cellphone where they can see it when we are together.
  • My partner keeps his or her cellphone in their hand when he or she is with me.
  • When my partner’s cellphone rings or beeps, he/she pulls it out even if we are in the middle of a conversation.
  • My partner glances at his/her cellphone while talking to me.
  • During leisure time that my partner and I are able to spend together, my partner uses his/her cellphone.
  • My partner uses his or her cellphone when we are out together.
  • If there is a lull in our conversation, my partner will check his or her cellphone.

They also found that phubbing not only contributes to unhappy relationships but that it caused direct conflict with partners and even caused some people to feel depressed.

While we can’t resist the ease and comfort of 24/7 technology at the edge of our fingertips, we can make the active choice to disengage and unplug more often, which can increase our relationship satisfaction and overall quality of life.

Can you relate to these behaviors? Before this article, did you have even realize how much your phone was on in the background or on the sideline of your life? I did not. I also didn’t think about how my phone would negatively affect my relationships. But now I totally get it.







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