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Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D.

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Technology and the Loss of Intimacy

Posted: 05/04/2012 7:50 am

In the age of technology, are we losing contact with each other? Sure, there is the superficial contact of emails, texting, and even phone calls -- but are we sacrificing face-to-face time for quick communication?

For the majority of us, we have the luxury of being able to spend face-to-face time with our partners. However, we have become so focused on our phone/tablet/laptop/what-have-you that we are ignoring the person that is right in front of us.

Being able to communicate at the speed of light is great -- but there is little intimacy in that communication. True intimacy comes from face-to-face time. True intimacy comes from sharing a part of ourselves with another -- not by texting, "Where r u??? WTF?"

So how can you regain that intimacy with your partner after you've been spending all your quality time with your phone?

1. Have a "no electronics after 9 p.m." rule. Turn your phone, television, tablet, laptop, etc. OFF. And keep it off until you wake up tomorrow morning. Your brain needs a chance to unwind, and you need to spend some time connecting with your partner. (And don't say that you need your phone on so you can use it as an alarm clock. Get a real alarm clock.)

2. Keep the TV/tablet/laptop out of your bedroom. The bed should only be used for two things: sleeping and sex. It is not for checking your email and playing Angry Birds. Spend that time actually talking and touching your partner.

3. Stop arguing electronically. Having an argument over text is just ridiculous. It's almost impossible to decipher feelings and intentions over text. And you're more likely to say things via type that you would never say to your partner's face. Take a time out and save the discussion for when you see each other in person.

4. Don't text when you can talk. Texting was designed for short messages, such as "On my way" or "See you at 6." It was not meant for carrying on long conversations. Call instead. If you can't call, at least hold off on the heavy discussion until you can see each other in person. Very few things are so important that you have text about them right now.

5. Write a letter to your partner. Yes, an actual pen-and-paper letter. Tell your partner how much you love and appreciate him or her. It's great to text "I <3 you," but you need to add a little more substance to it. It means much more when you take the time to write a letter. You have put time and thought into it -- and that is priceless.

Now some of you may really need to dig deep to find stuff for this letter. And that may be one of the reasons why you've been using technology -- to avoid your partner and not deal with issues. If you are having a hard time coming up with stuff to write in the letter, start focusing on the positive. Think back to what made you fall in love with him or her. What was it that just made you fall head over heels? How did that rush of happiness and love make you feel?

Now mail the letter to your partner. (You may need to buy these little square things called "stamps." If you're not familiar with these little squares, ask anyone over 35. They will know what they are and where to find them.)

If it's been a while since you've really connected with your partner, it may feel really different (and maybe even a little awkward) at first. But different (and even awkward) can be good. It means you're changing and improving your relationship. Now go turn off your phone and get some cuddle time.

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Copyright 2012 Sarkis Media LLC

 
 
 

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