In marriage counseling, and relationship psychotherapy, I have noticed my clients have issues with their partner being too busy texting, returning emails, and donning headphones, both at home and at work! Have you noticed with texting, email, mobile devices, and tablets, that we are more and more “alone together”, and not really enjoying relationship intimacy? How has your partner’s mobile devices, Twitter, Facebook time, texting, and returning emails affected your relationship?
The New York Times recently wrote an excellent article on how we are all having fewer conversations: at work, at home, and during intimacy. The article points out that in this day and age we have “sips” of online connection that don’t fulfill us ultimately to what we all really care about: true intimacy with one self and one another.
The movie “Up in the Air” also portrays characters that are dealing with technology and intimacy trade-offs. Do you know someone in your life who trades off travel or technology with marital life? What about the growth of knowing your self, and your partner? Does super-fast traveling coast to coast, along with online texting, twitter, and email, with its short simple sentences and answers, encourage deeper self-reflection? What about paying attention to nuances in your self and in your partner?
Tip 1: Evaluate WHEN you want to connect without devices and travel itineraries. Are devices allowed at the meal table? In the car? Can someone call a “device timeout” when they want to have a longer conversation? How flexible are travel schedules? Simple habits learned in couples counseling can help you carve out uninterrupted attention times for each other, and change your old habits within thirty days!
Tip 2: Make some agreements about “personal time” and “relationship time”. Find the balance of enough alone time and enough relationship time that works for you both. Autonomy is important just as intimacy is. Learn to enjoy each others company again through relationship counseling. When was your last vacation by your self? With your partner? Love grows when there’s quality attention, playfulness, time, and connection – for your self, and for the health of the relationship.
Tip 3: Begin learning different ways to enhance sexual intimacy with your partner. Have your tried breathing together with intention? Learn to enjoy your own body becoming more alive and grounded while also enjoying your partner’s energy as they add oxygen. Psychotherapy can deeply enhance this through practicing EMPATHY, an essential for building sexual communication.
You might be surprised how good conversations can progress to fun sexual intimacy when you give your selves the time to not be connected online so much of the time. Rediscover the passion – you can always connect in your own body when you are open to deepening with your self – and connect with the other through relationship tools easily learned. There’s so much pressure in our crazy, busy lifestyles, that intimacy takes a back seat. Don’t take it anymore, and get back to tenderness and appreciation through marital counseling.