Technology is integrated into so many areas of our lives. While the amazing capabilities of smartphones and gadgets help make things easier, more organized, and usually more fun, many people feel that our dependence on them is adversely affecting our personal relationships, including the ones we have with our romantic partners. You text instead of talk face to face, you bury yourself in a Netflix show instead of connecting, or you scroll through Instagram without acknowledging the other person right next to you.
We've learned over time that nights, especially during the workweek, are our personal time to separately decompress (while being right next to each other).
I understand all of this. I get it! Technology has had a massive effect on how we interact with each other, but when it comes to those studies that suggest technology use in the bedroom will hurt your relationship, I would have to disagree. I can't tell you how many articles I've read about how playing on your phone or tablet before bed prevents you from connecting with your partner and fostering a good and healthy relationship. They say the time before sleep is when you should be talking, cuddling, and fully enjoying each other's company. They almost make you feel guilty that if you aren't staring into each other's eyes every night and asking each other 100 questions about your thoughts, feelings, and dreams, you're doomed.
But I call bullsh*t. My boyfriend and I have been living together for the past year and a half, and I don't believe us being on separate tablets every night has affected our intimacy at all. Just last night, he stayed late up on his tablet catching up on the latest season of Game of Thrones. I, on the other hand, was laying right next to him watching a documentary. We didn't talk at all, and it was awesome.
As two people who usually work from home, have nearly all of our meals together, and often run errands as a duo, we don't feel hard-pressed to spend every moment of every evening giving each other our undivided attention. We've learned over time that nights, especially during the workweek, are our personal time to separately decompress (while being right next to each other). This may mean curling up under the covers with our tablets at the end of the day, usually barely saying a word to each other before we doze off. Using our devices only becomes a real problem if one of us is glued to them if we're enjoying a nice dinner out or visiting each other's families. When that happens, we say something and fix it. But when it comes to our daily lives and nighttime routine, doing our own thing and watching things we each enjoy is one of the ways we practice self-care.
Of course, this setup may not be a fit for everyone. For couples who may work long hours apart or have conflicting work or personal schedules, the evenings may be the time for them to fully enjoy each other's company sans technology. But for us, nighttime is the perfect opportunity to disconnect by plugging in. And if you do too, don't feel guilty about it! So whenever I do come across another article that insists it's slowly killing my relationship, I'll look over at my boyfriend and smile, knowing that we're doing just fine.