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Couples Should Unfriend Each Other To Have A More Fulfilling Relationship

Couples Should Unfriend Each Other To Have A More Fulfilling Relationship

What is the best way for couples to stay close to each other? Talk to each other. Not through Facebook or Instagram or texting, but through face to face communication.

Those are the words of Ian Kerner, a counsellor who specializes in couples and sexual counselling. In an interview with Public Radio International (PRI), Kerner talked about how technology like Facebook and Instagram are posing real issues with relationships, and that a great way to handle it is to turn that all off.

Tuning Out

Kerner observed that couples frequently hold side-by-side conversations with their cell phones and laptops, and that “they’re not having direct face-to-face conversations because they’re also on an iPhone or a gadget, so they’re partially vacated.” Often, the only time where the couples actually have a face to face conversation was when they were speaking with Kerner at therapy.

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Kener said that studies show that even the mere presence of a technological device nearby, even if it is off or silent, can change the texture of a conversation. It distracts people and thus worsens relationships as couples worry that they are not being listened to.

Kerner does not think technology inherently hurts relationships. In the interview, he mentions one couple who used video games like Minecraft and Nintendo titles to bond as an example that technology can sometimes be used for good relationships. The Pew Research Center found that 21 percent of cell owners or internet users in a committed relationship “have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message”. In addition, 74 percent of couples reported that the Internet had a mostly positive effect on their relationship with just 20 percent claiming a mostly negative effect.

One of the key aspects to understanding how technology can hurt relationships is something which Kerner calls “technological compatibility.” If a wife loves to be on Instagram and Facebook all the time, but the husband is more old-fashioned and only really uses the Internet for work-related purposes, then this can raise tensions.

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One example which Kerner cited was a family where the wife used Instagram to show photos of absolutely everything, whether friends, special events, or day to day life., against the advice of home security companies When the family went on vacation and got ice cream, she then started trying to get everyone in a proper position to photograph the family with their ice cream.

The husband, who just wanted to eat the ice cream, snapped in public. He caused a scene, cursing her out in front of the children “about just wanting to eat his [bleeping] ice cream.” It was fundamentally a difference between a wife who was happy to use technology all the time and a husband who was less comfortable with the idea. Kerner noted that he has seen other instances where the husband does not want to be on Facebook or have his kids to have a Facebook account, which invites further acrimony.

Further Research

Lisa Pollack of the Financial Times pointed out another issue of technological compatibility. Another Pew Research Center poll showed that 62 percent of individuals believed that using your cell phone at a restaurant is not okay. But this means that 38 percent of individuals believe that using your cell phone at a restaurant is okay. So when someone from the 38 percent goes on a date at a restaurant with someone from the 62 percent, that one issue can seriously damage a relationship.

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So how can couples actually fix this problem? Kerner believes that the best thing a couple can do is to go on a “digital diet” and use that time gained to start repairing relationships. He also observed that spending some time away of those devices could improve one’s sexual life as well.

“People go to bed too tired to make love… And yet they’re spending hours a day on social media, on blogs and on Netflix. Maybe we really need to figure out how to turn off that faucet.”

So unfriend your partner, close the computer, and go outside with him or her. If that makes for a better relationship, it will certainly be worth it.

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Featured photo credit: woodleywonderworks via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen

When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen

Being single can make you weary, especially if you didn't initiate a breakup, it could be easy to get carried away with reminiscing and what-if scenarios. Staying caught up in the past is toxic to your growth, however, and interferes with your ability to move forward. Single life can be self-actualizing and enjoyable, but you need to embrace it first. No matter where you are on your journey in coming to terms with being single, the following 12 fantastic things will happen when you accept it.

Video Summary

1. You will be more focused.

    Once you start to treasure your new-found freedom, you will realize that taking time for yourself will show you what is most important in your life. Enjoying your single time will make what you want clearer and reveal which areas of your life you should build upon. Additionally, studies show that experiencing something alone results in our brain forming a more clear and longer lasting memory.

    2. You will be more active.

      Studies show that unmarried people are also more fit than their hitched counterparts. Let yourself welcome being single, and use this time to your benefit. You'll be more confident and in control when you do meet someone special.

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      3. You will be more likely to have high goals.

        Being single means you can't settle. In case someone who captures your heart comes along, you need to be at the top of your game. By embracing your time being single, you will be more able to pursue your goals and work towards a more complete, fulfilling future.

        4. You will be more creative.

          Spending time alone is also linked to an increase in creative thinking. Spending more time alone will force you to be a deeper thinker, and could lead you to solutions and projects you wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

          5. Your schedule will be your own.

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            Once you get past feeling lonely and realize how wonderful being single is, you will become aware of one of the best perks – your schedule is now completely your own. No longer do you need to have nights out approved, nor will long days at work get interrupted. Relax into loving your single life because nothing is quite as liberating as deciding every moment of your weekly schedule.

            6. You will likely save money.

              Dating is a great way to wave goodbye to all your hard earned cash. When you're with someone, there's nothing more important than impressing them, including your income. However, when the relationship fizzles, you realize how this tactic doesn't pay off. Not only are we more prone to spending when dating, married couples are more likely to have credit card debt than unmarried singles. So don't get depressed when you're eating cheap meals alone – it's really a form of investing in your future!

              7. You won't need to compromise on entertainment.

                Particularly if your significant other tends to have different tastes than you, being single can be a blessing. As soon as you can appreciate being single, you will realize how freeing it is to always watch exactly what you want. There is no longer any need to skimp on your favorite movies, plays, or TV shows that others don't appreciate.

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                8. You will have more time for your family.

                  Another thing you will realize once you learn to relish being single is you now have much more time for family. Especially when it comes to older relatives, time spent with them truly is precious. Make the most of your single time by reconnecting with family members in your life you may have been neglecting.

                  9. You have more time for your friends.

                    Once you start basking in your single glory, you will also find that you have more time for your friends. Not only will increased free time let you reconnect with friends you may have neglected while being half of a couple, studies also show that married people have much weaker social lives than those who are unmarried.

                    10. You will find new haunts in your city.

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                      Once you start to enjoy your single life again you will also find that you have plenty of time to rediscover your city. Where relationships see us fall into the same habit of favorite spots to drink, eat, or dance, when you're on your own you will naturally start to explore fresh venues again.

                      11. You'll find more interests.

                        Similarly, enjoying your time being single will give you more time to consider new hobbies and interests. Instead of repeating the same go-to dates, you can now freely explore activities that really make you passionate.

                        12. You will be more aware of what you want.

                          Ultimately, taking time to ourselves is an important ingredient in discovering what type of person is our ideal match, or what career we can happily commit to. By delighting in your uninhibited life, you are more able to experiment and thereby find out what works for you and what doesn't. Don't look at being single as a drawback, since learning more about yourself and finding out what makes you tick are crucial in forming balanced, healthy relationships in the future.

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