In every relationship it is important to communicate or stay in touch with your loved one. Today there are many ways to stay in touch.
A new device hits the market and everything changes – but, really, not everything changes. Communication itself has not changed; it is the means we actually use to communicate that changes almost daily.
At a recent trip to a fast-food place I observed a couple, probably in their 50’s. They were chowing down for about 25 minutes. She was on her cell phone for the first 4 or 5 minutes. On my way to get a drink refill I noticed that he was playing Angry Birds on his smart phone. She did most of the talking, mostly asking yes and no questions. Her voice was loud. If you don’t want anyone to hear your conversation don’t use your phone in restaurants. Chances are those near you don’t want to hear your conversation either. I only heard him utter 4 words during their dinner: “Huh?,” “Yeah,” “Yep,” and “Okay.” Several times he just shook his yes instead of speaking. How sad. Do your best to never let your relationship slip into a “no communication” mode.
There are many ways to communicate nowadays. From smart phones, text messaging (a text cannot only be misunderstood but also misread and misinterpreted), Skype, webcams, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, the facilitation of communication has never been more available. The way cell phones are made today you can do just about anything with them; you can talk, send text messages, take pictures, video record, voice record, listen to radio, download and play Mp3’s, and surf the internet. There has been more and more discussion about how this technology is affecting our relationships and interaction with people in our everyday lives.
Divided attention and distraction are only two of the issues. The lack of visual cues including gestures, facial expressions and posture creates challenges. Miscommunication is another common problem. Not having a phone nearby seems to help foster closeness, connectedness, interpersonal trust, and perceptions of empathy — the building-blocks of relationships.
Don’t make your phone the lifeline for your love life. Sharing emotions over the phone could threaten your relationship, a new Purdue University study found. When far-apart couples revealed feelings, they were less likely to idealize each other, which can lead to dissatisfaction. “If self-disclosure isn’t accompanied by body language, it can be hard to convey understanding,” says study author Ji-Yeon Lee, PhD. If she unloads over the phone, you would be wise to describe your “physical” reaction by saying, “I wish I could hug you,” or “I wish you were here with me now, etc.” This requires really paying attention to what your partner is saying. Not actively listening is a pure form of disrespect. That is often easy to do in long conversations by phone.
Another recent set of studies by Andrew K. Przybylski and Netta Weinstein of the University of Essex showed that our phones can hurt our close relationships. Amazingly, they found that simply having a phone nearby, without even checking it, can be detrimental to our attempts at interpersonal connection.
It’s one thing to use the phone to occasionally stay in touch, however, if you are spending the day with people you really care about, you might want to reconsider the next time you reach for your phone to reply to a text message or check sports scores.
“For couples in which things have been so difficult that they both are considering ending the relationship, problems arising from a difficult phone conversation may push their relationship to the tipping point,” says University of Minnesota professor, Paul Rosenblatt.
Face to face is always best. When communicating face to face, nonverbal behaviors provide context clues for the words we use. Sarcasm and jokes without nonverbal context cues can cause frustration. So, it’s best to use your phone for short, quick check-ins instead of long conversations. Long phone conversations seem to inhibit feelings of intimacy you’d otherwise get when you’re sitting face-to-face with someone.
Dr Daniel Kruger, University of Michigan, the lead author of another study, said that women’s desire for communication, emotional bonding and affection is at peak when their partners fell asleep after having a passionate session of love.
“Rarely is there a time when it is appropriate to withhold relevant communication in a love relationship. Communication is too important to take casually. Say what you mean. Say what you feel in a loving way and say it nevertheless. When you say what you know needs to be said, you will never have to worry about saying the wrong thing.” ~ Larry James
Secret revelations about yourself to your love partner; the relevant truth – meaning revelations that relate to the love relationships’ well being – make for intimate conversation that can assist a healthy love relationship to grow more passionate and deeply more intimate.
P.S. Pillow-talk is fun too! 😉 Pillow talk plays a vital role in happy relationships.
“My wife wrote an e-mail to me saying she was concerned that we have communications issues. I immediately sent an IM asking her to clarify. She messaged me on Facebook saying not to worry but that sometimes we’re not as connected as she’d like. I tweeted her that I love her more than anything. She texted me that she loves me too and was tired after a long day of work. So I leaned over and kissed her good night.” 😉
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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