Love in the Time of Cellphones

Is being wired all the time helping or hurting your relationship?

This post comes to us from contributor Kari Molvar.

I’m married to someone who works in tech, which is both a blessing and curse. A blessing because he can book an Uber, order dinner and queue up a really good Spotify playlist in five minutes on his phone. A curse because that damn phone is always in his hand! (Insert upside-down smiley face.) Over the course of our 10-year relationship, as technology has evolved from flip phones to wireless trackers, we’ve found new ways to communicate—and keep our relationship as strong as our home WiFi connection. Because let’s face it–we live in a hyper-fast, wired world, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Still, there are ways to keep the love alive and stoke the fire of your desire with the glow of a screen in the background. I’m far from an expert but here’s my take on staying connected—and romantically content—in the digital era.

How Your Phone Can Do You Good:

1. Memes bring you closer. Cute, thoughtful memes and gifs can make you laugh and remind you why you guys totally get each other. My husband might not be great at expressing emotion in person (hey, I’m no Shakespeare either) but give him an avatar and he can’t resist sending cheesy, sentimental thoughts during the day (“I Luv You!”). Plus, a funny avatar or gif can diffuse the tension after a fight and make it easier to make up. How can you hold a grudge when you see your partner floating on a cloud that spells out “I’m sorry! My bad!”

2. Texting is a form of bonding. Like most couples in the early stages of dating, my significant other and I had all sorts of inside jokes and sayings (saying them here would make no sense, but trust me, they’re really funny!). Texting has actually made it easier to swap these little asides and develop our own relationship codes, IMO. And while I’m all for talking in person, sometimes that’s logistically hard when one of us is traveling or stuck in the office working long hours. Those little love texts are the digital equivalent of notes left in your locker, with emojis being the doodles you’d draw on.

3. Instagram brings out the best in you guys. We all need a little nudge to be romantic and not take our partner for granted when we hang out with them day in and day out. Posting a ‘gram makes you pause, reflect for a moment, and share a sentiment with others. When I posted a shot of the amazing cake my husband made for my birthday, I gave a #grateful shout-out on my feed. And a big kiss IRL.

How Your Phone Can Sabotage Your Love:

1. Not unplugging on dates. You’re out at a restaurant, the lights are dim and there’s just a candle flickering between you…oh wait, that’s your partner’s cell phone and he or she is checking their email and only half-listening to what you’re saying. Sound familiar? A cell phone has become the annoying third wheel on dates, and it’s a really hard habit to break. My husband and I have tried to put our phones face down on the table or concealed in pockets but somehow they always resurface (one of you goes to the restroom during dinner, and all bets are off). My advice: physically put your phone out or arm’s reach (like leave it home or in the car)—otherwise, the temptation is just too great.

2. Ghosting on text. No one likes to feel blown off, and thanks to read receipts, it’s now blatantly obvious when someone has received your message but is leaving you hanging for a response. Whether you’ve been together forever or are newly coupled up, remember this common courtesy: Write back in a few hours or if you’re super busy, send a quick text saying you’ll respond more later.

3. Capturing the moment, not living it. After a recent night out on vacation, I realized I hadn’t seen much of my partner’s face. Why? It was stuck behind his phone camera, filming all the fun stuff we were doing. That’s ok (and I totally savored his epic Instagram story) but at some point, you gotta put down your device and look at who’s in front of you–the person you love. #Nofilter needed to enjoy that!

Read more from Kari here.

+ What are your thoughts on cellphones and relationships? Let us know in the comments below! 


Lead photo by Richard.

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My boyfriend and I fulfil all the good stuff you mentioned about cell phone use, but also fall victim to the bad stuff too. One of my biggest crimes personally is trying to capture every moment. I’m slowly learning to unplug!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

I agree with this whole post! Smartphones have made doing things such as work and study easier than ever, with information literally on your fingertips- but there is a time and a place! Having time away from your phone is super peaceful and puts the important things into perspective.

7 years ago

I totally agree with everything you’ve written, I love your post!
We should create the “day without mobiles” yearly and internationally. In addition it would be good to take as a healthy habit that the cell phone is not picked up at dinner time, at home or abroad. It is my opinion. Ahh…I´m blogger.

6 years ago

That rosy/embroidered maxi dress with the ribbon trim is absolutely gorgeous. Is it a FP?
PS – Would rather not regret losing beautiful memories because my nose is buried in the phone. We all need the reminder to stop and savor the analog life.

6 years ago

I would like to know about the embroidered maxi as well! Gorgeous!

Michelle Tokarski
6 years ago

Yes! The dress on the left is perfect! I too would love to know about that dress.

6 years ago

I love this! I’d never thought of texting as locker love notes before. Sometimes I get really frustrated that my boyfriend is always glued to his phone (and vice versa) especially when we’re out walking somewhere, but I agree that so many arguments have been diffused over the years with a stupid gif or meme that you just can’t help but laugh at.

6 years ago

These dresses <3 !

Camilla Kachar
6 years ago

Where can I get those dresses?