Distracted Love?

We’ve all heard of distracted driving, but how about distracted relationships? We all have so much competing for our time  these days – work, friends, family…now add in our obsessions with social media, online games and we’re all rarely present and in the moment with the ones that we love. So, put down your iPhone and spend some time today thinking about how you can be more connected to your partner.

So what are the hidden distractions in your relationship?

1. Are You Chained to The Computer? You log in to check email and two hours later, you’re still on the computer. You can never regain this mindless time you spend on the computer, iPad or phone. Before you know it, hours have passed and that’s time you’ve lost with your loved ones.

2. Are You Over-Booked? This is personally my biggest challenge. I have such a hard time saying no that before I know it all my evenings are booked and I have no time left for myself or for my husband. When you have so many things on your plate –  volunteering, carpooling the kids, seeing your friends –  that you don’t have time to pay attention to the things that you really need to pay attention to. To become close to another person, you must pay attention. It’s important to make time for this.

3. Do You Lack of Boundaries?  When did it become ok to take a call or return a text while on a date?  These days our need to be available anywhere, anytime to the world really puts a damper on being in the moment with someone. Avoid this by turning off your devices when you are with your date or significant other. Don’t allow others to intrude upon your life with each other.

4. Do You Just Check Out?  When you are doing too many things at one time, you often just want to veg or zone out once you get home.  This definitely happens to me. Sometimes I get home from a long day and all I want to do is go to sleep. Don’t make yourself too busy during the day that when you get home all you want to do is check out and not connect with your partner.

5. Are You Drifting Apart? It’s a passive action, just allowing your relationship to wither away without taking action to stop it, or believing that you can take care of it at a later time. It’s  important to take control of your life instead of letting your life take control of you.

So, what’s the solution? Maybe you want to declare a few hours every evening as a “no tech zone?”

Dr. Edward Hallowell and his wife, Sue, authors of Married to Distraction: Restoring Intimacy and Strengthening Your Marriage in an Age of Distraction advocate adding “play time” in your relationship. “Play is the action of love. Play is the reward. Play is what you do after you’ve done those first four, and you’re together and you say, ‘Hey, we’re actually having fun!'” Dr. Hallowell says. “You can be having fun and spending no money. Just be together. It’s fun. It’s playful. It’s what you did as kids. It’s what you ought to do as adults, and we say play is the action of love.”

So, what do you think…what other things keep you distracted from giving attention to your relationship?

Photo credit: Josiah Mackenzie’s flickr photostream

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Categories: Marriage


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better place...one relationship at a time.

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3 Comments on “Distracted Love?”

  1. January 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Children – sometimes we get so involved with the lives of our children that we forget to make time for the relationship. The best gift parents can give the kids is to have a loving and healthy relationship and show them how to be happily in love.

  2. January 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    In my experience, some people are just running on empty inside, and they don’t know how to deal with it in a healthy way and so they go about trying to deal with in an unhealthy way, and so they’re looking to fill that emptiness or cover it over with whatever stimulation or emotional high they can find–shopping, eating, validation from strangers via blogging, etc. Many people are just distracted because they don’t want to deal with actually feeling their inner emptiness or feeling bored or face themselves and who they’ve become and what their lives are like. And Erich Fromm made it very clear that this inner emptiness cannot be filled by consumerism–by consuming people, relationships, experiences, books, alcohol, etc, and distracting ourselves with these things and dissipating ourselves on these things. He put the focus squarely on us and said we have to face ourselves, see what our choices have made us into, and we have to make choices that will allow us to become more, increase our level of being or “personhood”–what we are capable of doing, not what we are capable of consuming.

    I see the distractedness as well. And my advice would be to start getting to know oneself better, start writing, examining your own thoughts, start asking why–why am I checking my email compulsively? What am I hoping to get? What’s the payoff? And would I want my spouse to be doing this to me? If not, why am I doing this to him or her?

  3. January 13, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    I think the hardest period in a marriage / relationship are the doubl C years, children and career years. They offer the most challenges and have the greatest potential to suck the life out of even a really good loving couple. Not complaining…. just saying. T

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