How Can I Get My Partner To Put Their Cellphone Down?

If we bury ourselves in our phones in our loved one’s company, we might be sending an unintended message.

“When a partner is always glancing away from you to a phone, it feels like rejection, and the rejections can add up,” says Guy Winch, PhD, author of†Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts.†“But if you say, ‘You’re always on your phone,’ there’s likely to be hurt feelings and a breakdown of communication.”

Winch suggests that couples who struggle with this issue agree to set some boundaries around phone use. To keep communication open, it’s best to make any agreement a mutual one (by using “we” rather than “you”), he says, lest the frequent phone-user feel blamed. Try having a phone-free dinner hour, for example, or turning off the phones at 8 every night.

If your partner feels she needs to stay available for work, he says, “establish a 15-minute period to check messages. But schedule it ó decide when it would be least disruptive to your time together.” And then stick to it.

And if that doesn’t work?

Emphasize the idea of uninterrupted time together, he suggests. You’re committing to a time when work is finished, and “not being distracted from each other.” If the phone is truly not an obstacle, it should be easy to establish a no-interruption time. If putting it down is a challenge, that only proves how important and necessary a phone-free zone really is.

By Jon Spayde

This post was republished with permission from Experience Life


Cathy B
Cathy B3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Winn A
Winn Adams3 months ago


Dennis H
Dennis Hall3 months ago

Thank you.

Sonia M

Thanks for sharing

Mona M
Mona M3 months ago

Thank you. I also feel mercy to observe how people have become so weak that the addiction to cellphone and virtual worlds has become more important than real connections and relationships.

Ruth R
Ruth Rakotomanga3 months ago

"it feels like rejection" - no, it is rejection, the equivalent of turning a deaf ear!

Ellie M
Ellie M3 months ago


Jetana A
Jetana A3 months ago

Such rudeness is inexcusable.

John B
John B3 months ago

Thanks for sharing the article.

MilliSiteProbs M
MilliSiteProbs M3 months ago

Ops better clarify the ending should read: that would be with whomever on his cell not with the relatives at the table.