Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

Technology is an important part of relationships. We can use it to meet people (such as through dating apps), interact with people (through email, texts, social media platforms, etc.), and improve our relationships (through relationship education-based apps). Technology has impacted the way in which people initiate partnerships and enhance those connections over time. Conversely, it can also alter the quality of communication between partners and draw them away from one another and into their devices. You can learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of technology when it comes to relationships by reviewing my previous blog post.

Researchers Sarah Coyne, Laura Stockdale, Dean Busby, Bethany Iverson, and David Grant (2011) note that technology is often used by partners to express affection for one another. In their study, they found that texting was frequently used, likely because of the ease with which partners can interact with one another. They found that younger individuals (17-25) were more likely to use technology to communicate affection, and that married individuals reported more media use across all types—texting, IM, social networking, blogs, and webcams—than those who were dating. They shared that this is likely because married individuals have more issues to deal with throughout the day, and the use of technology increases the ease through which people can communicate about these issues. The researchers also found a relationship between technological media use and relationship satisfaction, in that those who were more satisfied used media more frequently to express affection toward their partner.

Below are some ways in which technology can positively affect romantic relationships:

Expressing Affection

Technology is helpful for letting your partner know that you care. Emails can be used in place of notes that were once packed in our lunchboxes to express our love or a quick text can be sent to let your partner know that you’re thinking about them. Some couples may incorporate technology into foreplay by letting their expressions get a little flirty, but be careful if they are being sent when in public or during the workday.

Enhancing the Ease of Communication

Technology can be used to keep our partners apprised of one another’s whereabouts during the day or keep in contact if planning to meet up somewhere. Additionally, technology can be used to send reminders to one another (such as grocery lists, after-work tasks, etc.) to help keep partners functioning as a team.

Relationship Enhancement

There is a plethora of apps that focus on relationship enhancement through education and couples’ exercises. While these apps should not take the place of therapy, they can help couples enhance their relationships by having them engage in conversations about topics that they otherwise may have avoided. Additionally, these apps are often geared toward having couples learn something new about one another and are a great, interactive way for partners to spend quality time together.

While technology can certainly enhance connections, it is important that both you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to its use and the role it plays in your relationship.

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