A date night subscription can keep you and your partner connected. The once-a-month date in a box keeps you in touch with each other when your calendar is jam-packed with activities and responsibilities. Even with the pressures of a busy life, staying in touch with your love has never been easier. Our digital use numbers paint a telling picture:
- 77 percent of American adults have a social media profile.
- On average, people spend nearly four hours per day on a smartphone.
- Approximately two hours of this time finds is used for perusing the top five social media platforms.
- Americans send over 26 billion texts per month — roughly 94 per person per day.
- Emails sent and received topped out at 269 billion per day last year.
Yet, all this time “connecting” leads to a serious disconnect.
Social media ranks second to watching TV as the most common daily activity. Yet, socializing one-on-one ranks low on the list. Over a lifetime, people spend the equivalent of five years and four months on social media and a mere one year and three months socializing.
Keep reading to learn how connecting through technology ultimately leads to a serious disconnect between romantic partners.
What it Means to Stay in Touch
Keeping connected requires more than exchanging a few texts or touching base before your drive home from work. Healthy relationships require face-to-face communication. You and your partner need time together to make intimate emotional and physical connections.
Being connected emotionally tunes you in to your partner. It comprises the feelings which build closeness and develop trust. It bonds you to each other and gives you the power to survive life’s difficulties and the strength to work through conflict. Emotional intimacy builds a sense of security and reduces stress levels. (Check out the theory behind this brain function here.)
Since the level of your emotional connection is so important to the health of your relationship, every so often you and your partner should check on and talk about the following:
- The emotions you talk about with each other.
- How often you ask each other for advice.
- How well you listen to each other.
- The activities you do together.
- How much of your lives you actually share.
Having a strong physical connection with your partner is just as important as having an emotional one. They are two sides of the same coin. Healthy relationships need both to be full and satisfying. One deepens the other and vice versa.
Daily kissing, hugging and touching between partners raises personal well-being and increases relationship satisfaction. Physical touch matters. It expresses care, love, desire and connection. It is received as comfort and love while bonding partners to each other.
One touch is not enough. The power of connection comes from “the accumulation of touching”. The give and take of physical touch over time increases intimacy and relationship satisfaction. From the brush of an arm as you pass to a kiss before leaving the house to sex — it all adds up.
Furthermore, couples with an active and satisfying sex life also report higher levels of well-being. Studies reveal “sex predicts affection and affection, in turn, predicts sexual activity”, creating the interplay of emotional and physical connection.
Why Staying in Touch Matters
Smartphone use leads to distraction, even when you are with your partner. Heavy social media use contributes to higher rates of depression. When someone is digitally connected, real connection with a partner simply does not happen.
Physical touch also runs low when most conversation is held via device. The picture of two partners sitting on opposite ends of a couch or across a dinner table, gaze fixated on their phones, is all too common. The lure of the digital realm lessens how often we touch our partners.
This is a problem.
Counselors believe face-to-face communication is essential to a healthy relationship. Body language, nonverbal cues, facial expression and tone of voice cannot be duplicated by technology. We miss out on these vital parts of a relationship when all interaction goes digital.
Physical touch releases oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone”. This powerful chemical helps create a bond between you and your partner. From the small, seemingly insignificant touches throughout the day to sex, oxytocin works to make you and your partner feel connected.
The bottom line: Less touch equals less connection.
How to Stay in Touch
Work demands, kids’ activities, family emergencies and more likely keep you hopping. Communication may be nothing more than a few words exchanged as you pass the baton at the front door.
It’s easy and tempting to cancel dates or push off a needed conversation and resolve to check in with your partner later. The problem with this philosophy is that life never slows down.
Staying in touch with each other requires intentionality. Make your relationship a top priority. Schedule times to communicate, and throw in a few simple daily practices to connect emotionally and physically. Check out the ideas below and get going.
When Your Partner is Near
Making time to emotionally and physically connect with your partner occurs in everyday moments as well as more intentional times, like date nights. Here are some great ideas for touching emotionally:
- Smile across the room at your partner.
- Say something kind spontaneously.
- Listen to your partner.
- Share something that happened at work.
- Express your feelings.
- Share dreams and fears with each other.
- Order dinner in and talk.
- Offer encouragement.
- Dance in the kitchen, wrestle in the living room — just goof around.
- Say “I love you”.
Here are great ideas for touching physically:
- Touch your partner’s arm as you pass by each other.
- Put your hand on the small of your love’s back as you talk.
- Kiss your sweetheart every time you leave the house or return home.
- Surprise your love with a hug from behind.
- Cuddle on the couch.
- Give your partner a massage.
- Stroke your sweetheart’s hair.
- Schedule a sex date.
- Hold hands.
- Hug often.
Bonus: In times of low-level conflict, a simple touch (e.g. holding hands or touching an arm) helps defuse the situation so the couple can refresh and reconnect.
Double-Bonus: Different types of hugs communicate different messages. One-armed hugs, flirty hugs, passionate hugs … the titles change depending on the list. For a look at hugs and what they mean, check out this video. See if you and your partner agree with the definitions.
When Your Partner is Far
Digital communication is not always harmful. When partners are separated for any reason, connecting digitally becomes a convenient and effective way to stay connected. Keep in mind that the right amount of distance often makes the heart grow fonder. Here are some great ideas for touching emotionally when distance keeps you apart:
- Send texts of encouragement.
- Use Facetime to share stories of your day.
- Grab a date night box and adapt the activities for Skype.
- Email a love letter.
- Video message each other using an app like Marco Polo.
- Set goals together. Dream about the future as you talk on the phone.
- Countdown the days until you are together.
- Update each other with photos.
- Post silly stories or sappy messages on social media.
- Make plans to tag along on your partner’s next trip.
Obviously, physical touch across distance does not work. But, that does not mean your relationship is doomed when one of you travels. It does mean pre-filling the physical touch love bank becomes even more important. Also, you should set a special date for reconnecting physically when you are reunited.
A Date Night Subscription Keeps You Connected Near and Far
Meaningful, quiet date nights give you and your partner the opportunity to connect and bond. Nothing fancy or extravagant is required. Just you, your partner and space to communicate. No phone. No social media. It’s the face-to-face communication relationship experts talk about.
Amid life’s busyness, making the time for this type of communication does not come easy. In a digital culture, knowing how to connect emotionally has gotten more difficult. But, the roadblock should not stand in the way of experiencing the intimacy you and your partner deserve. So, go to Datelivery and order a date night subscription.
The monthly delivery gives your relationship the boost of authentic communication you and your partner need to stay in touch with each other. Activities, games and questions come planned out for you; there are even snacks for you both to enjoy. Just show up, give your partner a hug, and let the connecting begin!
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