Do you feel like you’re competing with your partner’s mobile phone for attention?

Do you sometimes feel like if your partner had to choose between you and their mobile phone, it may not be YOU?

More and more I am seeing in couples coming to relationship counselling where one partner is complaining about the amount of time his/her partner is on their phone, taking away from the quality time they can spend together.

In established relationships, particularly when you are trying to balance work pressures and raising a family, it is especially important to carve out quality time together just as a couple each night.

And, as if this is not difficult enough to achieve, with the demands of work, commuting, giving the kids attention, meal preparation, organizing the children for and in bed, just when you have finally finished with all these demands on your time and it’s time to relax together, you can find your partner would prefer to be on facebook or is distracted constantly by their phone.

Research on Relationship quality and Mobile phone use

Interesting research from the University of Essex study has shown how much just having a mobile phone sitting next to you, even without using it, can negatively impact your relationship closeness.

In their study, they found that when couples were discussing anything of meaning to them, just having a mobile phone near them (and without using it) both partners reported feeling less trust in each other, and felt their partners showed less empathy than when there was no phone present at all.

The Mobile Mindset Study has also found that:

  • We are constantly connecting. Nearly 60% of people said they don’t go an hour without checking their phone. Those between 18 and 34 were the most addicted with 63% of women and 73% of men saying they can’t go an hour without checking their phones.
  • Our connection never sleeps. 54% said they check their phones while lying in bed: before they go to sleep, after they wake up, even in the middle of the night.
  • We need access everywhere. Nearly 40% admit to checking their phone even while on the toilet.


Mobile phones are a huge part of our lives and are here to stay, but overuse of them can really hurt your relationship.

So when you make the time to spend quality time together each night, you might want to consider making a phone-free zone, for a least half an hour a night.

You might be surprised what a qualitative difference it will make to your relationship.

More on the Core values in a healthy relationship in next week’s blog.

Warmest regards


If you are in Sydney and are experiencing this kind of problem, please check out our Sydney Relationship Team of Psychologists.

Search our Therapists Near you

Types of Counselling

Search our Therapists Near you

Types of Counselling