Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tech-Proof Your Relationship! Take the Valentine's Day Quiz!!

Valentine's Day is almost here!  Are you ready?  More importantly, do you feel that your relationship is stronger now that we are constantly 'connected' through technology? Many couples that I have talked with, especially females, are experiencing a loss of connection with their partners even though they are interacting electronically throughout the day! Why might this be?  We'll take a look at why in just a moment, but for now, I'd like you to Tech-Proof Your Relationship by taking a little quiz!



Answer Yes or No. Remember, Yes means true most of the time. Be honest and don't over-think your responses! Also, when answering the questions on your technology habits and usage, we are talking about time spent on any electronic device.  Also, any work time spent on technology is not included. However, this should not exceed 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. Not weekends!  OK, here we go!

1.  I spend more face to face time with technology than with my sweetie.              Yes            No

2. When communicating with my sweetie-pie, I prefer to do so electronically.         Yes            No

3. I spend more time holding my electronic devices than I do my sweetheart.          Yes            No

4. When I'm with my sweetie-cakes (and I don't have my technology with me),       Yes           No
    I am thinking about my social sites, texts, emails, etc.

5. My sweetness says I don't pay attention very well or I am no longer a                 Yes           No
    very good listener.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                            ______________
                                                                                   
                                                                                                       Total # of Yes's =   _______

Before we interpret the results of the quiz, let me address the importance of communicating face to face, and why some individuals are feeling less connected to their partners even though their electronic interactions are quite frequent.

First, when we communicate face to face, we experience the feelings and emotions of our partner.
Face to Face 
We take our cues about how and when to respond effectively by observing their mood, body language, and facial expressions. When we are able to modulate our responses in healthy accordance to our partners, this draws us closer together.

Secondly, when we communicate face to face, we look into our partners eyes. By doing so, we validate not only their voice, but we are saying that they are important. Also, when we look into another's eyes and when we are focusing on their feelings, there is an  undeniable human emotion - empathy - that swells within us. And, when we are able to empathize with our partner -to tap into the core of his/her raw emotions with unconditional understanding, we feel deeply connected.

Hold One Another
Thirdly, most of us appreciate a 'good listener'. Speaking from a female's perspective, I believe I can safely say that most women do!  Two points to  make here.  One,  when we are communicating electronically, typically many of us are multi-tasking. This is understandable, but we are not being active listeners - listeners who are doing one thing - listening. Two, because of our increased usage on electronic devices for our daily living, many of us have decreased attention spans or we have lost the ability to really listen (mainly due to lack of need or practice). When we are listening to our partner, and I mean being a reflective listener (which means we are listening so intently that we are able to reflect back to our partner what he or she has said), we connect with them. By being an active listener and utilizing reflective listening skills - we feel heard, we feel understood, and we feel incredibly connected...and close.

With that said, here we go! The results:  Tech-Proof Your Relationship Quiz!

# of Yes's.....

0  -  Congratulations!   Keep your strong connection!  Your priorities are in order! Your sweetie will
       appreciate you!  Go out and celebrate a romantic Valentine's evening!

1  -  Bravo!  Keep the human connection going! You are practicing healthy balanced 
        communication! Enjoy a loving romantic dinner out for Valentine's Day!

2  -  Well done, partner! Your close connection is strong but check in with your sweetie.  Create
        more balance into your communications - strive for  more face to face time. For Valentine's,
        plan a romantic evening out with no technology!

3  -   Time for a more romantic agenda!   Your sweetie needs more face to face time and needs
         your attention. Create time each day to communicate without technology.  Meal time is a great
         place to start! Include the entire family in this!  Then, plan a romantic weekend away or at
         home, with no technology! Practice active and reflective listening.  Make this Valentine's Day a
         time of  love and connection.

4  -  Your Valentine's heart may be hurting!   Take immediate action!  Reset priorities and re-
        establish your face to face connection. Work towards a plan of communication balance in your
        relationship.  Find out what each one of you needs and how to achieve that. For an immediate
        intervention, plan a week with reduced usage at home: start with meal times and after dinner.
        And, plan one weekend a month either away or at home with no technology! During these tech-
        free times, practice active and reflective listening. For Valentine's Day, plan a romantic evening
        with no technology! Look into each other's eyes - talk - listen - and reconnect. You won't regret
        it!

5 -  Recapture the romance before its too late!  
      On a lighter  note  - Consider auditioning for the sequel to "Her".
      On a serious note, put down your technology and talk to your sweetie! Implement the following
      interventions!  Reassess your priorities and establish a plan for creating balance in your
      communication. Begin by designating times throughout the day when there is no technology use
      (when you are together): meal times, in the car, after dinner, two hours before bedtime, etc. Plan
      tech-free weekends once a month and schedule weekly date-nights with no technology. Most
      importantly, with your tech-free time together, practice active and reflective listening.   This
      Valentine's Day, make it tech-free! Make it romantic! Feel the connection come alive!

I've tried to make this fun and  I do hope it was received that way! At the same time, I know that change is hard.  I know that my husband and I have to work at this as well.  And, I also know that our relationship benefits from doing so! One of the things that I love about my husband so much is that when I need him to listen, he puts away all technology, turns and faces me, and looks me directly in the eyes.  It  melts my heart....

Happy Valentine's Day !
                                                                      

~ For More "Coupling and Connection" ~


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