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How Do I Deal With a Boyfriend Who Is Distracted on the Phone?

by Lucie Westminster, studioD

With cell phones, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips. Despite the many advantages, this isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be. A staggering 97 percent of Americans own cell phones, according to Pew Internet. If your boyfriend uses his cell phone constantly to check his email or his social media pages when he should be paying attention to you, it's time to address the situation .

Talk to Him

Tell your significant other how you feel in a clear and concise manner. Don't leave any room for any misinterpretation. Say to him, "It bothers me when you are distracted on your cell phone because it makes me feel unimportant." It's possible that he had no idea that his behavior was affecting you and that pointing it out will resolve the issue.

Set Limits

Agree upon when it's appropriate to use your cell phones while together and also when they need to be put away. Agree to put your cell phones away when having in-person conversations, states Dr. John M. Grohol on Psych Central. In addition, agree that the cell phones will be placed in another room or silenced during dinner or while playing board games together. Tell your boyfriend you don't expect him never to use and give him a specific circumstance of when you are okay with him doing so. If his parents call or his boss needs to speak with him, for example, you of course expect him to take the call.

Keep Him Interested

Do exciting and new things with one another. If he's interested in the activity, your man will be less likely to pull out his phone and text his buddy for the latest football score. Try out an activity that is new to each of you, suggests Amie Gordon of Psychology Today. Sharing a novel experience like skydiving or trying Ethiopian food keeps things interesting and provides an activity that no cell phone can provide.

Additional Considerations

If your efforts to reduce his cell phone use fail, professional help may be warranted. Consider seeking couples counseling to deal with this issue. It's important that you feel that your concerns are heard, and sometimes a neutral third party can help each of you better understand the other person's point of view. In addition, if you notice signs of social withdrawal or isolation, or inability to stop using his cell phone, this may be a sign of an addiction that a licensed mental health counselor should address.

About the Author

Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

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