Column: screen time in the bedroom, yes or no?

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It was driving Amanda crazy: the last time Ben touched her intimately was 3 weeks ago. Even though she took the initiative, he didn’t respond. All he was interested in was the TV and his phone. The first and last thing he looked at every day was his phone. Amanda felt ignored. It made her insecure, because if even the phone was more interesting than she was, then Ben must’ve really lost interest in her. To avoid rejection, Amanda reached for her phone too. Looking for quick attention, a short-term reward. Still, the distance between her and Ben grew and grew…

It can be so relaxing: mindlessly watching TV or scrolling on your phone while you’re in bed. However, the pitfall is the time wasted, which is quality time you could’ve deliberately spent together. Time that’s already precious to many couples.

Amanda and Ben are just one of many couples for whom screen time causes friction within the relationship. And, that’s just because they take their phones to bed, or because a TV is hanging on the bedroom wall. While this might seem unimportant, the impact can be big. It’s a creeping source of tension for many couples. They feel a lack of attention, but they don’t always realise where it goes. The attention of others seems very nice, but it’s not nearly as valuable as the attention of your partner. The satisfaction of watching your favourite series seems like a pleasant, innocent way to end your day, but at the same time, it’s a trap for losing contact with your partner.

Amanda feels rejected. She feels like Ben is no longer interested in her. Ben, on the other hand, is unaware of any wrongdoing. He has a habit of constantly grabbing his phone. The ease with which he takes in the fleeting information that passes by has nothing to do with a lack of interest in his wife. He’s never thought about it like that. And this is exactly where the risk lies when it comes to a screen time in your bedroom: the unconscious, careless attention that’s lost.

Amanda and Ben have agreed to not look at social media or news apps in the bedroom. Instead, they’ve chosen to give each other the attention that would otherwise go to waste. Now, Amanda and Ben are committed to starting and ending the day together.

Reading time: making time for sexuality

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