How to Get Him to Put Down the Smartphone and Pay Attention to You

by Vanessa Jones

They didn’t start calling it the “crackberry” for nothing. Anyone who owns a Blackberry is at risk of succumbing to its addictive properties. Now enter Android phones and iPhones, which are arguably the much cooler smartphones of the current generation, and the risk increases dramatically. Dealing with smartphone addiction is a serious matter, especially when it comes to your relationship. Does your boyfriend suffer from this awful disease? If so, you need to help him snap out of it, because if he doesn’t start paying attention to you he’ll soon have even more time to devote to his phone. Here are some tips on how you can get him to put down his smartphone and pay more attention to you.

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Recognize that It’s Nothing Personal

Before you start screaming at your boyfriend or crying because you think he doesn’t love you anymore, you need to realize that his addiction isn’t your fault. You’re good enough. Really! You could be a supermodel, and he’d still spend just as much time with his nose to his phone. If you accuse him of intentionally sabotaging your relationship, he’s just going to get defensive. You need to approach the situation with a cool and calm attitude if you hope to get through to him. In order to do that, remind yourself that his obsession is nothing personal.

Don’t Tempt Him

If you want him to spend more time talking and listening to you, you need to set a good example and make yourself available. Even when he’s busy and you’re bored, don’t use your smartphone when you’re supposed to be on a date. If you keep checking your text messages, too, why should he stop? And if he agrees to put the phone down, don’t tempt him by picking up yours.

Just Ask Him

If you haven’t really talked to your boyfriend about his smartphone addiction, now is the time. If you think you have, you might need to reevaluate your approach. Many men need everything spelled out for them exactly. If you try to drop hints by saying things like, “You must have a lot of important things to do on your phone,” or, “Aren’t you Mr. Popular tonight?” he might understand that the use is bothering you, but he won’t hear you asking him to stop because that’s not what you said. Be explicit and say, “Can you please put your phone away until after our date?” When faced with the obvious, he just might oblige.

Set Realistic Limits

You have to set realistic limits if you expect him to conquer his addiction. Don’t be a control freak and prohibit him from looking at his phone even once for the entire six hours you’re together. This isn’t going to make him happy. Discuss with him some limits that are reasonable, like no phone use during dinner or in bed (if you even have to address that one, you might be in for a rough road ahead). As long as you can both compromise and agree on expectations, you can bet the phone will spend a lot more time in his pocket.

Photo Credit: Mehfuz Hossain

This post was generously provided by Vanessa Jones.

Vanessa Jones is a cell phone and dating expert. She is also an avid writer and enjoys giving advice to others on relationships.

2 comments… add one
  • Oh, this is a problem everyone has everywhere. People generally have a better relationship with their phones than most other people.

    • Too true, Ivin. I confess, sometimes I feel like I do! Vanessa wrote a great article here, and I don’t think it only affects the men using the phones and the women getting jealous. It goes both ways.

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