Think checking your NCAA brackets on your iPhone is a harmless habit, even in the middle of a date? You may want to run that by your girlfriend—if you still have one.
In a new Brigham Young U. survey of 143 women in committed relationships, 74% said that their partner’s cell phone use—answering the phone mid-conversation, checking e-mails, texting—did a number on their time together. Overall, the study found, constant connection to the digital world—aka “techno-ferencing” (tech- NAH-fren-cing), as it’s been dubbed—leads to feelings of dissatisfaction in a relationship, as it sends a signal to your partner that your value system doesn’t place her first.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to reduce phone-related temptations, says study author Sarah Coyne, Ph.D. “It’s going to be different for every couple. But making specific rules—like checking your phone only twice while you’re out—may work. It’s having the conversation and coming up with ideas together that will most successfully solve the problem.”