Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Would You Date Someone Who Doesn't Have an iPhone?

What does a Razor phone say about you as a person? is asking the provocative question that defines the 2012 approach to selecting a partner: Would you date someone who doesn't have a smartphone?

It's a great question because it really makes you think what is important to you as far as a partner and each side of the question has its pitfalls.

Obviously many people want to have a relationship with a person who keeps up with current events and contemporary trends, which would include the latest technology. Although the Amish people might be good husband and wife material, it would be off-putting to have to pick them up for a date in a horse and buggy. Likewise someone who still is using a Razor phone or a Tractfone might be telling you that they are behind the times in other areas of their life, or that they are not as into the world of social media as you are.

 The other side of the coin, as noted by commenters on the yourtango blog,is that it's hard to get to know someone who is so intimately involved in their smartphone that they simply are not emotionally there for you in the here and now. Imagine you are at the nice restaurant and your date is not  paying attention to your sparkling conversation as they are too distracted , sending and receiving text messages from other friends and relatives, staying abreast of the breaking news and football scores, updating thousands of Twitter followers and Facebook Friends on the date as it is happening in real time and taking calls on their new iPhone. It's hard to look lovingly into your date's eyes when they haven't looked up from their smartphone until dessert is served.

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Between the two extremes of the Amish date and the text-aholic we are sure  there is a happy medium. As is the case whenever a new technology changes the progress of human history, we are living in an exciting time when even the way we relate to one another in courtship behavior is being reformed by the iPhone.  We suggest that when one is interested in another person, they should take the opportunity to observe the choice the individual makes to find out the unique values that led to that purchase, whether it be a Razor or smartphone. It is up to each of us to establish healthy boundaries and pursue relationships based on shared values, interests and goals and compatible personalities. Don't let new technology get in the way of achieving that healthy goal.

J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


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