Doctor Love: Invisible Man

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Readers email your question to [email protected] Your letters are edited solely for grammar, spelling and length

Dear Doctor Love,
I’m in a relationship with a girl who never puts her phone down. She never logs off her many social media accounts and she shares everything that happens in her day.
She watches her phone during dinner. When we are with her family or our friends it’s always in her lap so she can read any new posts. She posts while driving her golf cart and I’m scared she’ll hit something someday. If we’re watching television or a movie she texts constantly, and I end up having to explain stuff to her that she’s missed. She has at least four different accounts she has to constantly monitor, and it is really becoming a problem for me.
Not only do I feel like I am alone even when she’s beside me, I have to repeat everything I say because she never hears me the first time. She misses things I point out to her because by the time she looks up, the moment has passed. I’ve never asked her how much she spends a month on her phone, but it is a crisis if she forgets to charge it.
I don’t mind if she is interested in what’s happening on Facebook, I know she loves me and I love her, too. I just wish she was a little more interested in what’s happening right in front of her.
/s/Invisible Man

Dear Invisible,
It’s understandable that someone who doesn’t have much interest in social media would be unhappy with someone who is overly obsessed with it.
Can you stop it? No, but you can ask her for a compromise that could lead to her being less dependant on it.
You know she loves you so it’s not something she does to put you off or get time away from you. It’s possible that she’s afraid that she’ll miss something big and that might show that she is not quite so important or needed as she tries to be. If she doesn’t tend to her crop of posts they’ll wither and die, so it’s urgent that she keep them current.
The Doctor always suggests that compromise is the way to solving issues in relationships. You can’t expect her to give it up completely, that’s not who she is. But she can agree to shutting her phone off at certain times of the day and evening. Start by agreeing to a goal she can meet, like turning it off for a half hour twice a day. Then gradually build the time until she can turn it off for events like a candle-lit dinner for two.

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