Cell phones. Skype. Snapchat. Texting. Sexting. Chatting. Instant messages.
This is the world we live in now. It’s a world of virtual communication and instant gratification… and it’s ruining your relationship.
There are dozens of factors that play into connecting (or reconnecting) on a romantic level. For the purposes of today, I’ll boil relationships down to the most essential elements. There are two parts: What you think about each other, and how you feel about each other.
What you think about each other is the relatively shallow half of the pair. It’s what my single friends call “the checklist”. This is a left-brain, emotionally detached assessment of your partner. Is he smart? Is she pretty? Can he protect? Can she nurture? Qualities we can measure and analyze and think about.
The other side of the equation is a much deeper right-brain emotional connection. This is something you can’t explain or quantify, it just is. His strong touch, her soft smile. His confident swagger, her caring eyes. This is where we get the feelings of love.
The emotional response to your partner is what ultimately determines the quality of the relationship, and this is why technology is tearing you apart. You don’t get the same embedded emotions from a text as you do an inperson hug. Even if you talk about it after, you’ll never grow as close watching television as you will on a camping trip.
What can you do in your day-to-day life to ensure connection?
One of best things you can do for your marriage is also one of the simplest. Pick one night a week, turn off your cell phones, and play a board game together. Board and card games have enough structure to be objectively entertaining, but they don’t get in the way of the natural chemistry that will brew between you.
Any game will work… it’s really all about the time you spend with one another. If you’re not implementing game night, start ASAP with any game you can get your hands on. Blokus Duo, Forbidden Island, and Rivals for Catan are favorites of mine, but even Battleship is better than nothing.
That being said, when I implemented game-night with my fiancé, I wished there was something better suited for us. I wanted something that was fun without being cheesy. I wanted to find something for adults without being an ‘adult game’.
Nothing seemed designed specifically with two players in mind, and those that were felt gimmicky. So I took everything I knew about psychology, relationships, and game-theory to invent my own.
Original Spin is my game designed with couples in mind. The better you know your partner, the more points you get. It’s done in an entirely lighthearted and fun way. It’s a game that centers around actually having fun and making each other laugh.
(Original Spin is available for purchase on kickstarter: Check it out here)
Laughter of course releases “the love chemical” oxytocin. Laughing together chemically brings feelings of togetherness and is an essential part of any relationship.
Pick one night a week to spend with your significant other. Grab yourself a board game or deck of cards, and fight back against the technology that’s driving you apart.
Dennis Duty is an author, vlogger, and game designer with a background in psychology and entertainment. His varied history took him from relationship specialist to productivity consultant and beyond.