Smartphones have been getting beat up a bit recently in our world, and for good reason. I agree with all of the reasons that people are turning away from their smartphones and have been trying to limit the time I spend on my phone recently as well. Modern technology has made a lot of things in life more convenient and it has brought a lot of good to the world. But with that good comes a lot of issues as well. I wanted to share a few of my favorite apps that you can use to strengthen your marriage and that will do a lot of good for your relationship if you choose to use them!
- This app isn't necessarily built for couples, but I think it's something that can benefit your marriage and your family relationship. QualityTime is an app built to help you discover and change your smartphone habits. It keeps track of how often you are accessing all of the different apps on your phone and how long you spend on them. I love that it tells you how many time you opened an app, and it's made me realize how many times I mindlessly open some of my social media apps for no real reason other than I don't know what else to do. It's helped me become more productive each day and more present with my family. This would be a great app to download together, compare at the end of each day, and brainstorm ways to release the hold that your smartphone has on you. Be careful not to attack or criticize your spouse during these discussions.
- John and Julie Gottman are leading researchers in the marriage and family relationship field. Anything with their name on it is guaranteed to be something that will build up your relationship. I have this app on my phone and love the great resource that it is. It's a fun and colorful app that will help you to create love maps in your marriage using questions, statements and ideas for improving your relationship. I pull it out when we're on a date, at night before bed, when I'm feeling irritated with our current situation or when I just want to boost our connection.
Everflect - This new app was created to walk couples through a weekly relationship inventory or "Couple's Council". This is something that I always suggest couples do on a regular basis, no matter what stage of life they're in. Sitting down weekly to discuss things that have gone on the week before, plans that we have for the coming week and issues that haven't yet been resolved has made a big difference in our marriage. Our weekly marriage business meetings are something that we've fallen out of the habit of doing but with this app, something that we're working on bringing back to our Sunday routine.
Couple - I think this was one of the first relationship focused apps I ever downloaded and it's become an even greater app than when it started. It's almost like a private social media platform, just for you and your spouse. The app is password protected so you don't have to worry about the kids or other family members stumbling upon any personal texts or flirty video messages. One of my favorite features is the ThumbKiss™ which you use to touch the same spot on your phones to make them both vibrate simultaneously. It's perfect for when you're apart and can't hug or kiss or cuddle. They've even included shared to do lists and calendar reminders so you're always on the same page.
It's a Date - This app is date night idea central, on your phone. If you're at home or out of town, you can enter your current location and the app will give you a treasure trove of ideas of places to eat and activities to do. You can use the reviews of other couples who've been to the locations listed to see if it's somewhere that you really want to try. And after you've tried something that you found on the app, add a review of your own.
Desire - This app is a game for couples and a fun way to keep the romance alive in your relationship. It's a little game of truth or dare, just for the two of you. By accepting and completing dares, you earn points and open even more dare ideas.
Each of these apps can be a tool to increase your connection and make your marriage more of a priority. But don't rely on your phone or these apps to carry your relationship. Date night, face to face conversation, physical intimacy and daily interaction are all more important than your phone. Don't hold all of your conversations through these apps and don't rely on them for every aspect of your relationship.