My boyfriend checked his phone, played games, and texted friends on our dates, making me feel ignored and unimportant

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I dated a man for a long time. We were together for twelve years. He didn't own a cell phone for most of those years; he couldn't afford it.

One day, tired of being unable to reach him, I bought him a cell phone. It was a big mistake.

From that day forward, my boyfriend kept checking his phone and texting throughout our time together, incessantly. He especially loved playing games on his cell phone. It was a flip-phone. That means the best game on his phone was Snake. He loved playing Snake.

It's a scenario that has become all too common in today's digital age: you're out on a date with your significant other, trying to enjoy some quality time together, but they can't seem to put their phone down. They keep checking messages, playing games, and texting friends, leaving you feeling ignored and unimportant.

This was the situation I found myself in when I bought a phone for my boyfriend. At first, I tried to brush it off as just a minor annoyance. After all, everyone gets distracted by their phones from time to time, right? But as our relationship progressed and the behavior continued, I began to feel more and more frustrated.

I would try to engage him in conversation or share something about my day, only to be met with half-hearted responses as he continued scrolling through his phone. It made me feel like he didn't care about what I had to say or wasn't interested in spending time with me.

It wasn't just during our dates either; this behavior extended into other aspects of our relationship. He would check his phone while we were watching a movie together at home or even while we were out with friends. It was like he couldn't bear the thought of being disconnected from his digital world for even a few minutes.

Eventually, I decided that enough was enough. I sat down with him and explained how his constant phone use was making me feel ignored and unimportant. At first, he seemed surprised by my reaction; he hadn't realized how much it was affecting me.

To his credit, he did make an effort to change after that conversation. He started putting his phone away during our dates and making a conscious effort to be more present in the moment. We both noticed an improvement in the quality of our interactions when he wasn't constantly distracted by technology.

However, old habits die hard; there were still times when he would slip back into his old ways and start checking his phone again. When this happened, we would have another conversation about how it made me feel and what we could do differently moving forward.

It took some time and effort on both of our parts, but eventually, we found a balance that worked for us. He learned how important it was for me to feel valued and heard during our time together, while I learned how to communicate my needs effectively without coming across as overly critical or demanding.

Looking back on that experience now, I realize how much technology has changed the way we interact with each other in relationships. While it can be great for staying connected over long distances or sharing special moments through texting, it can also create barriers between us when used excessively.

If you find yourself in a similar situation where your partner is constantly glued to their phone during your dates or conversations, it's important not to ignore those feelings of frustration or sadness. Instead, try having an open and honest conversation about why their behavior is bothering you and what changes you'd like to see going forward.

What do you think? Comments are welcome.

Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 84-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. 100% of your tip or donation goes toward paying for my dad's groceries. Thank you.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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