We hear a lot about how technology is killing modern romance. One Google search on technology and relationships is almost enough to make you swear off tech altogether. (Almost.) But for all the doom and gloom out there, technology isn’t the boogeyman we’ve made it out to be. When used responsibly, tech can actually strengthen and enhance your intimate relationships.
Here are five ways you can use technology to improve your love life.
1. Screen Your Dates
If you’re single and trying to mingle, online dating can be a game changer.
Although it’s impossible to guarantee a good connection from a profile picture or a brief digital conversation, online dating gives you greater power to filter your options for the best chance of success.
For example, are you looking for a casual date or a long-term relationship? If you hit on someone at a local bar, it could take a while to suss out their goals. But through online dating platforms, that information is often clarified right on the person’s profile, so you can quickly distinguish those whose goals align with yours.
You can also screen potential dates based on other criteria, such as age, common interests, and, yes, physical attraction.
2. Expand Your Dating Options
Not long ago, people’s dating options were limited to a small geographic area and their own networks and communities.
In other words, you had to hope that Mr. or Ms. Right was literally right around the corner.
Today, technology breaks down many of those social and geographic barriers and opens the dating pool to anyone with a digital profile.
Dating platforms from the Match Group—which includes Match.com, OkCupid, and Tinder, among others—had over 4 million paid users in North America alone in the third quarter of 2018.
That’s a lot of potential dates.
Whether you use a dating app, website, or social platform, you have more opportunities to find and connect with people you’re compatible with.
3. Connect More
Before the rise of digital communication, most people had limited opportunities to communicate with their partners throughout the day.
Now, communication is easier (and more frequent) than ever.
The Couple app lets you exchange messages, photos, videos, and even doodles on a shared timeline so you can record your relationship history in one place.
Little connections like these help build trust and companionship.
4. Communicate Better
The amount people communicate isn’t the only thing affected by technology. How couples connect can have significant effects on relationships too.
Although research on technology’s impact on relationships is still emerging, one study conducted in 2013 by the Pew Research Foundation found that 9% of couples actually resolved an argument online or via text that they were struggling to resolve face to face.
That’s a good indicator that tech-based communication has its own unique benefits.
Struggling with a disagreement? Try writing your response in an email. The act of writing can help you word your ideas more carefully and de-escalate the situation.
By leveraging different communication platforms, you can improve the way you and your partner interact and manage tough conversations.
5. Make Time for Romance
People are busier than ever, and it’s often difficult to make time for the people that matter most.
Luckily, shared digital calendars can help couples align their schedules and prioritize each other day to day:
- Set reminders on your calendar to check in periodically with your significant other.
- Mark important dates like anniversaries.
- Schedule date nights.
Keep in mind that meaningful dates don’t have to be expensive, long, or even outside your own home. Advances in streaming technology and internet reliability make it easy to plan a cozy night in you can have a high-quality movie queued up in less than 15 minutes.
So if you’re both short on time or energy after a long week, mark your (shared) calendar for a little Netflix and chill.
As technology evolves, so will our dating lives. The key is to use technology consciously to improve relationships every day.