My boyfriend’s cell phone addiction

29 May

Q. My boyfriend is addicted to his cellphone. He is always texting or taking calls from his family and friends while we’re hanging out.

I only see him a few nights a week, but he says that if we spend a lot of time together I can’t expect him to just not respond to people. He’ll usually take one or two calls while we’re together and texts people. I tell him I think that it’s disrespectful and that it hurts my feelings. I also feel very unsafe when he texts while driving while I’m in the car. I offer to text for him and he always tells me that it’s fine and nothing will happen. I ask him how he’d like it if I was always on my phone. He says that he wouldn’t care.

He has also taken his phone out during dates to read articles. When I told him to put the phone away during one of these dates, he told me that he was bored and just wanted to read something.

It really bothers me because I believe that it comes down to respect. I feel ignored and that he’s putting my safety (while driving and texting) at risk. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone who would rather be talking to other people all the time.

Just to clear up: I’m not at all worried that he’s cheating. I can usually see his phone and know the person he is talking to.

Am I overreacting or is there a better way that I can deal with this? Please help!


Dear Tired,

I agree with you that having split attention from electronics is not a fun way to date.  That said not everyone agrees and the world seems more and more interested in less and less personal interaction.  Less interactions without interruption.   So how should this play out?

You need to figure out what your boundaries are.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to leave someone because they don’t respect your personal safety by driving in the car, they find you boring and insult you and don’t feel like he is connecting with you when you are together.   You need to decide if this behavior is a deal breaker or if there is some middle ground.  Middle ground might be a night off from cell phones per week or no cell phones during dinner.  Think if this will really be enough for you to continue in the relationship and also if the relationship is heading the direction you want.

I’m glad your boyfriend isn’t cheating.  Personally I don’t mind my partner having sex with other people but it would bother then hell out of me if they were distracted all day long playing with electronics while I was trying to share my day/time/life with them.  Each to his own of course.  Hope you guys figure it out.



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