Relationships are more successful when only one person is online at all times

You may have seen it: a pretty girl standing purposefully with a colorful cocktail, or clearly enjoying the last rays of the evening sun. Another variation on this theme is the girl wrapping herself under a cherry blossom branch so that the filtered light hits her face perfectly. Meanwhile, sitting next to her, his head so low he can almost scratch paving stones, is the friend holding her iPhone camera. up, up, up, Taking pictures from different angles, he faithfully follows their directions. He has no idea where the photos will end up, but he doesn’t care either. Because he Offline onlineshe is Online† They are the perfect couple.

You know them, the couple where one lives an offline life and the other is stuck on Insta or another social media platform 24 hours a day. This has nothing to do with gender, the offline/online couple is gender neutral. It is also important that the offline partner does not stop for “psychological reasons” Social media It should end.” No, the offline partner is by nature offline, as is the case with some red-haired or polygamous To be. They still think so tik tok It’s only for dance trends and you’ll get a blank star when you joke about a memes Twitter† Then, if you clumsily flip the examples on your screen to explain the meme, they’ll respond with something like, “Ahh.” You speak two different languages.

But just like tops, bottoms, peaks and subs, the offline/online couple lives in symbiosis with each other. The online partner can show the offline partner viral videos or explain why their boss keeps coming out of nowhere”Vibe transformationSay. Meanwhile, the offline partner can remind the online partner that there is a world full of trees, birds and delicious unpictured meals to enjoy. They are each other’s bridge between two worlds, without judging the other.

When you start paying attention, you suddenly see connected/disconnected pairs all over the place. Phoebe Mae, 29, a digital designer and art director, has this relationship. She has “always been online” and, in her own words, “created a world of online communication with other creators”. On the other hand, her boyfriend “is a builder and doesn’t have a smartphone – he’s old fashioned and believes in taking pictures on the camera and wants to experience life organically.”

Phoebe thinks their relationship works better than if they were online all the time. “Better get partner is offlineSo we can have an authentic fun time. I don’t want to feel the social pressure that we have to post together and I don’t want people to wander into my private life,” she says. “It makes us different and gives me a reason to pull the internet plug for a while.”

Harry Hitchens, 26, director and screenwriter. He says he’s “as online as possible. I’m sure I’ve been muted by many because of my constant posts. But I love being online; I belong in this community and it feels really special.” On the other hand, his partner “has no interest in presenting themselves to the world like that… they just don’t care!”

While Harry doesn’t necessarily notice any benefits, he does find them Being not connected to his partner So amazing. “I would be lying if I said it was unattractive that my partner didn’t feel the need for a super online presence,” he says. “My partner is happy with what’s in front of him, rather than looking further through the screen.”

From conversations with online/offline couples, one topic emerges time and time again: the idea that being online can be fun or beneficial for individuals, for example for work, but harmful to relationships. For example, someone may feel pressure To take pictures of his partner online or to allow others to enter his private life. This creates paranoia that is detached from reality. There are other causes of tensions or conflicts. When a person is offline, there are not many of these issues.

“We don’t feel any pressure to advertise our relationship online,” explains Mina Sachdev, 26. Hen is a musician and spends a lot of time on TikTok, Instagram and their friends on FaceTimed almost always. Their partner uses their phone occasionally just to read articles or check emails.

If you are not monogamous, there are specific challenges. It can be complicated to have multiple partners on social media. “We recently moved from monogamy to polygamous,” Mina added. “So it was also a good thing that social media didn’t turn out to be a huge factor in the dynamics of our relationship.”

To understand how an online/offline relationship really works, all you have to do is look at the relationship between two people who are online a lot. Evie Smith, 21, asked us to change her last name to protect the identity of her ex-husband. She says she “felt so much pressure to always be on my phone and reply to every message I sent to me on any platform.”

This was not good for Evie personally, nor for her relationship. “It was stressful,” she remembers. “I felt like our personalities were defined by the internet and memes. At some point, it felt so unnatural for us to sit down and talk about our feelings. We rarely had a conversation that didn’t contain internet terms.”

The relationship is over, and Evie is now with someone who is the complete opposite. These days neither of them are “too online”. They both dive in and out. “It helped me overcome (internet) addiction,” she says. “Now that I’m online for up to two hours a day, I see how it has affected me on virtually every level.”

Callisto Adams, a relationship expert and coach, says social media tends to fuel insecurity (that’s what it was designed for!). This makes itself felt in relationships. “When a partner is not on social media, there is a sense of relief,” she says.

Lee WilsonHe is also a relationship expert and coach. He says that if a partner isn’t always on social media, the couple is more likely to go out and do something fun. You are not just non-stop on TikTok. “If the other partner’s phone is not distracting, an intimacy-building activity can be conducted, such as a conversation, sex Or any other common moment,” he says.

But, if you two are chronically online, it’s worth setting your boundaries the same way you do IRL. “It’s important for romantic partners to have a conversation and know what’s painful and what’s okay,” Adams says. He gives an example: “For example, you can indicate that you do not like it when your partner likes pictures of unknown people.”

The world is full of conflicting messages when it comes to how we spend our time. We are expected to keep up with current events and trends – which change every few hours due to the lightning speed of social media. Spending so much time posting endlessly is both harmful and embarrassing to not have both of your feet in the real world.

It is of course impossible to do both. You can’t be online or offline at the same time – unless there are two of you.

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