Internet dating has given us a wide range of creative terms and ways of identifying particular dating trends in the past. There’s curving, where someone tries to reject you in confusing indirect ways; you-turning, when someone falls head over heels in love and then completely changes their mind; and benching, when you’re put in the proverbial ‘maybe’ folder while your date sees what else is out there.
Beyond this, there’s Bird Boxing, Gatsbying, microcheating, and – the usual suspect – ghosting. But not all trends are quite so nefarious, and some aren’t deliberate at all. With phubbing, you may not realise you’re doing it to your partner, and it is likely something that affects all manner of relationships – romantic or otherwise.
Phubbing is the act of ignoring the person you’re with, opting to stare at your phone instead. While it’s a behaviour many will associate with grumpy teenagers or social media-obsessed Instagrammers, it’s something that many of us will be caught out on doing, without realising quite how rude we’re being.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, Katie Ziskind from Wisdom Within Counseling spoke about how this behaviour affects others, their perception of you and your relationship to them:
“When you value your phone over someone who’s in person, the person that’s in front of you will feel unwanted and may not want to keep hanging out with you.
“If you’re on your phone all the time, you may not have very many friends because no one wants to hang out with someone who is disconnected emotionally. Because you’re not paying attention to important people in your life and loved ones, they may stop thinking of you as important.”
At the end of the day, either they’re worth spending time with or not. If you want to spend that time with them – then it’s time to put your phone down and share a moment with them, rather than isolating yourself in your Twitter feed – especially when you’re just scrolling aimlessly.
On top of this, sex therapist Vanessa Marin weighed in to speak on how phubbing can affect our romantic relationships too. She said:
“Most of us tend to think that our cell phone habits aren’t a big deal, but the reality is that our phones are causing a ton of tension in our relationships.
“Phubbing hurts your partner’s feelings, makes them feel ignored and unimportant, and prevents the two of you from having quality time and creating more intimacy.”
It might seem like some obvious advice to not ignore your partner, but given how much we use our phones these days, it may be worth examining how often you start swiping in the middle of a conversation.