The Modern Way To Kill Your Relationship

Researchers say ‘phubbing’ is a modern way to end your relationship – snubbing your partner to look at your phone is a regrettable way to damage romantic relationships, which often leads to depression. Phubbing includes glancing at cellphone when talking to one’s partner.

Dr James A. Roberts, the lead author, highlights the impact the oft-occurring behavior of phubbing has on relationship satisfaction and personal well-being:

when someone perceived that their partner phubbed them, this created conflict and led to lower levels of reported relationship satisfaction.

These lower levels of relationship satisfaction, in turn, led to lower levels of life satisfaction and, ultimately, higher levels of depression.

After accessing the study’s proposed relationships among a sample of 145 adults, researchers found that, those with anxious attachment styles reported higher levels of cell phone conflict than those with less anxious attachment styles.

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The results from the survey also show that, 46% had been ‘phubbed’ by their partner, 23% witnessed conflict in their relationships, while 37% has been through depression, through relationship satisfaction and ultimately life satisfaction.

Our findings suggest that the more often a couple’s time spent together is interrupted by one individual attending to his/her cellphone, the less likely it is that the other individual is satisfied in the overall relationship, says Dr Meredith David, one of the study’s authors, why talking about the big deal in momentary distractions by one’s cell phone.

Specifically, momentary distractions by one’s cellphone during time spent with a significant other likely lowers the significant other’s satisfaction with their relationship, and could lead to enhanced feelings of depression and lower well-being of that individual.

Thus, when spending time with one’s significant other, we encourage individuals to be cognizant of the interruptions caused by their cellphones, as these may well be harmful to their relationship.


James A. Roberts, Meredith E. David. Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

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