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March 15, 2006

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR BOYFRIEND PAYS MORE ATTENTION TO THE INTERNET THAN TO YOU?

My first question is what is he doing on the Internet? Is he doing work, looking at pornography, in chat rooms, playing video games, IM’ing someone or …? What’s keeping his attention?

It is becoming more and more common for people to come home from work, say hello and then go straight to the computer to do more work. They may start checking e-mails, finishing up “pressing” business, checking on ‘just one more thing’ and generally being unavailable to loves ones.

This happened with my husband and I, only both of us were doing work on the computer. One day I stopped and realized how distant we were becoming. I asked my husband if he had noticed and we both came up with a plan to reconnect. We agreed to have a half hour of uninterrupted conversation (no TV.) and only use computers if it was an emergency. We made the decision to put us before our computers. Now, as I write this, I realize we may need to have another talk… (Thank-you for the reminder).

So if your boyfriend or loved one is paying more attention to the internet than to you, and it is not pornography he/she is looking at, then your first step is to start with a conversation. Sit your partner down and let him/her know how his/her behavior is impacting you. Offer your partner a solution to the problem and see if he/she agrees to make a change.

Offering your partner a solution is important. Come up with two possible alternatives and ask him if he is willing to try one of them. This allows him a way to repair, and it gets out of the complain and blame game.

The worst thing you can do is say nothing while you steadily boil over with anger, resentment or hopelessness. You also don’t want to do the opposite and make biting comments every time he’s at the computer (I.e. “Oh, there you go again at that damn computer”). Remember to say it straight and ask for what you want.

Challenge: If there is something your partner is doing that is bothering you take a moment to come up with two possible solutions. Pick a time that is good for both of you to talk and then say it straight and ask for what you want.

Note: If it is pornography he is looking at, that topic will be in a future blog.

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