If you're like most people in a committed relationship, you're spending this week shoulder-checking shoppers at the mall to find your sweetheart that present that will light up their eyes on Christmas morning. Or you're desperately scouring Amazon to find something suitable -- and something that will arrive before Christmas day.
Well, put down your credit card and stop panicking. Because I can tell you, right now, what your partner really wants from you. And it won't cost you a dime.
Your partner really, really wants you to put down your damn phone.
Your partner really, really wants you to stop obsessively checking your text messages. To stop bringing your phone to the supper table and setting it beside your glass like it's part of the table setting or some kind of honored guest.
Your partner wants you to stop checking your Facebook feed at the movie theatre. To stop getting that glazed-over look in your eye, the one you get when you're in the middle of an actual face-to-face conversation, but you feel that itch to check your phone..
Your partner really, really wants you to stop ignoring them or half-listening as you check your emails for the gazillionth time that day. Your partner wants you to stop texting your "friend" while you're lying in the privacy of your bed.
Your partner wants to stop feeling that swell of resentment and irritation when they feel second-place to that stupid gadget you covet like it's some kind of digital god. Your partner wants the gift of your attention, respect and basic manners.
That's what your partner really wants for Christmas. And if you have kids, they want the same thing. They are sick and tired of saying, "Did you hear what I said, Dad?" or "Mom, you're not listening!"
Studies have shown that the typical person checks their smartphone every six and a half minutes. That's about 150 times a day. Studies have also shown that 70 per cent of people surveyed said that their partner's smartphone habits were hurting their relationship.
There is a direct correlation between phone-related conflicts and relationship satisfaction -- as the former goes up, the latter goes down.
But you don't need studies to tell you that, do you? You already know it. Because you've probably had these kinds of arguments in your relationship.
So reclaim your relationships. Your real relationships, the ones you have with your partner and your kids. They miss you. Give them what they really want this year -- you.
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