LIFESTYLE

Here's Why You Shouldn't Spend Valentine's Day (Or Any Date) Checking Your Smartphone

12/02/2015 10:22 GMT | Updated 13/02/2015 09:59 GMT

Whether or not you buy into Valentine's Day, there's one habit you should try to curb, and that's checking your smartphone when you should be checking out your partner.

It's worse for those who have been in long-term relationships (you newbies will be flaunting your love in a public place somewhere), but banning your phone could have some amazing benefits.

"Valentine's Day is all about being with your partner, showing them you care," says Durex sex and relationship expert Susan Quilliam. "One of the key ways you can do this is to give them your full attention. And, while phones are wonderful 364 days a year, they're also a distraction, bringing in the outside world and taking that full attention away from the relationship.

"Use the time and focus you gain to cuddle, talk, play, snuggle... and of course make love.”

two people dinner phone

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Of course it's not just about V-Day, we're talking about a practice for life. It's irritating enough when a friend does it - and Randi Zuckerberg puts it succinctly as "you can't help feeling that they're just waiting for something better out there" - but when a partner does it, it can make you feel rejected and unimportant.

Susie Pearl, happiness activist says: "One of the most wonderful things about intimacy and love is to give your attention fully and completely to another person. If you or they are more interested in looking at a phone or social network update, then it sends a pretty strong and poor message out. You are not there and looking out for something else or something better.

"To really show up and be loving is one of the most sexy and giving things you can do: give your full attention to the moment and get in the moment."

Just as kids would rather spend time with their parents (we're talking pre-teen, of course), your other half would probably much rather just get an evening of pure alone-time than a bunch of flowers.

Dating and relationship expert Caroline Brealey says: "Most people don’t realise how much they use their smartphones and how they pull you away from living in, and enjoying the present.

Your partner deserves you attention and you deserve theirs. Spend the day with no distractions, talk, connect, communicate with one another and enjoy one another’s company. Communication is key to a happy, healthy and long relationship so put the effort in and turn the smart phone off."

Meditation app Headspace have created a campaign called #TheBigTurnOff, to gently suggest that people could gain a lot from turning their phones off a bit more often. Co-founder Andy Puddicombe said to HuffPost UK Lifestyle: "How we treat people, whether strangers or loved ones, really defines our lives. We can sometimes be so preoccupied with our day-to-day concerns that we can sometimes forget even to reach out to the people we care about.

"When we come back into the moment, we’re not just more present for ourselves, but for them too. I think this is especially relevant now around the time of Valentine’s Day. Because, what’s it about? Roses? Chocolates? Surprises? Or maybe, just being there.

Charlie Bigham's who create meals for busy families, has actually invented a bit of tech to go with their Valentine's day dinners. They sell a 'packnology' which comes with the meal; you pop your phone in there and it disables the signal on your smartphone.

Or if you're really daring, you could switch the phone off yourself. Trust us, the world won't end.

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