Is It Good To Phubb Your Romantic Partner? According To This Study: Nope.


If you've ever been annoyed at your significant other for spending way too much time on their cellphone while you're together, then you're not alone.

Researchers from Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business just confirmed the harmful effects of perpetual cellphone usage on a romantic relationship. Their study, My life has become a major distraction from my cell phone: Partner phubbing and relationship satisfaction among romantic partners, will be published in the January 2016 edition of Computers in Human Behavior.

“Something as common as cellphone use can undermine the bedrock of our happiness – our relationships with our romantic partners,” said Dr. James Roberts.

The major area of emphasize in the study concerned the act of pphubbing (partner phone snubbing), and how often a person used their mobile phone while spending time with their romantic partner.

Baylor University's research consisted of two separate surveys. The first survey of 308 adults featured the development of a nine-item scale to measure the degree of pphubbing in a relationship.

The second survey of 145 adults measured the pphubing in a relationship. Over 46 percent of the respondents said that they were pphubbed by their romantic partner.

Over 22 percent said that this pphubbing caused conflict in their relationships.

What kind of conflict did pphubbing have on the relationships for those surveyed? 36 percent reported feeling depressed at times, and only 32 percent were very satisfied with their romantic relationships. The study found that momentary distractions by a mobile phone resulted in lowering relationship satisfaction.

“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,” said Dr. James Roberts.

The study also showed that those individuals who were less secure in their relationships reported higher levels of cellphone conflict.

The next time you're with your significant other, put down the cell phone and focus on improving your romantic relationship.

Cover image via iStock