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They say that mixed marriages between geeks and non-geeks are 60 percent more likely to fail. Surprised? Well, you should be, because I completely made that up. But it is true that such a tech-unbalanced marriage can be more difficult than most, but that doesn’t mean your love of tech needs to doom the marriage.
When I met my wife, she knew that I was an engineering student, so to some degree she had fair warning that I was a tech geek three years before we got married. This is typically the case in most relationships, so once a geek and a non-geek get married at least the element of geekiness isn’t a surprise — even though the degree of geekiness might be.
Those things come out once you get married and start living together. She realizes that you tend to stay up until 3am playing video games on the weekend. He realizes that you fiddle around with a Raspberry Pi for fun at a small electronics lab in the corner of your bedroom. These are the small things that can build resentment over time, but if you’re a relationship savvy geek, there are some creative ways to use the technology you love to bring you and your spouse even closer together.
Smartphones – The Gateway Technology
It’s a story as old as smartphones themselves. Your spouse refuses to touch anything to do with technology. She gets annoyed whenever she catches you checking your email on your smartphone. He complains when you stay up all night playing Facebook games.
If you want to turn the tables, buy your spouse a smartphone. Teach them how to use it. Countless tech-less marriages have been saved by these innocent-looking little devices.
The next thing you know, you’ll turn around from working on your web design project to discover your spouse curled up on the couch, holding the smartphone and scrolling through pages and pages of Facebook updates, or playing an iPhone or Android game.
The smartphone is the gateway drug of technology. Once you’ve got your spouse hooked on one — convincing them to fall in love with other technologies will become much easier. Do it now.
Text Messaging Can Enhance Marriage
In all seriousness, you’ll read a lot of silliness out there about how smartphones are ruining human relationships. I would say that it may be reducing the value of in-person encounters, when inevitably someone pulls out their smartphone in the middle of a conversation. Still, there are many ways where smartphones are enhancing relationships.
How so? Well, in today’s world when many people have to travel for some distance via train or bus to work every day, and spend the bulk of the day away from home — it can be really nice to have the instant connection of the text message to your spouse.
Sometimes it’s just the little things – like a quick note during the day, “Hey, hope you’re having a good day. Love you!”
Those things tell your spouse that you’re thinking about them. That you’d rather be with them instead of whatever you’re doing at that moment. Think along the lines of passing secret love notes to that girl or guy you liked in grade school. These little daily contacts can quickly embolden a marriage with the feeling that even though you’re physically far apart, you’re really only a few finger-strokes away from one another.
Playing Video Games Together
If you really want to experience your wife or husband from a brand new perspective, sit them in front of a two-player video game and have at it.
In fact, there are certain games where this is especially true. Cooperative video games where you need to solve puzzles or explore together — using two game controllers and sharing the game experience together — generates a feeling of cooperation and mutual accomplishment. And if you want to get a workout together — why not play a game like Dance Central. It’s like being at a club, minus the creepy guys and overpriced drinks.
I first tried this with my wife by attempting to play The Sims together – the Xbox version where you could play split-screen together. It was a total riot. By the end of the night we were in tears, laughing so hard at our mutual inability to keep our characters alive for very long at all.
You’ll find a great list of games that are perfect for a “game night” date in James’ article on couch co-op games. Think Mario Kart for wild fun, Ultrastar for singers out there, or if you’re both feeling like letting off some steam, there are always the action games like Halo and Street Fighter!
If your spouse is particularly non-geeky, it might take some convincing to get them to play — but trust me, by the end of the night you’ll both be glad that you tried it. And who knows, maybe it’ll lead to other games…
Explore Streaming Movies
Movie night is probably one of the most common dates for busy married couples, especially if you have young kids and can’t get out of the house. Just because it’s at home doesn’t mean it needs to be boring though.
Curl up together on the couch with a good supply of popcorn (or better yet, order in Chinese food), and then show off your technical prowess by hand-selecting a series of romantic YouTube videos for your spouse, and then stream them from your PC to your media player or game console for some fun, free entertainment.
Of course, even the most tech-averse people out there have resorted to watching Neflix, Hulu or Amazon. The odds are pretty good that even if your spouse is anti-tech, they probably use these services. The great thing about a service like Netflix is you can line up a whole series of movies in a certain genre you’re got interested in — say freaky horror movies or classic Alfred Hitchcock – and then launch into your movie marathon from there (best for weekend dates, when you have a whole day to burn!)
The key here is to show your spouse how technology can actually bring the two of you together. A bit at a time – you’ll bring them over to the dark side! One day you’ll come home to them planning out the next movie marathon on Amazon!
Sharing Facebook Love
If you’re a geek, then it’s probably a given that you’re on some social network, and if you’ve introduced your spouse to the smartphone as suggested above, then they’re probably on a social network too. Want to know one creative way to pronounce your undying love for one another? Publicly of course!
Showing the confidence to express your love in front of family and friends says a lot about just how deeply you love that person. Secondly, taking the time to write something truly thoughtful and meaningful will surely give them those warm and fuzzy feelings when they spot it.
Of course, this is no substitute for saying you love them in person –but it sure is a great supplement to reinforce the message!
There are plenty of other fun ways to use technology to enhance your marriage and grow even closer in your relationship. Things like sending electronic Valentine Cards (not just on Valentine’s Day!), going Geocaching together, or doing something as simple as shopping on Amazon together — are all great examples as well.
Have you ever used technology to do something romantic for your non-geeky spouse? Has your spouse become more tech-friendly over the years? Share your own experiences and tech romance tips in the comments section below!