Digital marriage counselling: six best apps for couples in 2020.

Love and tech: a match made in heaven or hell? While so many relationship apps focus on matchmaking, fertility or birth control, it’s refreshing to see a growing number of apps that promote maintaining relationships for the long haul. But do they work?

Once you’ve found a partner, online or IRL, can an app help you keep the already-existing relationship going for the long run? Or is it just another excuse for more screen-time, pulling you away from actual human interaction? Every couple is different, just as every relationship app has its benefits and downfalls. Mostly, these relationship apps prompt you to communicate better and consider topics that you otherwise don’t give attention to, or – let’s be brutal – intentionally avoid. Downloading an app is certainly cheaper than an hour with a face-to-face therapist. It may well remind you, bluntly, that you could be a better partner.

Still sceptic? Here, we look at six relationship apps designed to help revitalise your existing relationship.

To spark lively discussions

Happy Couple app


Dr Lonnie Barbach, California-based psychologist, created this app to enable couples who struggle to find the time or money for real life therapy. The fun quiz-style game prompts dating and married couples to have the kinds of conversations that keep their relationships interesting. Every day, both partners open the apps on their own phones. They will answer several questions daily about themselves, or their partners on different topics including emotional, information, sex, responsibilities, communication and recreation. Questions include, ‘how does my partner feel about monogamy?’ and ‘how does she keep track of tasks on her plate?’ At the end of the day, you can see if your answers were compatible. If you answer enough questions correctly, you gain points that unlock new levels.

Manage money, together

Honeydue


Relationships apps aren’t all about sex, intimacy and fertility. Honeydue is a personal finance app that helps users manage money issues as a couple. Arguing with your spouse about money is all too common. With the Honeydue app, couples can put all their financial information in one place. They can see how much they each spend, what they’re spending it on and also track their bills and bank balances together. This popular app is designed to increase the level of transparency and communication between two people sharing finances. It takes less than five minutes to pull in all your accounts and then invite your partner to share theirs. It automatically syncs with your bank, so users can see what’s going on without having to log into a dozen different accounts. Honeyduers can use social media-like comments, including emojis, to comment on their partner’s savings. While this app won’t fix any major financial issues, it may reduce money-related arguments between couples.

For sharing the admin of daily life

Trello


Every relationship will have bumps in the road. Can you fix yours on a smart phone? You can certainly help salvage it by ensuring the admin of daily life doesn’t become the bane of your relationship. Trello is the digital list-making app for the practical couple who want to sync their calendars and share their to-do lists. Technology can offer you more quality time by allowing you to do a shared brain dump of information, meaning actual time together is better spent. Trello can document all your house admin from paying bills and login details to the electrician’s telephone number and a list of films to see, or recipes to try. After all, who wants double Tesco deliveries? This shared task management tool helps you get the boring admin sorted, allowing for more fun time in your relationship.

Know your partner even better

Couple Game: The Relationship Quiz


Do you presume you know what your partner values and enjoys? Or are you harbouring unspoken issues? Relationship apps claim to help you better navigate your love life, offering a chance to get to know your partner better and improve communication. The Couple Game app is an online quiz to find out how well couples really know each other. Answer questions about yourself and guess your partner’s answers. If you get the responses wrong, it’s not all doom and gloom. See the positive. Here’s your prompt to discuss the topics you’ve been avoiding and get to know your partner better.

To boost positive communication

Gottman Card Decks


What feelings are you afraid to think about? What is your partner’s favourite weekend activities? What makes your him or her feel more competent? The Gottman Card Decks app, created by the Gottman Relationship Institution, offers questions, statements and ideas for improving your relationship. Download the app to explore 14 card decks with more than 1,000 flashcards. Tap the star to favourite a card or shake your phone to see a random card and question. This app is designed to boost good communication by helping you start up an open-ended conversation, give appreciation, express needs and empathy while remembering that listening is the best way to understand your beloved. Love is in the air, and the app.

Online therapy with a licensed marriage counsellor

Talkspace


Arguing? Screaming? At breaking point? You and your partner may benefit from modern age therapy. You can now get official and cost-effective marriage counselling at your fingertips with the new rise of mobile therapy providers. Talkspace is a virtual messaging platform matching couples (or individuals) with qualified therapists. It is online, discreet and some say, less awkward, more convenient and cheaper than a traditional face-to-face appointment in a clinic. Sign up and you will get matched to a therapist with specific skills in your desired field. Choose how to communicate with your therapist – text, voice messages or video – and how often. It is a 24/7 service. You can check in with your therapist, morning and evening or at any time which may be stressful, from your home, desk or even the bathroom. Your therapist is always just a message away.

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February 2020
By Annabel Jack

Annabel Jack

Annabel writes about all things family, food and the home, subjects close to her heart.

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