(BPT) - It's a common refrain: technology is killing our relationships. Couples have swapped date night for Netflix binging. They Candy Crush their way through an intimate conversation. They've replaced long walks on the beach with an all-out Facebook investigation into their friend's cute new puppy.
We can blame a lot of our relationship woes on today's tech - it's true - but when technology's power is harnessed the right way, it can actually become the very thing that saves us from love's most common pitfalls.
So before powering down all of your electronics, consider the following three scenarios where technology might be the only thing that can help you save an untimely end to your relationship:
1. Your loved one is having a tech meltdown.
Admit it: there is no greater frustration known to mankind than when you've been working on a document for hours and the program crashes. Or when the printer isn't printing. Or when you can't access the baby pictures that you're trying to show to your grandma.
The urge to pick up the computer/phone/tablet and throw it against the wall becomes a dark force within you. Your tech-savvy partner is out for the whole day and now the dog is even starting to judge you.
So what do you do? You call your partner - wherever he or she may be - and rant about the problem.
If you've been on the receiving end of one of these calls, you know how they all end. The few troubleshooting suggestions you can rationally muster without being able to see the problem at hand are all met with an "It's still not working!" The frustration flows on both sides of the call with no resolution in sight.
But by adding a "remote control" application into the mix you can now virtually (and safely) access a computer and solve any problems from anywhere with an internet connection.
A number of companies produce this kind of software. TeamViewer offers a free version for personal use and their latest version has improved security features and, for the first time ever, offers mobile-to-mobile remote control so you can even help your loved one with their phone faux pas.
2. You've left the tickets to the big show at home.
It has happened to all of us. You're finally at the check-in for the sold-out BeyoncÃ© concert - where Jay Z is expected to make an on-stage appearance - and where he will rap-battle with a hologram of himself.
The security guard calls for "tickets, please!" You reach into your pockets, and your heart drops as the realization sets in: the tickets have been left at home, saved on the computer.
You start calculating the damage - both emotional and fiscal. Your partner begins to glow red with rage.
But you need not fret! Remote control software lets you log in to your home computer, even when it's unattended, from your phone, your partner's phone or that tablet in your carry-on.
It's the perfect opportunity to prevent such a moment from spiraling into an all-out "incident" that will be held against you for years to come.
For added bonus points, use your smartphone's built-in personal assistant and ask her to remind you to bring the tickets before you ever leave the house.
Admitting you're forgetful is the first step. Stepping up your tech savviness is the second.
3. That special getaway you've planned is about to be ruined by work
One of the quickest buzzkills to any vacation is the unexpected work assignment from the boss or client who doesn't care that this is the first time you and your partner are getting away together - without the kids/dogs/cats/ferrets - in over a year.
Enter virtual meeting applications.
They let you present documents, share files and even speak to your attendees all through the app with no need to long distance dial-in. You can tell your boss you'll handle the presentation and still plan that special vacation without worrying that a big project might flare up. And your partner can still take in all the R&R she or he has been longing for.
You see? With a little help from technology, you can bring out the relationship champ you always knew was within you.
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