The Role of Technology in Love Relationships: An Interview with CoupleWise Co-Founder, Gary Krane, Part II

By J. D. Peterson

Last week we spoke with Dr. Gary Krane, founder of the CoupleWise multi-media online relationship-improvement service, to find out how this venture came about (see article “My Journey,” and where it fits into the field of modern relationship counseling.  In this installment of the interview, Gary discusses the challenges his startup company has faced, where it’s headed, how it will work, and the process and benefits of becoming a member.


GK- Dr. Gary Krane

IV: What have been the major challenges you’ve faced in the development of this kind of program?

GK: It’s very simple: the biggest challenge is the coding, the engineering, the programming, or putting it another way, finding a tech cofounder who is both competent and also honest, and that’s been because I’ve never had the finances to hire good engineers, and I’ve never had the training to do the programming myself.  So I’ve had to rely on engineers who turned out to be, in every case until very recently, either incompetent, dishonest, or both.  And so, unfortunately, I’ve had a very long, sad history trusting the wrong people.  But that’s turned around now, and as long as we can find one more good engineer, even half time, we should be able to launch in about two months.

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The Role of Technology in Love Relationships: An Interview with CoupleWise Entrepreneur Gary Krane, Part I

By J. D. Peterson

When we think about technology in love relationships, strange pictures may pop into our heads: from the forbidden love a man has for his car, to vibrators and cyber-sex, to the whole Stepford Wives meets Battlestar Galactica, mating-with-androids kind of thing. Although these examples range from realistic to ridiculous, there is no doubt that many people feel a lurking sense of awkwardness, unnaturalness, or inauthenticity when it comes to incorporating technology in matters of the heart.

And yet, with the boom in communication media potentials, our internet-savvy culture is quickly becoming dependant on technology to facilitate our many occupations and preoccupations: we work online, we shop online, we entertain ourselves online, and yes, we even find love online. This is not surprising given the benefits of such a social arena, which were recognized even a decade ago: “Having control to simply disconnect from irritating or unsafe individuals, freedom to experiment with various personas, and the ability to impression manage makes computer mediated relating an attractive alternative to traditional social environments” (Merkle & Richardson, 2000, p. 190). Furthermore, those who began to find love online quickly shed their technological reservations, as the research discovered that “individuals often describe their CMR [computer-mediated romantic relationships] as extremely intimate and as ‘authentic’ as any face-to-face relationship” (p. 191).

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Motivating Your Partner to Improve the Relationship

By J. D. Peterson and Gary Krane

So your relationship isn’t perfect—that’s good!  If you thought it was perfect, you’d either be in denial, or putting way too much pressure on your mate, or maybe just blindly unaware of your partner’s dark side (we’ve all got one).  Still, you think it could be better (and maybe your partner thinks so too), but when it comes down to actually taking steps to improve the relationship, he or she just isn’t putting in the effort.  If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably been weighing your options for some time, and maybe weighing the amount of hair you’ve pulled out in the process too.  Well, it’s time to take a breather, lay your stress out in front of you, and follow along as we tap into your inner dialogue and try to respond to those difficult questions.

Is my partner’s lack of effort a sign that I should give up on the relationship?

There is no easy answer here, as the decision also depends on how willing YOU are to improve the relationship—and certainly any amount of danger or abuse within the relationship should not be tolerated.  Aside from this, research has shown that over two-thirds of surveyed married males and females who have gone through a separation suggest to other couples who are facing such a decision that it is better to stay together, and to find ways to work on the relationship (Knox & Corte, 2007).
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