It may seem so innocent in the beginning- both you and your significant other get Fitbits on a Black Friday Sale and want to compare how well you're progressing towards your health and fitness goals. Sounds great, right? It is supposed to work as a buddy system where you share your activity data and coach each other until you reach your individual goals. So far so good, right?
Not so fast.
Days will go by, and then perhaps weeks too. Life will start getting in the way, and both of you will be falling behind. If you live together, it may be more obvious why, but not completely. If you're not living together, it will be far less obvious to you why your significant other is not reaching their goals, and vice versa. Then, you'll sit down one day and, in trying to help each other, you'll look at each other's activity and heart rate data in details. ON A TIMELINE DIVIDED INTO DATES AND TIMES!
BOOM! Aaand it's gone- the relationship, that is.
It may not happen when you look at each other's data on a timeline the first time around, but that first time is like losing virginity and you'll feel more comfortable doing it every subsequent time, and you'll keep doing expecting that your s/o will continue to be ok with it. Why not, right? You're just curious and trying to help anyways. But what you will eventually start to notice are patterns of activity and heart rates that, overall, do not correspond that well with your s/o's daily narrative- what they are doing and when. You are going to find out things that will not make you happy one bit- nor will your s/o be happy that you found those things out.
Here are some hair-raising examples:
- You said you were taking a nap at such and such time the other day, but your data shows you were quite active.
- You said you did the errands I asked you to do at such and such time, but I see you were barely active at all and your heart rate was low as if you were sitting on the sofa, watching TV or just napping.
- You said you were tired and wanted to go to sleep early, but your activity and heart rate were way up at 2AM. What were you really doing?
- You always say you are responsible and dedicated to your work, but your data clearly shows you lay around in bed until the last possible minute and then barely make it to work on time.
- Your heart rate is really high at work (pushes you to change companies or have an awkward talk with your boss).
- Wow, your heart rate while we're having sex is not as high as it used to be and you didn't get that much more fit. I guess you're not into it any more like you used to be...
- Your resting heart rate is high. Why are you so anxious and stressed all the time (even if you're not)? I need someone strong and confident with me...
I'm sure you can think of a few more. Oh, and here's the kicker. Unless it's a smart watch like Apple Watch, you wear your activity tracker even when you sleep. So, if you are taking it off any time you want to make it seem like you're doing nothing or sleeping, it won't work- your s/o can tell by looking at the data that you took it off ON PURPOSE in order to attempt to deceive them!
Pretty messed up, isn't it?
My take on this is that you need to do one of two things. You either buy a smart watch that tracks activity and heart rate data which is too cumbersome to wear while you sleep so at least when you put it down at night, you have some freedom. Or, if you get something like Fitbit, start taking it off at night from day one and make it clear to your s/o you're doing that and don't care about your Fitbit giving you sleep data- you just don't want it on you when you sleep. That's thing number one. Thing number two is that you make a pact with your s/o that you will only share steps, calories burned, upper lower and average heart rate and that's it (maybe not even steps). Having too much insight into each other's every single move, micromanaging your s/o entire life like that, will lead to nothing but a bitter breakup that can be avoided.
Seriously, gentlemen, your s/o may have lied to you about her movements and whereabouts because she's buying new lingerie to surprise you with! Ladies, your s/o may be lying about the same because he didn't want you to know he's at the jewelry store buying you a diamond ring! So, whether you already have these wearable devices or you plan to get them soon, set boundaries together as a couple- if you want to stay that way ;)