Most of us could be described as at least mildly attached to our mobile phones. If there’s a spare moment to be had, gone are the days where we sit in silence and gaze at the world around us, watching strangers go about their daily business. These rare gaps are instead seen as prime opportunity to reach for our smartphone and pour over emails, WhatsApp or browse the web. It’s all fairly innocuous behaviour and it’s up to us how we spend our time, but there are certain occasions when it has to be an absolute no-no. Being on a date is one of them.
It’s not acceptable, it’s rude
Once your date is about to get into full swing there are a few courtesies that will hopefully come as second nature to you. The first should be an easy one and amounts simply to giving your full attention to the person in front of you. It signals your appreciation for the fact you’ve both travelled to spend time together and that you’re willing to honour this decision by being fully present. If this is a difficulty for you, heaven help your date.
We get it, phones are so much a part of life now that we’ve learned how to incorporate them into almost every activity there is. We cook and text, walk and text, workout and text – we believe we’re effective multi-taskers and capable of achieving goals whilst texting our BFF about dinner plans. NEWSFLASH – you’re not a computer and neither is the person in front of you. When you’re face to face with another human being it’s not possible to remain fully engaged if half your mind is elsewhere and you’re fixated on a screen.
To be a really thoughtful and attentive date, the only time your phone should come out is in an emergency or, if you feel threatened in any way. Don’t even bring it out to Google something, it instantly kills the vibe and essentially invites a million other people into the room to join you both. You’ll feel the energy change when a phone is pulled out, it’s a total connection killer.
Keep it out of sight (and silence your smartwatch)
For some reason, we believe that placing our phones on the table, on silent or face down, is an adequate signal that we’re going to be fully present for our date and unwilling to let anything or anyone distract us. As signals go, this is a really lame one.
Turning your phone over doesn’t make it invisible and feeling it vibrate, or seeing the screen light up the table every 10 minutes, is a huge passion killer. It’s also totally unnecessary and makes you look like a child who needs to keep their comfort blankey in sight. The rule is, if you’re not using it – and you shouldn’t be – put it in your pocket or your bag. And the same goes for disabling smartwatches.
All the various beeps and pings we have in our life can become like white noise to us when we hear them every day, but you should consider what someone new to it all might be experiencing. Your date may not want to spend the night listening to your smartwatch ping when you’ve achieved your stand goal for the day, or when you need to breathe more steadily for the next two minutes. Smart watches are just as invasive, even when you explain that you’re not looking at the time, just checking a message you weren’t expecting.
Remember the purpose of the date and never forget to offer the same level of respect as you’d like to receive back. We urge you to show up with your manners. It’s just a couple of hours, it’s unlikely you’re going to miss out on anything that important.