I’m dismayed that I even have to write this post. After all, I date midlife (37-64 year-old), successful, educated men. You would think they’d have enough common sense and common courtesy to know what to do — and not do — with their cell phones on a date. But some apparently don’t, as I’ve been tempted to educate them with the following. So if the guy you’re dating (or dated) has had cell phone lapses, send him this and tell him he needs to shape (and hang) up. Or if you see some of your own habits listed here, take heed.
- If you are expecting an important call, tell me as soon as you greet me. I’m much more charitable than if I don’t know and the call comes in while I’m in the middle of telling you a great story. If you are an on-call doctor, or lawyer (or defendant) whose jury is due to reconvene, or have a family member in surgery, just let me know. Communication is everything.
- Put your phone on vibrate if you’re expecting that important call. Loud rings are irritating when you’re in conversation. (Do I have to mention to turn off the ringer in the movie, concert or play? I hope not!)
- If you get that important call, take it outside. When you see it’s the person more important than me, excuse yourself and step outside. Don’t be rude and take it at the table — it not only annoys me, it annoys others around us.
- Take off the damn wireless earpiece. Do you think you look important and cool with it on? No, you look like an idiot when there’s no one on the line. You are not Captain Kirk. You say you “forgot” you were wearing it? Right. Take it off when you get out of the car.
- Do not — repeat DO NOT — keep checking your phone for messages. It looks like you’d rather be talking to your friends than to me.
- Unless you have told me you’re expecting that important call, put away the phone. If it vibrates on the table, we both know a call is coming in. It is a barrier between us.
- If you need to check for messages, do it discreetly. The phone should be in your pocket, so excuse yourself to the men’s room. If you need to place a call, do that out of my ear shot and eye sight.
- If you must take the call in my presence, make it as quick as possible. Saying to the caller “No, I’m not doing anything important,” or “So, what’s new with you?” lets me know where your priorities lie. Don’t expect a kiss, invitation to come to my place, or another date.
Have you experienced cell-phone abuse on a date? What can you add to this list?