Cell Phone Etiquette


Long gone are the days of sitting beside your home phone waiting anxiously for your recent date to call you. The advent of the cell phone has done much to alter the way we communicate with those around us, including our romantic partners. Where do cell phone calls and texting fit into the dating landscape? How can you take maximum advantage of them in your relationship while still following proper dating etiquette?

Can You Answer Your Cell Phone On A Date?

First and foremost, let’s touch on a topic of frequent interest and dispute—when, if ever, is it appropriate to answer your cell phone on a date? With few exceptions (you’re a doctor or have some other on-call job, you’re expecting important news about a family member’s precarious health situation, etc.), you should put your phone on silent and forget about it. Nothing says “I’m bored with you,” faster than answering your cell or responding to a text in the middle of a dinner date. That’s a surefire way to convince your date that you feel they’re not worth your time. You’re not just hurting your date’s feelings, either—you are also distracting yourself from your own enjoyment of your time together. If you must check your phone, you can always wait until your date goes to use the restroom.

Can You Text Instead Of Call?

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Another popular topic of contention is texting. In what situations is texting as appropriate as calling your significant other? A good rule of thumb is to consider texting someone to be a more casual form of communication than calling someone. If you just want to send your sweetie a sentence to let them know you’re thinking of them, or if you’re simply asking them to pick up some pizza for dinner, or sexting them something you want to do later, a text is totally acceptable. Not so if you’re asking them out on a date (especially if it’s the first or second date!), arguing, or apologizing for some sort of wrong-doing. Taking the time to call your boyfriend or girlfriend in these situations shows that you truly care. Additionally, remember that there is no good way to indicate sarcasm or sincerity in a text, so calling someone can save you from some serious (and possibly anger-inducing) confusion.

How Not To Use Your Cell Phone When Dating

There are still more hazards of cell phone use when it comes to relationships. Drunk-dialing is a terrible idea and a really good way to say something you’ll regret. Breaking up with someone over the phone is cowardly, but doing it via text message is even worse. Call things off in person and rest assured that your reputation won’t take a hit after the fact. No one wants to date the girl or guy who becomes notorious for dumping their exes in text form. Yet cell phones also have their benefits. If you’re in a serious relationship and go out of town on business, a quick check-in call or text each night can be a great way to show you care. Plus, you can use these rules to stand out in a sea of ill-mannered singles that don’t know how to behave better. Good cell phone etiquette, not unlike good manners in general, can give you an extra leg up in the dating scene. Just remember, when you use what you’ve learned here to find the person worth saying it to, that first “I love you” should be spoken in person. That means not on the phone, and certainly not in a text!

"The Little Black Book of Sex Positions"

by Dan & Jennifer
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