4/21/2011 2:30 PM
It seems like these days, no one can go more than 5 minutes without looking at their phones. If you’re on your own, at home, this behavior is fine (let’s leave all judgments on being overly-connected at the door). If you’re on a date, however, this behavior is really, really rude.
If you’re on a date and checking your phone, it sends the message (no pun intended!) that your date is boring you, or that you’re not interested at all. Regardless if this is your intention, it’s what it comes across as. It’s disrespectful to basically ignore the person you are with. He or she may think you are planning other dates, gossiping about them to your friends, or planning your exit strategy. No matter what you’re checking for on your phone – emails from work, texts from your friends, or missed calls from anyone other than a babysitter -- it’s rude. Put the phone in your pocket, and change its ringer to “silent.” Let your date know that he or she is what you’re focusing on right now.
This brings us to the case of “the babysitter.” Single parenting is not an easy feat, and leaving your child with a babysitter can be nerveracking. Still, when you’re on a date, and you’re checking your phone constantly to make sure your child is okay, it still comes off as rude, especially if your date doesn’t yet know you have kids (some people prefer not to disclose that information until things become more serious). Make arrangements to call your babysitter at a certain time, for example, and excuse yourself from the date for a moment to do so. Interrupting the date without explanation to just check your phone is disrespectful.
In short, don’t check your phone on a date unless you absolutely have to – it makes the person you’re with feel unimportant and like they’re wasting your time.