Back in the day (and that “day” not being that long ago) you went on a date sans technology – well, current 24/7 technology, at least…

You met at a bar or through friends; perhaps it was a blind date or you had been friends for awhile.

One of you called the restaurant from a wired, landline phone to make the reservation. You both confirmed through a landline, wired phone and arrived at the decided time.

Essentially, your date was entirely unplugged, unwifi-ed, and unbluetoothed.

You were taken to your seats, ordered from the menu, and began talking. There was no small rectangle object with lights, beeps, and notifications interrupting your date.

There was no third wheel.

But now, this rectangular object has become the ultimate relationship blocker, and might be the reason you don’t get a second date

Here’s how to fix it fast so you don’t make these common mistakes on your next date.

Phones And Tables Don’t Mix

When you arrive at your date, put your phone away. Period. It doesn’t need to be on the table. When you commit to a date, you are comitting to about 2 hours of unplugged time.

Putting the phone on the table creates an attitutde that the current conversation or company isnt fulfilling enough and that you are on call for something slightly more important. Your focus becomes on what the phone might do as opposed to focusing on the person sitting across from you.

I’ve been on a Psychology Today kick…

They reported that, according to a 2011 study, “the mere presence of a cell phone lowered relationship quality.”

Unless you are an actual doctor on call, put the phone in your pocket, in your purse – somewhere away from the salt and pepper shakers and wine glasses .

Instagram Can Wait

You might be reading this thinking, “Does this really need to be said?”

Unfortunately, it does. We’ve had people come into the office complaining about this very section.

This goes for time with friends, as well and not just on a date. You don’t have to be updating your social media, checking Twitter, or posting anything on any social platform when having a conversation with a real, live person.

Having your phone so accessible and basically a mini personal assistant, it’s easy to think you are an excellent multitaskers. You think you can be fully engaged in a converstion while scrolling Instagram – and you just can’t be.

It’s also not fully your fault, we are hard wired to not be without our phones for very long.

According to the New York Post, in 2017, “Americans check their phone on average once every 12 minutes – burying their heads in their phones 80 times a day, according to new research.”

The report goes on to say that most Americans struggle to make it even 10 minutes without checking, so we get it. It’s not easy.  

However, the physical act of putting a small screen between you and someone else gives the impression that you aren’t interested in that person’s thoughts or ideas. It also doesn’t present you as someone capable of diving into a thoughtful, deep conversation.

So, if you want a date to go well, you really need to consider cutting back on how often you check your phone on a date. (As in, don’t do it at all or only if your date runs to the restroom.)

Your Phone Can Wait

Let’s say the phone is off the table and you aren’t checking social media. Excellent! Next step is to remember that you don’t need to respond to every text that comes through your phone. ‘

In fact, Business Insider reported this year that dating site Match asked over 5,000 singles about using their phones on dates.

Three quarters of singles said they would be turned off if their date answered the phone without any explanation, while 66% said it was off-putting if they texted,” the study reported.

That’s a big number!

The article is worth the read as it points out other pretty large statistics supporting the theory that phones are one of the leading factors ruining your chances for a second date.

If you know this will be difficult for you, put your phone on silent or even airplane mode to avoid the distraction altogether. If you know you may be recieving a call that’s deemed an emergency, create a unique alert or ring and explain why you have to take it before you pick up.

When you are getting to know someone, there are already nerves and added emotions built into the situation without adding tension by stopping the conversation to check your phone.

Be present in the moment with that person and fully experience who that person is, what they have to offer, and if this is someone you’d like to further get to know.

Allow yourself that time to connect and engage before you make any decisions or form opinions on the person.

This will be easier to do without worrying about your phone the whole time.

Want some more useful Dating Dos and Don’ts?

Check out The 5 Definite Dating Don’ts – a quick n’ dirty run down of the top 5 things you should never, ever do. (35 second read)

Or check out The 3 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Relationship – part of our Fall Communication series last year, this first part explores the best communication strategies during the beginning stages of your relationship with specific questions to ask. (2 minute read)

Before you go, tell me – what’s your #1 cell phone pet peeve? Pop it in the comments now.