Sometimes in order to really connect with someone you need to disconnect…literally.
As a matchmaker, I’m charged with finding love for my clients, so they don’t have to swipe right forever. However, often I hear my clients complaining about people who are completely distracted while dating, making it harder for love to happen.
Here’s what you can do to avoid smartphone faux pas:
1) Don’t check the phone obsessively. Have you ever been with someone when they obviously check out another woman or guy that walks by? Looking at your phone all the time can make your date insecure and make them feel that they are not interesting or “enough” for you. Stop the constant glancing.
2) Switch to vibrate mode. Having your ringer turned up loud is just disrespectful to your partner and those around you. No one wants to hear “Despacito” again. And again.
3) Keep it off the table and don’t touch it when you’re eating. If you absolutely MUST keep your phone on, for example if you have young kids at home with a new babysitter, at least take it off the table. Research has proven most cell-phones are filthy, and contaminated with fecal matter. Don’t hold the phone and then grab for a pita chip with hummus.
4) Cool it on the Insta. Unless you are a food writer for Food & Wine magazine or have 5 million followers on Instagram, don’t take endless photos of your cocktail and your meal. It’s distracting and diverts attention away from your date. And who wants cold food?
5) Stop sneaking quick texts. You aren’t fooling anyone. Screens light up and it can be awkward getting caught. If you simply cannot refrain, and must call or text, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom, lobby, etc.
6) A selfie is about you. Don’t assume your date wants to be in your selfie and even worse wants to be tagged and posted on every one of your social sites. Always ask their permission. What if they’re having a bad hair day or don’t like how they look? What if they’re dating other people and don’t want the exposure?
7) Hold off on the hearts. When the date ends, refrain from sending cutesy hearts, kisses, and other emojis too soon. The time for that was high school, so act like an adult and thank the person with words, not pictures.
Dating is fraught with so many instances where the mood can be lost. Live in the moment, not on your screen.
Bonnie Winston is a celebrity matchmaker.