Pet Peeves

When I’m on a date, one of my biggest pet peeves is when my significant other is texting on the phone the whole time.

Imagine, if you will, having a romantic dinner date. The man is keeping you enthralled with lively conversation and a witty compliments that not only flatters you, but keeps you interested in the conversation. You want to know more about him and hope he’ll ask you on a second date when he takes you home in his newly bought sports car.

But then, just when he’s about to put the icing on the cake, his ex-girlfriend comes over, slides into the booth next to him, and any chance you had with him evaporates instantly as he turns his attention onto her as they reminisce about good times and flirt with each other in a way that makes you feel embarrassed to have witnessed in such a public manner. He doesn’t even care that he’s supposed to be on a date with you, trying to prove that he is worthy of your attentions. In fact, you’re a mere annoyance, if he even remembers that you’re sitting there to bear witness to his shameless womanizing and open cheating (even if it’s just one date).

You wouldn’t put up with that if that were to happen to you in real life, would you? And yet, we put up with our significant others texting while we go out on dates for some much needed one on one time. To text during that time period suggests to the other person that you’re not really having a connection with the person you’re with. In fact, you’re suggesting that the conversation you’re having with the other person over this little digital device is much more important than having a meaningful, real time conversation with the person sitting right next to you. The only message you’re conveying is the one that says, “You’re a waste of time, you mean nothing to me. I’d rather have a digital conversation with this person who obviously has something more interesting to say than what you’re saying or doing right now.” It’s demeaning and makes the other person feel left out and demoralized.

About a year and a half ago, I was on a double date. My date and I held the same belief that one should not be on the phone while on date and were both equally miffed when the other couple felt the compulsive need to reach for their cell phones every couple of minutes in order to text the person who’d just communicated with them. Whatever it was they were saying was clearly more important than having dinner and talking to the people who sat directly in front of them.

This pet peeve can also be extended to when I’m hanging out with friends for the day or evening for much of the same reasons. If you make plans with someone only to be constantly texting with other friends, then clearly you have no interest in developing a real, meaningful friendship (or relationship) with the person you’re with. You’re only telling the other person that the friendship means nothing and you’re motives are shallow.

There are times when we need our cell phones. A family member’s having surgery, you got separated with you friends at the mall or in some big city, someone’s just passed away, some kind of emergency that requires you to check your phone. These types of things are excusable and even understandable. However, texting another friend to tell them that you and your friend just pulled into the parking spot at Macy’s is no excuse to divert your attention from the person you’re with. It’s rude and annoying.

Maybe times have changed, but I still find it classy for someone to give me their full attention to me and the activities we’re taking part in. And yes, if I’m on a date, my first impression of the man is significantly deduced if he’s on the phone regardless of it’s a phone call or a text.

What do you think about cell phones on dates (or anything else)?

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