Phones on Dates: What You Should and Absolutely Shouldn’t Be Doing

Phones on Dates: What You Should and Absolutely Shouldn’t Be Doing

According to a recent update from Hinge, singles using the dating app have reportedly expressed that they’re keen to connect deeply with their dates, but that distractions are acting as a barrier to this goal. The dating app reports that 85 per cent of Gen Z singles using the platform “believe quality time is the best way to get to know a potential partner… but they’re finding it hard to remain focused”.

While no real reason was suggested for this challenge, we can assume it’s likely connected to our shortened attention spans and the grip social media has over so many of us (yay, technology), so what can we do about it? The answer lies in your relationship with the black brick that’s glued to your hand.

Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury and Love and Connection Expert and licensed therapist, Moe Ari Brown have combined shared a list of rules connected to dates and phone use. Consider them the deadly sins of phones and dating, if you will.

6 rules for dates and phone use

Hinge rules for phones. Image: supplied

Put the phone away

No, don’t leave your phone face-down on the table between you. You should keep it in your pocket or in your bag, so it is completely out of sight. “Switch your phone to ‘do not disturb’ and set it aside,” Ury shared. Sure, keep it within reach for emergencies, but you should otherwise forget it exists.

No wearable tech, either

It is incredibly unsettling to see someone checking their wrist every few seconds, especially if you’re on a date with them. According to Ury, wearable tech should be left at home ahead of dates. Or, if you really want to wear it, “turn off your notifications so you won’t be tempted to glance at it. That’s a screen too!”

If you must use your phone, keep it brief

Yes, there are some cases where you will need to use your phone. Maybe you have to scan a QR code to order your drink, or you’ve received an urgent text. That’s fine, but be sure to set it aside again once you’re done. Don’t start checking Instagram because it’s in front of you.

Don’t mess around making other plans

It’s not uncommon for people to set up plans immediately after their first dates. We’ve even written about it. But do this sparingly, and if you do decide to line another activity up after your date, make sure you have details sorted in advance – you don’t want to be responding to questions about dinner with someone else while you’re on a date.

According to Ury, it’s never really a great idea to double-book. “Some people have things lined up right after their dates. Avoid doing this. It can be distracting when you’re constantly checking the time. Instead, let your date be expansive.”

Protect your energy pre-date

The two dating experts shared that it’s important to avoid getting into a distracted headspace before dates, so “try not to get into any intense conversations or read work emails right before the date, since this can distract you…”

Dates are a meme-free zone

This is an interesting one, but according to Ari Brown and Ury, you should avoid bringing out your phone to show your date a meme, or some other reference on the internet. It may feel tempting to use a reference to break the ice between you, but “the best first dates are about opening up, connecting, and sharing what’s really going on with you,” Ury said.

Use any funny memes or similar “as a way to connect with them [your date] later,” the dating experts shared.

If you want more insight on the apps and what’s best for you as a single swiping, check out our guide here next.

Research referenced in this article comes from Hinge’s PhD researchers and dating experts who conducted surveys in August 2023 to more than 2,100 users globally, including Australia.

Lead image credit: Canva

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