Ditch the phone, get the girl (or guy)

cell phone date

Sometimes it’s OK to be offline. Not often, but sometimes. This is one of those times.

Beth Cook is a dating coach and wing-woman who throws private dating events for San Francisco’s most awesome and unattached. She also writes and draws about her own dating experiences and would love to hear from you. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

It’s me or the smartphone, buddy.

Without a doubt, one of the most annoying things a person can do on a date is be all up in their phone.

If you can’t stop fondling your phone at the very beginning stages of a relationship—when you’re supposed to be on your best behavior and obsessed with me—it’s not looking good.

There’s the guy who brings his smartphone to the dinner table as if it’s a fun, interesting guest. There’s the girl who has to text her friend a blow-by-blow account of her OkCupid date. And there’s the people who can’t let a phone leave their sticky little fingers for one minute—God forbid they miss the buzz/beep/ding of one email, text, or tweet!

I don’t care if you can find us the fastest route to the bar, tell me this week’s weather, settle a friendly disagreement via Wikipedia, take a photo of our amazing meal, be the mayor of restaurant X, or tweet about how awesome I am. Get off the Goddamn phone!

The point of a date is to get to know someone, and the way to do that is to look in their eyes, ask them questions, listen very closely—and repeat.

Anyway, it’s in your best interest. What if you miss something crucial—she can’t stop playing with her hair; he has to chew food exactly 19 times before swallowing—while you’re tooling away on your phone?

Work can wait. Your friends can wait. Updating your social channels can wait. Even your mom can wait. Prove that you have self-control and turn off your phone before each date. Don’t let a vibrating pant leg get in the way of love!

The only excuse for having a phone out is if you’re waiting to hear whether that kidney transplant is coming through for your mom. And even then, I suggest you tuck away into the bathroom before you let that awful cell phone light shine upon your face…it doesn’t flatter you one bit.

Photo by Barry Cunningham

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