I Can’t Live Without My Phone & It’s Killing My Dating Game

Yes, I’m the person who freaks out when there’s no cell phone signal… but I take it one step further and freak out even when I’m supposed to be on a romantic getaway with my date. I just can’t help being cellphone-obsessed. Here’s how it’s killing my dating game.

  1. I’m rude. I honestly don’t mean to be but when my phone beeps, I always have to check it—yes, even when the guy’s in the middle of telling me a story and just about to reach the punchline. What if the message is urgent?
  2. I don’t even realize it half the time. I’m so attached to my phone that it’s like a third hand, so often I don’t even realize I’m glancing down at it again until the person I’m with starts glaring at me. It’s a serious problem, I know.
  3. I’ve been called out. Friends and even dates have called me out on my phubbing. They’ll ask me if they’re boring me or why I can’t just focus for a change. It’s so embarrassing. That sort of confrontation made me pop my phone into my handbag and not look at it for the next few hours, but it didn’t make me stop wanting to look at it. It’s like I’m addicted to my phone.
  4. I always need options. If I’m single and mingling on dating apps like Tinder, I dedicate time and effort to finding the right guy to date. The problem is that since I love chatting to people so much, I end up matching with a lot of guys and then I can’t decide who I want to be with. Sometimes I take too much time to connect with one, which makes me miss out on cool guys.
  5. I Google-stalk potential dates. Since I’m always attached to my phone, I’m always finding new and interesting things to look up on the internet. If I start chatting to a new guy, I immediately begin checking him out online. I check out his Facebook and Twitter pages and see if there’s anything else that’s juicy online. The problem is that this can give me a warped view of the guy and it’s not always fair on him. What if he has some really bad photos on the internet but he doesn’t look like that anymore?
  6. I’m more comfortable via text. When chatting to a guy I’m dating via WhatsApp or social media, I have no problem asking him a deep question or confronting him about something even though both are best reserved for face-to-face communication. The thing is, I find it much easier to communicate via my phone and that can backfire.
  7. I check if he’s online. The problem with being on your phone all the time and starting to date someone is that it can cause you to start checking up on the guy. For example, if I’m always online chatting to friends and I see that he’s online too, I might wonder why he hasn’t sent me a message. Is he ignoring me? Is he chatting to someone he likes more? This can really lead to lots of anxiety.
  8. I do ex research. I don’t stop at Googling the guy to death before meeting him. I also check out his exes once he’s mentioned them, especially if they’re still friends. Ugh, it’s terrible. It makes me compare myself to women he’s previously dated, plus there’s always the risk that I might press the wrong button on my phone and accidentally send one of his exes a Facebook friend request (I’ve actually done this in the past). I need to just leave my cell phone alone!
  9. I used to be a selfie queen. This is a phone-related habit that I’ve thankfully broken. I used to love taking couple selfies of me and my BF and then post them on social media. The problem was that sometimes it got on my BF’s nerves because I was doing it all the time. In addition, it gave the impression that I was insecure in my relationship and that’s why I felt the need to keep posting pics of my BF and I looking super happy.
  10. I use my phone as a distraction. Sometimes my phone can come in really handy when my BF and I are having an awkward moment. If he’s pissed me off, I don’t have to feel uncomfortable by just staring at him or standing there. I can be busy with my phone. This is a really bad habit, though, because it prevents us from dealing with our issues head-on. I end up looking like I don’t care enough to talk to him.
  11. I ruined a vacation with my phone addiction. Once I was on a romantic holiday with my boyfriend and I freaked out because I didn’t have a cell phone signal. I felt panicky about not having a working phone (what if there was an emergency? How would I make any calls?) and the poor guy had to keep trying to lighten my mood. Needless to say, he soon tired of my shenanigans and we cut the trip short. He thought I was using the phone as an excuse when really I didn’t want to spend alone time with him. Not true, but see how disastrous cell phones can be?
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.