Before we had computers in our pockets, dating was difficult. Thanks to smartphones, it’s now easier than ever to get distracted when meeting someone new and focus on social media instead of the living, breathing person in front of us.
Dating app Hinge is here to help us with its new Distraction Free Dating Guide. Created by Logan Ury, director of relationship science at Hinge, and Moe Ari Brown, love and relationships expert at Hinge, The Distraction Free Dating Guide aims to foster meaningful connections—with each other, not with screens. The guide contains advice and 20 date ideas to stop you from talking on the phone.
Most Hinge users believe that putting away your phone leads to a better date.
Photo credit: Hinge
“Putting your phone away makes it easier to focus on the other person and have memorable first date conversations that propel you into a relationship,” Ury said.
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Sitting on your phone instead of trying to connect with a date puts you at risk of emptying it. “MIT professor Sherry Turkle found that the quality of conversations decreases when the phone is turned off,” Ury continued. “People are naturally inclined to discuss more superficial topics because they fear that the phone will interrupt them at any moment.”
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Hinge research agrees with this. 75 Perfect of Hinge dating partners are more reluctant to open up to their date if that person is on the phone during the date – and 78 percent assume their partner is not interested if they are on the phone during the date.
Here are Hinge’s top six do’s and don’ts of phone etiquette for dates:
Silence your phone and keep it out of sight.
If you need to use your phone to glance at a restaurant’s QR code menu or respond to an urgent message from your roommate, do so quickly and then put your phone away.
If you have plans for after the date, arrange them in advance and determine when and where you will meet so that you are not busy with multiple things during the date.
Try not to engage in intense conversations or read work emails immediately before the date, as this can distract you and make you feel like you need to check in with someone.
Don’t pull out your phone to show someone a meme during the date. Instead, use this as a way to get in touch with them later.
Leave wearable devices like your Apple Watch at home or turn off your notifications so you aren’t tempted to peek. This is also a screen!
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Ury knows it can be tempting to look at your phone when your date has reached an awkward moment — or when you’re experiencing FOMO. “But if you want your first date to turn into a second, I advise you to keep your phone out of sight,” she said. The data proves this: On Hinge, 80 percent of people believe that appointments that involve talking on the phone lead to better connections, Ury cited.
When you hang up the phone, the call quality improves.
Photo credit: Hinge
If your date is constantly on the phone, Ury suggests giving them a playful call and inviting them not to get distracted. One script she offered goes: “I’ve been trying phone-free dates lately, and it’s actually been a nice break for my brain. Want to see how long we can go without checking ours? The first person to take a break buys the next round.” .”
For more tips, check out Hinge’s Distraction Free Dating Guide.