Welcome to Tech Dating 101, where I help disperse a double whammy of tech and relationship advice. I've covered how to interpret Internet signals before you're even dating, and how to unwire your ex from your life once you're not dating anymore, and now I'm tackling a question that hits right smack dab in a relationship. So you're happy, together, serious — and so comfortable that certain habits become problematic. The problem? When your partner answers his cell phone when you're having dinner. I don't mean a date scenario, where answering calls and texting is always considered rude, but the run of the mill, one on one dinners at home or out between a seasoned couple. To hear what I think, just read more.
So when I was growing up, my parents would be irate if telemarketers called during dinner. In fact if the phone rang, we always let it go to the answering machine — they drilled in me that dinnertime was never, ever phone time.
That's carried over into my adult life, even though I consider my iPhone my lifeblood. So I get pretty irritated when my boyfriend (or anyone else I'm with) answers a call at any dinner, casual though it may be. Hey, even though we're at home and not out on date trying to woo each other, it's still a sacred time to me.
My advice to anyone who has this problem is to decide what offends you — is it the attention being paid to the phone and not your time together, that he's answering the phone at all, or the amount of time spent on the phone once it's answered — like, is he saying "I'm having dinner, let me call you back," or is he having long chats while you stew — and eat your stew? Once you figure that out, gently let your boyfriend know how you feel and propose that no one looks at their phone during dinner, or the phone can be looked at if someone calls, but only answered if it's presumed an emergency. Let him know that you're not trying to be demanding, you just want to have real quality time with him.