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Tech Dating 101: Taking Phone Calls at Dinner

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


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.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
Agreed. If someone starts up a long conversation on the phone during a dinner, I move to another table. Let me know when the conversation is done and give me a call. I'm sorry though, I'm eating now at the next table over so I'll have to call you back when I'm done.
mek123 mek123 8 years
I agree how rude but I do look at the caller and answer if it our son since it is usually an emergency.
gonedelirious gonedelirious 8 years
A while ago, out at dinner, my BF said "NO Blackberry at dinner". I felt like I owed him that, at the very least (I was just looking up something stupid anyway). If I had just won an Oscar, I would answer my phone though.
LOVErickii LOVErickii 8 years
i usually take the call cause i know if i don't in the back of my mind I'll be wondering if it was an emergency. hopefully they tell me what's going on in a few sentences but if it's likely to turn into a non emergency conversation I'll stop and say I'm in the middle of having a meal & I'll call when i can...
bluebrooke11 bluebrooke11 8 years
Def! I think that unless it's like a babysitter, or something REALLY important, like something having to do with your kids, the it's ok, cause they may be in trouble. Otherwise: how rude!
Ana-V452519 Ana-V452519 8 years
yeah! calls at dinner can be awkward, to say the least wow! startac looks so old now...
caroline_1 caroline_1 8 years
holy startac!
Angelica Angelica 8 years
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