Dating 101: Mind Your Manners and Ditch the BlackBerry

Editor’s Note: Who is the wisest of them all? Who is more dedicated to your pleasure than anyone on earth? Who can help you when you’re going online for the first time to find love; or when your lover’s children hate you; or when you want to strangle your husband? Why, the Love Goddess, of course. She promises nothing less than celestial wisdom, heavenly sex, divine dating. Read on …

It’s front-page news for The New York Times – businesses are grappling with the thorny etiquette of wireless devices – with the fact that people are texting and e-mailing during meetings. What’s rude and what isn’t?

I’m more concerned, of course, with your love life, and, so, with the etiquette of wireless devices on dates. Planting your BlackBerry on a table when you’re on a date is, my elegant Earth Girls, against the Goddess Rules. Remember how you feel with a man who makes it clear he’s too busy for you? Whose work or whose kids always come first? Who is accessible, always, to his boss or kids or ex-wife … but not you? Who can’t connect for an hour ‘cause he’s too distracted?

That’s how your date feels when he spies that phone on the table.

If you shouldn’t be on this date because you’re so busy, maybe you should stay at the office. Make those phone calls and texts and e-mails and leave this poor guy out of your life until you have a moment to spare him.

If something is that important that you have to have a phone available, explain so up front. “My oncologist may call, because she doesn’t take calls during the day. I hope you won’t mind if I take that call. I won’t take any other.”

Have you ever been in a store when your salesperson took a phone call from another customer – and left you standing there while the caller’s order is placed? Didn’t you say, or feel like saying, “Hey, I’m the one who CAME here. I come first!”

That’s how your date feels.

What disturbs me, too, beyond the rudeness of awaiting a call (don’t even speak to me about making calls while on a date!), is the sad idea that smartphones now do what cigarettes once did: offer owners a chance to do something with their hands and their minds … as if it’s somehow humiliating to appear to be still and not busy for ten seconds. Isn’t it sad that it’s more important to appear connected than to offer real connection to that person you made a date with … and with whom you want real connection?

I don’t mean to be grumpy, but I’m in the business of getting my sweet Earth Women involved, face to face, with other people. If you must look busy while you await your date, go buy a newspaper. Spend the 50 cents on the hard copy. And then fold it up and put it away when your date comes. And know that the most important adults I know on this planet and others don’t go on dates carrying phones – any more than the Queen of England carries cash.

Like all savvy goddesses, the Love Goddess has her own blog, which you can visit by clicking here.

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