We’ve stressed time and again the importance of texting and phone etiquette in relationships. (Like, what you should say via text, what you shouldn’t say, when to call, etc.)

Obviously, your phone is one of your most important dating tools. So are you using it to your best advantage? Check out these tips on how to maximize your phone’s (dating) potential.

Your Address Book

Label people so that there is absolutely no mistaking who is calling/texting you at any given time. This seems like an obvious tip, but you’d be surprised how often I’ve texted the wrong “Erin G.”

Use whatever system works best for you: first and last name, if you’re comfortable with full names. (If you’re dating someone on the sly — say, a coworker — probably best to give them some sort of pseudonym.) Nicknames could work. One HowHookup staff member, who will remain anonymous, even assigns a specific character length for her most-used contacts on her phone, so that she can identify who’s texting on the very first glance. (So if, for example, you have a Brad, Bradley, and Brandon in your address book, you can use “B”, “Brad” and “Brandon Smith” if that helps keep you from confusing them.)

One piece of advice: if you do use nicknames, don’t make them super obvious nicknames so that anyone scrolling through your phone can probably guess your relationship. You aren’t fooling anyone with “Coffee Boy“…much better to just label him with a slightly vaguer “Starbucks.”

Your Text Settings

Do you have an iPhone? For godssake, turn off the “Text Message Preview” setting so your text messages don’t just display on your phone the second they’re received. (I learned this the hard way when I left my phone on my grandparents’ kitchen counter.)

Keep in mind that if your phone is visible and a text pops up, whoever you’re with, whether it’s a date or a colleague or a stranger, will read it. It’s just human nature. Even if you aren’t receiving anything especially illicit, it’s best to turn the preview feature off.

Your Phone Settings On A Date

If you are in the habit of getting lots of text messages — whether these messages are innocent in nature or not — turn off the vibrate setting when you’re on a date. There is nothing worse than being out with someone and constantly hearing their phone go off, especially if they don’t ever stop to answer or respond. It just makes people wonder WHO is texting you constantly, and WHY aren’t you answering! (It’s a catch-22: You’re rude if you respond, but it looks suspicious if you don’t.)


Be really careful about what sorts of pictures you keep on your cellphone: it’s way too easy for phones (and therefore the pictures on them) to fall into the wrong hands.

Additionally, you might want to go through your library and purge pictures every now and then, especially if you’ve just started dating someone. It’s pretty common for a new couple to flirtily look through each other’s pics, and finding Instagram shots of your ex-boyfriend can be such a buzzkill.

Manage Your Apps

Sometimes we mindlessly download apps for totally random reasons, and then forget about them. No big deal, until someone is randomly looking at your phone and sees, like, Self-Esteem Tip Of The Day and Your Body Rhythm on your phone. Utilize app folders, and when in doubt, lock your phone!


Filed Under: