Smart Dating does not include smart phones and let me give you a little insight as to why.

While smart phone technology has given us so many things to enhance dating – video calling, text messaging, and (love them or hate them) an abundance of dating apps – these devices can also cause anxiety and annoyances in relationships. You may meet your partner on Bumble, but if you’re constantly bumbling around on your phone, ignoring them, and placing more importance on your device than the person sitting across from you, it’s sure to be your first and last date with them.

A recent study by the University of British Colombia found that phone use during a meal led to a noticeable decrease in diners’ enjoyment. Which makes sense because when the last time someone ignored you in favor of their phone and you thought, “Awesome! I can’t wait to tell my friends how great this is going!” When you choose an object over a person, you come across as impolite at best, rude and arrogant at worst.

But there’s more – even the presence of a device has been found to reduce people’s pleasure in social settings. Without even using it, your cell phone is so distracting that your thoughts are trained to focus on it instead of the people around you. Most of us have found ourselves in conversation with someone when our minds drift off to, “Did I send that email?” “I really need to check Instagram for just a second…” and of course, “I need to put this on my Snap story!” And that’s all before you pick up the device.

So how do you break the habit? How do you convey that your date is important to you, that you’re respectful, polite, and genuinely interested in being with them?

First, obviously, just put your phone away. Don’t even think about bringing it out at dinner and use it only when necessary in other settings (for instance, using your GPS to navigate from the restaurant is okay; texting while driving your date home is not). Secondly, when your thoughts drift and you’re having a serious case of FOMO, remember that most of those people online are wising they were in your shoes at that moment – out with an attractive and intelligent person, enjoying company and conversation with someone worth getting to know.

And it should always go without saying: don’t only show your date respect, but respect others around you also. Be polite to your waiter, thank the valet and always, always tip well. As the saying goes, the person who is nice to you but isn’t nice to the waiter isn’t a nice person.

Don’t annoy your date to death, give them your full attention, treat your date with respect, treat your server with respect, and except for emergencies please stay off your cell phone during dinner.