Midlife Dating Podcast

Episode 4 - Smartphones and Dating

November 09, 2021 Paul Nelson Episode 4
Midlife Dating Podcast
Episode 4 - Smartphones and Dating
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When it comes to dating and relationships, daters are in a constant battle with Cognitive Distortions. Paul takes a quick look here at how this term applies to dating. 

In this episode's question, Paul explains why less time texting or on the phone equals more quality face-to-face time with your guy or gal. In this episode's movie review, he examines the dating and relationship messages in Our Souls at Night.

Many a Boomer and Gen X man has embraced the texting mindset from the Millennials and combines that with many long phone calls to their dating partner. Today's Potpourri segment looks at the good and the bad regarding smartphones and dating, with some interesting statistics from a Kaspersky Lab study.  

Have you ever lived through the embarrassment of getting messages on your dating app while you're out on a date? A few quick steps are all it takes to eliminate this from happening again.

50 Dates at 50 Website:  https://50datesat50.com/

The transcription below is provided for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes that the automated service made in translation.

Episode 004 - Smartphones and Dating


Paul Nelson: Hello, 50 Daters, and welcome to episode four. 

Today, I'm going to go over a highly worthwhile little procedure I recommend you act upon before going out on any meetup date, or any date for that matter, while you're testing the waters. Here's the problem, and this is something that's probably already happened to you. There's nothing more embarrassing than receiving a dating app message on your phone while you're out on a date. By the end of today's episode, you'll know how to quickly adjust your phone, so this won't happen. 

Now let's do a quick review. In episode two, we discussed narrowing down what it is you're looking for in a man or a woman. We kept it to five simple deal makers and five simple deal-breakers and putting them down on paper so you'll always know what you're looking for, and you can always review it. 

In episode three, we discussed a dating plan. Being the accepted and acknowledged guinea pig here at 50 Dates at 50, your host discussed at length the plane that I use to efficiently date with purpose, and search for the Really Great Woman I seek. The plan that I use took years of adjustments and fine-tuning. 

If you've been following along, you now have a good idea of what you're looking for and how to find it. Starting with this episode, with all podcasts moving forward, we're going to be taking a look at all the nuances involved in making you a better dater. This means tips, suggestions, questions and answers, and practices that work on the street, tried by me personally, using trial and error. 

What you'll be learning will help you make those fine adjustments to becoming a better dater, one baby step at a time. And this goes for both singles and couples, especially couples on date night. 

Before I forget if you like what you hear, please take a moment and click on subscribe. I don't want you missing out on making any of your date nights more memorable. 

So now, 50 Daters, let's start turning those dating busts into dating bests. 

Glossary Term - Cognitive Distortions

Paul Nelson: This episode's glossary term is Cognitive Distortions, and believe me, in the dating world, we all go through these, especially going out on first dates. Cognitive Distortions are false beliefs caused by a person reading things into a situation that aren't there. 

When it comes to dating, this can actually stop a guy from asking a gal out. Further, Cognitive Distortions can also develop when a dating couple are not together for a period of time, or if a single person has had a couple of bad dates that go nowhere. 

In dating, it's easy to get into a negative funk where you project previous negative dating experiences onto the next scheduled date. Cognitive Distortions may manifest themselves as all or nothing thinking, overgeneralizing, focusing on negative details, disqualifying the positive, jumping to conclusions, and emotional reasoning. 

Dating Question - He Won't Call or Text Me Every Day

Paul Nelson: Our dating question for this episode is, "He won't call me or text me every day. Is this normal?" From Melanie, 53, in Orange County. 

Question: "I met a man in February, and we've been going on dates and talking for almost five months. We have a great connection. He has a great job and a busy schedule working. Even with the lockdown, we see each other once or twice a week. Is it normal that he doesn't text me every day? 

There are days when he will at least call and ask me how my day was, and I see him on weekends and we have fun on our dates. Is it normal for him not to call or text every day, as long as we continue to see each other? This is the opposite of what the other men I've dated do."

Answer: "Melanie, lucky you. Sounds like this guy has some real potential. From what you've described, I think he's doing everything right, and I'm willing to bet he will continue to grow on you. Let me address the text messaging issue first. 

Most men in our age group, after they discovered text messaging, regress into millennial hood. They overuse this medium thinking it's a great way to stay in touch. However, texting should be limited to short messages and logistical communication, instead of the constant, "How is your morning? How's your mid-morning? How's your afternoon? How's your mid-afternoon? How's your dinner? How's your evening?" 

Less is more, and it's also very easy for someone to get the wrong impression from a text message. 

Albert Mehrabian's 7-38-55 rule of personal communication states that 93% of communication consists of body language and voice or vocal tonality, which is completely missing from text messages. This leaves us just a comma or misunderstood word away from a messaging disaster. And believe me, Melanie, I can tell you this from personal experience multiple times. 

Is it good that he doesn't call you every day? Yes. Conversation is better face-to-face where all forms of personal communication are present. Additionally, the time gaps between communication are where you end up thinking about him more, and this creates stronger attraction and desire. He appears to understand this. 

He also seems committed to his own pursuits, which makes them even more attractive. Would you rather have him entirely sacrifice his job or passion for you, aking you the sole object of his time and attention? Most men do that, and while it may be thrilling at first, it will eventually create Fusion, which will push both you away from each other. Instead, he's coming on slowly, allowing time for things to develop, and holding onto what makes him unique. He sounds like he could be a proper 50 Dater. 

Please note for more information, the term Fusion is described in the 50 Dates at 50 Dating Glossary. 

Our Souls at Night - Chick Flick Movie Review

Paul Nelson: Our 50 Dates at 50 Chick Flick Movie Review for this episode is Our Souls at Night, which was released back in 2017, and is available to view on Netflix. 

The movie synopsis is about two seniors in their late seventies who live in an Eastern Colorado town, just a few blocks apart. Louis Waters is played by Robert Redford and Addie Moore is played by Jane Fonda. 

Addie and Louis have known each other as acquaintances. One evening though, Addie stops by Louis's house with a proposition. She asks if they could spend the nights together as a way to combat the years of loneliness they've both experienced. The proposition is strictly non-sexual in nature. After Lewis thinks about it, he agrees and begins stopping by her place in the evenings. 

As they discuss the mistakes, they've made in life, and the lessons learned from them, they begin to grow on each other. The neighbors begin to notice and word spreads around town and a romance begins to take hold. Then things change when Addie's grandson comes to stay with them so he can work through a difficult period in his life. 

Now the movie was filmed in Colorado Springs, and this is Robert Redford's and Jane Fonda's fourth movie together. Their high-quality acting really carries the story. 

As the couple sorts out their newfound situations, a lot of excellent situational humor occurs. The awkward moments truly come off as real-life awkward. Both characters learn that some things in their past never really go away, and they eventually come to terms with this. Attention to detail is good right down to the local King Soopers grocery bags. 

As we get older, we tend to care less about what other people think about us. This theme comes up throughout the movie and is worth reflecting on in our current lives. Addie takes the lead on this as Lewis comes to terms with the town gossip surrounding them. 

Now, why do you 50 Daters need to watch this? Let me make these points. 

Robert Redford's character is an excellent example of authenticity. In his discussions with Addie, he does push the envelope by giving up a little too much information way too early. This is a common problem for both men and women, but mainly men. The reason for that is guys tend to think that vulnerability means putting it all on the table within the first date or two, and this is a big mistake. Vulnerability is actually a person's ability to open themselves up to rejection and accepting any outcome. 

This movie is also a romance where the couple grow on each, other versus today's internet dating experience where you've got 15 minutes to make a good impression with no second chances. 

Additionally, it touches on the difference between being in love with someone from the past and being in love with a memory from the past. 

Potpourri Segment - Smartphones and Dating

Paul Nelson: Smartphones and dating. The introduction of the smartphone combined with dating websites and apps have opened up a wide range of choice in the dating world. 

Dating back in the seventies through the nineties, we were pretty limited to the bar scene and social circles. It can be easily said that with the arrival of online dating, never has there been such a wide-open opportunity to find someone truly compatible. 

With all the nice things that technology brings us, there is the bad as we're all aware smartphones, who've worked their way into just about everything we do. So much so that we can't live without them. 

Kaspersky, the cybersecurity company, has posted an article called The Pros and Cons of Device Devotion in Relationships, and this has some interesting statistics. According to the study, 51% of couples have argued about using a device during a meal or a face-to-face conversation. So does this mean that half of all couples are fine using their smartphone during a meal? Say it isn't so. 

Now, needing to use your smartphone during a meal, in my personal opinion, is over the top rude. Same with during a date, and especially during the first few dates. 

I see this rampant in the corporate environment. I've been at lunch with VP's and department directors, and at any given time, they can be seen ignoring everyone and fiddling with their phones. 

This is a daily occurrence, and when I look at our age group and people in our age group being constantly on their phones, I wonder how they survived the eighties. 

Texting is one of the greatest and worst forms of communication invented to this date. I've been on countless acquaintanceship meetings or meet updates where the date that I'm meeting is unable to put their phone down. I completely understand single moms needing to have the phone handy in case there's a problem with one of her kids, but having to actively check for messages every 15 minutes? Really? 

I recall a few years ago when our band was trying out female vocalists. One gal arrived with the phone glued to her ear upon entering the room. She had three songs for the try-out and she checked her phone for messages after each song. In the 30 minutes during the try-outs that she was there, she checked her phone at least five times. She mentioned that her teenage son was home with the flu and she needed to make sure he was all right. But in between each song? Give. Me. A. Break. 

Her phone was sitting on the music stand and there would be a constant visual indication if there were a call. And no, she didn't make the cut, her phone usage being the leading indicator. 

Whatever happened to common courtesy? When we meet, phones should be out of the picture. When I get to a meetup, I either silence or in many cases, turn my phone off. Then I set it face down. I'd put it away in a pocket, but in many cases with the size of phones these days, that's not possible. 

I've gotten many questions and comments asking why I would turn my phone off by my date, and I would explain that it's important for me to focus on our conversation. Only under very rare circumstances, like an emergency, would it be necessary for anyone to answer a call during a meetup date. 

From a woman's standpoint, I get it that the phone is a useful way to escape a bad date. There are several apps available that will give you a call or a text in the middle of the date, giving you an opportunistic message that gives you the excuse to depart early. Obviously, it would be necessary to set up a situation where you alert your date that you might get a call during the meetup that may involve you leaving early. 

Overall though, 50 Daters respect the time of others. We make it fundamental to silence our phones during our dates and meals with our friends and family. 

Saving Yourself from Dating App Message Embarrassment

Paul Nelson: Let's now shift to the topic of saving yourself some embarrassment from potentially receiving messages from your dating app on your phone while you're out on a meetup date. Picture this. You're out on the date and the subject of pets comes up. You want to show your date a picture of your dog. You pick up your phone, you turn it over, and to your amazement, there are two Bumble message icons at the top of the display. It's too late. Your date now knows you have a couple of messages from the competition. 

This has happened to me personally, on more than one occasion. I see this from my date's phones when they show me pictures from time to time. 

I don't intentionally look for this. It's just that the icons are very easily recognizable. In the last month, I had to meet updates where my dates ended up getting messages while I was meeting with them. 

To save yourself some future embarrassment, I highly recommend that you shut your dating app off before you go out on your date. Just closing the app does not necessarily mean that they are not running in the background. You can still get messages. 

The solution is, before you leave to go on your date, open the dating app. Then go to the settings page of the dating app and log out of the dating app. Once you've logged out, make sure you close the window. 

If you are using Facebook, log out of Facebook, too. Some apps like Bumble, like Tinder, allow you to sign into the app using Facebook. It's a good idea to make sure Facebook is turned off if you use Facebook to log into your dating app. 

I have an Android phone, so I actually take the extra step of going into the settings on my phone after I've logged out, and I look at all the apps on my phone, and I'll select the dating app. I select "Force Stop." "Force Stop" shuts the dating app down. I know for sure nothing is running in the background. 

If you have an iPhone, go to the main settings icon, and then go to the app list. Select your dating app and then turn off notifications. This will save you much embarrassment while on meetup or testing the waters dates. 

This also allows you to focus on your date, which is what you should be doing in the first place. When you get home, you can always turn things back on. 

The only exception here would be if you're a gal and you've been using the dating app interface as a way to communicate with your date because you don't want to give out your phone number. If that's the case, then I just, I wouldn't be showing my date any pictures just to keep things on the safe side. 

That's a wrap for this episode. I hope you enjoyed today, and look forward to being with you next week when we share more dating advice, stories, and answer more questions to take your dating experience from a bust to a best… and that's a really good place to be.

We'll end this episode with some dating and relationship advice from Groucho Marx, who said, "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."

Until next time. 

Episode 004 Introduction
Glossary Term: Cognitive Distortions
Dating Question: He Won't Call or Text Me Every Day
Chick Flick Movie Review: Our Souls at Night
Potpourri Segment: Smartphones and Dating
Saving Yourself from Dating App Message Embarrassment