As I woke up this morning, my phone screen illuminated with an unread message from “Maybe: Joe”—my most recent Tinder match who loves “spicy water” (…seltzer), lives about seven miles away, and has a beard that reaffirms my affinity for men who look like lumberjacks.
We transitioned our convo to texting last night under the pretense that “Tinder destroys my battery, lol,” and he joined my roster alongside some other contenders:
- “Maybe: Andrew” who dressed up as Winnie the Pooh for Halloween.
- 760 number of who works in politics but doesn’t “consider himself a politician.”
- 914 dude, whose number is actually unnecessary since he almost exclusively uses Snapchat.
- And a 913 boy who doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.”
Some of these men came from Tinder, some from Hinge, one lives in Kansas City, the others in New York City, but the one thing they all have in common: None of their numbers are saved in my phone.
Now FWIW, I don’t believe in traditional dating rules: The “three-day rule” is actual garbage. Women can make the first move, and sex on the first date is totally your call. But I do stand by my truth that no one should be a saved contact in your phone until you’re sure they’ll become someone important to you.
Think about it: The people you have saved in your phone already—your mom, your college bestie, your grandpa’s neighbor, just in case—deserve saved contacts. They have a name in your phone because they’re important and bring meaning to your life. The bro from Tinder who drunk-texts you on Monday nights or has “Saturdays are for the boys” in his IG bio is not on the same level as the woman who freaking birthed you. Not even close.
This trick is essential to keeping men at a distance. I don’t do this because I thrive on power or want to own men’s souls (although that does sound kind of kinky). I do it because I need a shield. I’m the kind of dater who could tell anyone my whole life story with no qualms—regardless of whether I’m into you or not. This is cool-cool-cool for a total of two seconds until someone decides to take advantage of your emotions and ability to feel everything (looking at you, ex-boyfriend!) and royally fucks everything up.
So yeah…this has specifically saved me from developing ~emotional~ connections with quintessential fuck boys. Sure, it may be a placebo effect, but if I don’t literally have them saved in my phone, that means I can’t metaphorically have them saved in my brain, my heart, my vagina, whatever…when they decide they’d like to leave me on read for 24 hours.
I’ve somehow convinced myself that it’s a jinx to save someone you’re crushing on in your phone before you should. That’s because every. damn. time I’ve been super into someone and thought, Taylor, it’s NBD. Just add their number. It’s an exception, they end up ghosting me or snapping at the waiter on our third date or Venmo-requesting me for a $1 when I ask them for a tissue.
Plus, let’s just be practical for a second. If I saved the number of everyone I’ve met from a dating app, I’d have a bunch of “Josh 1” and “Josh Tinder” and “Josh Kansas City” confusing me, which just sounds like a recipe for me to get one dude mixed up with another. And that is something the fragile male ego could not handle.
So in the name of making ~healthy boundaries~ (my therapist would be so proud), I don’t add any random dude’s numbers into my phone until they can prove themselves to be more significant than someone to text during the commercials of Vanderpump Rules.
As for when that time comes and what signifies when someone “earns that right,” TBD. It hasn’t happened since I’ve instituted this rule in my dating practice. But I’m hopeful that one day, one of these “Maybe: [Insert Name]” dudes will prove themselves to be more than just someone who clogs up storage space on my phone.