Alice Audley at the Telegraph has a serious problem: She keeps calling her girlfriends, and their significant others keep answering their cell phones. The horror. After a long day and a tough commute, the editor writes, with “wine in hand, close to tears of exhaustion, you collapse onto the sofa and take the first sip. Glorious. Then, you take out your phone – it’s time to relax – and call your best friend. And her boyfriend picks up.” She despairs that this “wretched phenomenon” has become “the norm,” and accuses her girlfriends of “relationship peacocking” by letting their boyfriends answer the phone to show off that they do, indeed, have boyfriends.
This is crazy. No one’s post-work routine involves plotting who will answer the phone in order to subtly guilt-trip their single friends. “Babe, I’ll answer your phone, and you’ll answer my phone, and everyone will be jealous of us,” is not a thing sane adult couples say to one another. It’s completely reasonable for a significant other to pick up the phone if they see a mutual friend is on the line and the call’s intended recipient is in the kitchen, in the bathroom, getting changed, giving the dog a bath, putting laundry away, in a very intense Internet argument, or otherwise not paying attention to their phone.
A few people I asked about this said they wouldn’t pick up their SO’s phone, citing the “your phone, your business” rule: in some couples, any interaction with your partner’s phone is verboten, to maintain some shred of privacy. But if my mom calls and I’m doing dishes, I’d have no problem with my boyfriend picking up the phone, saying hi, then getting me. My mom would probably be stoked to talk to him, anyway. And in the extremely scientific poll I conducted on my coworkers, they all agreed a friend’s SO picking up their call wouldn’t bother them at all, as long as it was a mutual friend. (The actual term used was “DGAF,” because we are professionals.)
Apologies to Alice Audley, but this is all in your head. If the significant others of the world start answering our Gchats, I will be the first to write an inflammatory and dramatic article on the Internet about it. There are boundaries, people.
Do you let your significant other pick up your cell phone? Are there any do’s and don’ts? Tell us in the comments.
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