If I had to name one thing that sums up 21st century dating, it wouldn’t be Tinder or catfishing or even Craigslist Missed Connections after Coachella. No, the flake-infested, selfie-propelled endeavor that is modern dating is best encapsulated by the undertaking that is saving someone’s number to your phone.
Saving the phone number of a potential romantic interest is a delicate art. Whether we want to admit it or not, assigning a name to a number can mean something. Not only does the act solidify a person’s place in your contacts—it solidifies a place for him or her in your mental space. They are no longer just an area code. They cease being a number and start being a person, which is sadly significant in this ~crazy~ world of swiping and ghosting.
Different people have their own systems of saving numbers. Some save the number right away (and update it later with reminders like “DO NOT TEXT 🙅” when shit goes down). Some wait until after a first date or a first kiss. Some even wait until they become exclusive. Personally, I don’t save a number until I feel some degree of emotional ease with the person—an internal measure.
But if you’re someone who simply does not have a protocol for when to save a date's number to contacts, we’ve compiled the following scenarios with the goal of helping you answer what may be the most trying question of our time: 2 save or not 2 save?
You’ve been texting with this person, who seems like a chill and decent human being. After a few failed attempts to meet up, you finally go out, and you really actually enjoy this person. You leave the date feeling that maybe there’s some potential here.
This looks like a positive situation that may or may not show some promise. Save! (Of course, some superstitious daters believe that saving the number could actually jinx the situation, so follow your heart.)
A fun night out proved successful, and you go home with a lady who is not only gorgeous but shares your appreciation for Hall & Oates. The next morning, she doesn’t offer you coffee or to go get breakfast, but you exchange numbers. As you leave her bedroom, she calls to you from the bed, and asks you to plug in her phone charger for her.
Don’t save. Maybe you'll text for the rest of the weekend. Maybe you'll even see each other again! Either way, you should definitely hold the phone-charging thing against her for at least a solid month and a half.
The dude you gave your number to on OKC reaches out to you. After some pleasantries, he graces you with an unsolicited photo of his penis.
Don’t save and consider giving his number to a male-enhancement product phone list.
You’ve been talking with this guy you met at a bar and plan to meet up with him for a date at his place of work when he gets off. You agree to meet by a brass statue in the park. You get there early, and after a couple minutes, you notice out of the corner of your eye that the brass statue is moving. “Hey, it’s great to see you,” it says. You suddenly realize that your date is a living statue performance artist. The date goes okay otherwise.
Honestly? Wait three days. If you still remember what even happened on the date after the initial shock of realizing what he goes for a living, save the number. This could be something.
You drunkenly gave your phone number to a rando on the train and now she won't stop sending you links to her Soundcloud tracks. She doesn't actually text words, just sends you URLS.
Continue to not save her number. Better yet, send her a quick message: "UNSUBSCRIBE."
You meet someone whose name is actually Kim Jong-Il (no relation to the late North Korean leader).
You cannot save that number fast enough. It’s an objectively great name, and you should be so lucky to have it in your contacts.
The dude crashed your date at the local carnival with your actual boyfriend, climbing up a ferris wheel and threatening to kill himself unless you go out with him.
Do not save. You probably won’t remember him anyway.
You finally go home with a rich-ass dude you’ve been going out with for a couple weeks. He lives by himself in a very spacious one-bedroom apartment, but you soon discover that he has five cats, and he dresses each of them up in a bib and a pair of diapers. They are all named “Virginia.”
Don’t save the number. Save the cats.