Romantics. It's Time for a Valentine's Day Phone Ban

Experts Are Calling for a Phone Ban on Valentine’s Day… and Here’s Why…

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MILLIONS ADMIT TO BEING DISTRACTED BY THEIR PHONE ON VALENTINE’S DAY. Experts recommend if you want a meaningful Valentine’s Day, put your phone to bed, and jump into bed with your partner instead.

  • Sparks may be flying on Valentine’s Day, but so are notifications! A sizzling 50% confessed they can’t resist the allure of their phones. Looks like love isn’t the only thing stealing the spotlight this February 14th!
  • Almost 8% of people will check Tinder for a better option, or message another potential squeeze, while they are actually ON A DATE!!!
  • Just under 7% of furtive phubbers will sneak away to the toilet while they are on a date, just to check their phone!
  • 17% of women will interrupt lovemaking to check their phone, compared to 7% of men.

That time of year is upon us again, when Cupid exercises that bow arm and is firing love hearts all over the place, so experts are calling for a phone ban on Valentine’s Day this year. Why? Because you won’t notice those darts of desire if your face is permanently staring at your smartphone screen. If you, like many others, are addicted to your smartphone, now is the time to break the cycle or face a love-season of loneliness.

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, many people will look for a date to enjoy the day (and night…) with. But if you are paying more attention to your smartphone than the person you’re on a date with, then you won’t make it past the taxi home (to your own house, on your own). Because nobody enjoys playing second fiddle to a smartphone. Phubbers who prioritize their smartphone over their significant other should beware.

Looking at the stats, and some case studies of people who are victims of phubbing, we can certainty see justification for a phone ban on Valentine’s Day. SellCell has pulled together data from its own surveys and statistics to prove why a phone ban is the best way forward for star-crossed lovers all over the world on February 14th…

Key Findings

  • A stunning 49.6% of individuals are unable to resist the alluring urge to sneak a sultry peek at their phones on a date or during a dinner with their partner.
  • 35.7% of phone users will get busy with their handset right in front of their Valentine’s date, rather than concentrating on the date itself.
  • 7.6% unbelievably sneak a peek at Tinder or shoot off messages to OTHER potential flames even while they’re out on a date!
  • An additional 7.6% of smartphone addicts can’t resist a covert trip to the bathroom during a date—all for a cheeky check of their phones!
  • In the heat of passion, a shocking 17% of women give in to the temptation to hit pause on the romance and sneak a peek at their phones, outshining the 7% of men who succumb to the same temptation.
  • An alarming 4.2% of daters are rude enough to devote a monstrously ignorant two hours or more on Valentine’s to their phones during the date.
  • A righteous 53.9% of individuals would justifiably feel a sting of hurt or frustration if their partner used their smartphones on their Valentine’s Day Date.


SellCell surveyed a selection of adult smartphone users to ascertain their phone behaviour and reaction to their partner’s phone behaviour. The results are below.

Phone Use During a Valentine’s Day Date: Who Does That?!

graph for phone ban on valentines day, showing how many people would use their phone on a date

Are you utterly mannerless? Well, you might not think so, but if you are one of the 49.6% of people who would use their phone during a Valentine’s date, then the likelihood is your manners are long gone. Thankfully, there is a wholesome 50.4% of people who counteract your rudeness by not checking their phone during a Valentine’s date. Bet you don’t say please or thank you either, right?

graph for phone ban on valentines day, showing in what circumstances people would use their phone on a date

If we look at those answers in more detail, we can see behaviour relating to the use of a phone on a date. 35.7% of you don’t care that you are discourteous (how did you even get a date in the first place?!) and will be all blase about using your phone right in your date’s face. RUDE. You are the reason we need a phone ban on Valentine’s Day.

6.4% will look at their phone under the table, which might give your date one of several wrong ideas. 7.6% of you will sneak to the bathroom.

Using Your Phone on a Valentine’s Day Date? WHY?

graph for phone ban on valentines day, showing why people would use their phone on a date

Being fair, some people who would use their phone have a good reason. Like the 31.7% of people who check in case their kids or babysitter has got in touch. This is perfectly understandable. At a stretch, we could excuse the 51.8% of people who are chatting with friends and family, if that chat is important. If it is just general chit-chat, though, put your phone away.

However, for the 35.1% of people taking selfies, unless your date is also in them, you just look totally self-absorbed, and thus would be a terrible prospect for any future relationships other than the one you have with yourself. The same goes for the 3.8% of people checking Tinder while their date is sitting across the table, or the 3.8% messaging other potential dates. Perhaps you want to check your moral compass rather than your phone.

12.3% of people use their phone because their date is boring. Or, rather, they think their date is boring.

What Do People Really Think About a Ban on Smartphones?

SellCell reached out to see what people actually think about the idea of a phone ban on Valentine’s Day.

Rich, who is currently on the dating scene, is fed up with meeting women who are more focussed on ‘selfies’ than spending time on the date. The obsession with smartphones on dates and in the buildup to a date is creating an unnatural environment for balanced romance, he thinks. He thinks a Valentine’s Day Phone Embargo will be a good thing…

SellCell Case Study, 2024

Jan wouldn’t just like to see a phone ban on Valentine’s Day, but on all dates, and is sick of coming second place to smartphone football. She will ask her hubbie to put his phone down on February 14th.

SellCell Case Study 2024

As we can see from the case studies above, we need to spend more time concentrating on each other than we do on our smartphones.

How Long Do Phone Users Spend on Their Phone During a Date?

graph for phone ban on valentines day, showing how long people would use their phone for on a date

75.2% of people will use their phone for less than thirty minutes. This is OK, especially if you are checking it for a good reason. The 13.9% of people using their phone for 30 minutes to an hour could do with kerbing that a little bit. If you are part of the 6.7% who ignore their partner for 1-2 hours, then consider just going home again.

If you are in the 4.2% of people who use their phone for over two hours on a date, unless your date is 48 hours long, then you have absolutely no excuse. Even getting ready to go on this date has been a colossal waste of time, but now you’re wasting effort, money, and all the same things for another person as well!

Is Smartphone Use on a Valentine’s Day Date Hurtful?

graph  showing how people would react to partners who use their phone on a date

53.9% of people say that if their partner was sitting using their smartphone on a date, they would be upset or angry. This is justifiable, because having someone ignore you is hurtful, even more so if it is in front of you, on a date, and the ignorance is all because of their smartphone use.

46.1% would not be angry or hurt. This is fine as well; if your partner’s smartphone use doesn’t matter, then more power to you! However, this might not be the healthiest approach to take to maintaining your relationship. Whilst getting angry isn’t either, the over-use of a smartphone in your company might point to deeper seated issues.

Smartphone Use in Other Romantic Situations

table answering questions about relationships and smartphone use

The survey results above show that 78% of women and 64% of men spend more time with their smartphones than they do with their partner each day. The likelihood here is that they’re the same people who would spend two hours or more on their phone on a date!

A sad fact that this data shows is how most people interact with their smartphone before even saying good morning to their partner. This is taking phubbing to a whole new level. No wonder society is breaking down.

The most shocking statistic here, though, is that 17% of women and 7% of men would actually interrupt lovemaking to check their phone. This is nothing short of scandalous! If you do this, then your smartphone addiction is definitely a problem, and you probably need a lifetime ban on your handset, never mind a phone ban just on Valentine’s Day!

What Do the Experts Say About a Phone Ban This February 14th?

SellCell reached out to Alex Honigman, a licensed Clinical Social Worker and relationship expert at Wit & Reason. When asked about phone use on Valentine’s Day, the mental health professional and relationship therapist shared the following insights:

If you’re really trying to celebrate Valentine’s Day, what you are hopefully looking for is to have a bit of romance and meaningful connection. These really only flourish through mindful engagement. Emotions are subtle and need nurturing, so it requires undivided attention, healthy communication and listening with empathy to really develop a deep connection. 

This depth, however, eludes those immersed in distractions, the most common culprit being a phone. The constant presence of phones can act as a barrier to the profound intimacy that unfolds when partners are fully attuned to one another, free from distractions that a handheld screen may introduce. How are you going to look into each other’s eyes when there is a phone between you two?! 

Alex Honigman, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and relationship expert from Wit & Reason, 2024.

I Love You, My Beautiful Smartphone: The Case for a Phone Ban on Valentine’s Day

Seriously, people, get a grip… and not of your smartphone, but of your partner, and try to inject a bit of romance into your relationship during the day devoted to love. Think about self-imposing a phone ban on Valentine’s Day and spend some time paying attention to your date or partner instead. You might be shocked to discover that they aren’t actually that boring after all…


SellCell conducted surveys with 3018 adult smartphone users in the United States to explore their smartphone usage patterns on Valentine’s Day dates, and in relationships in general. No personal information was gathered or stored throughout the data collection process.