You’re sitting across from your boyfriend, he’s going on about how his day went, but you suddenly feel the need to swipe your phone. That’s called sidebarring, the new dating trend where people feel comfortable texting friends while present with someone else.
We live in an age where phone snubbing is the order of the day. This behavior is relatable, simply because our phones make us feel closer to the world. But, is it really worth it? Rather than live in the moment and be present during dates, it’s easy to succumb to the need of texting while talking.
We didn’t even know that was possible ten years ago, but it’s totally a thing these days. Texting at social events, reacting to a funny meme, and updating your girls about the latest hot gossip, can take a toll on your relationship.
Sidebarring may seem fun and harmless, but it makes us miss out on what’s happening at the moment. Plus, the average person feels disrespected when the person they are supposed to be spending time with is busy on their phones. So why do we totally ignore all the ethics of good company and still prefer the virtual world to the physical?
I guess many of us are unconsciously addicted. Do you think you are guilty of sidebarring? Or are you wondering if it’s your partner that’s engaging in this phone snubbing behavior called sidebarring? Let’s read the facts below.
- 1 11 Ways To Know If You Are Sidebarring Your Partner Or If He Is Doing It To You
- 1.1 1. You get bored
- 1.2 2. You feel like you’re talking to yourself
- 1.3 3. You keep glancing at your phone
- 1.4 4. You feel alone
- 1.5 5. You start looking at your phone too
- 1.6 6. Their attention is divided
- 1.7 7. You are overly conscious of your phone
- 1.8 8. He keeps looking down
- 1.9 9. Body language
- 1.10 10. He’s laughing at odd times
- 1.11 11. Both hands are constantly under the table
- 2 FAQs
- 3 In Summary
11 Ways To Know If You Are Sidebarring Your Partner Or If He Is Doing It To You
1. You get bored
If you attend social events regularly, you obviously want to have fun. Going to a party or just having an exclusive dinner with your partner should be intimate and engaging. So, if you suddenly feel bored on a date, it’s possible someone isn’t being present enough.
Because sidebarring can be done conspicuously, simply feeling uninterested or bored could mean your partner is sidebarring on the date. Maybe you even sent the first text message but didn’t expect him to start a whole conversation with someone else.
2. You feel like you’re talking to yourself
Work was stressful, your sister is getting married to her high school lover, and your plants are refusing to sprout. You’re laying down all these topics, but somehow, the response you’re getting isn’t impressive. Most people have been on a date where the only response they get is “hmmm, aaaah, okay.”
At this point, you know you’re talking to yourself. Your partner isn’t giving timely responses or chiming in as he should. He’s either sidebarring you or is distracted by something else.
3. You keep glancing at your phone
Maybe your partner isn't sending messages while on a date with you. You think you’re listening to him, and even nod your head a few times. Yeah, those are typical sidebarring moves. Some people don’t know when they even send the first text message. You get distracted, look down at your phone, and there’s a message notification.
It’s your bestie, and surely she’s not messaging you by 8 pm for nothing, right? So you send a quick response and lock the phone screen again. However, five seconds later, you're glancing down again. If you keep glancing down at your phone and replying to messages, you’re totally sidebarring.
4. You feel alone
You go out with your boyfriend, looking your best and smelling like the sweetest rose garden. You paid so much attention to hair and makeup and made sure your breath was scented like fresh mints. However, it’s two minutes into the date, and you’re not getting the attention you expected. What’s going on?
Maybe he paid you the initial compliments, but by now, you should be talking, laughing, flirting, and touching each other. But for some reason, you feel alone. Your look is perfect, the event is perfect, but you know what’s not perfect? The addictive relationship between human beings and technology/social media.
5. You start looking at your phone too
Sidebarring is communicable! Yes! Do you know how you sneeze right after someone else does? It’s the same with texting while in the same room with others. If your partner uses his phone more than usual, you’ll follow suit. Have you noticed that?
Even when it’s someone you don’t know, once one or more people start using their phones during a social event, you almost feel obligated to do so as well. So, if you catch yourself glancing at your phone more than usual, you may be sidebarring. Or at least, intending to do so.
6. Their attention is divided
Here’s the thing, people feel closer to their friends when they can text them at any point. At least, that’s what they say. Some may say such people don’t want to be called rude, hence the convenient excuse. Still, the act remains rude regardless of the excuse. So, if you notice your partner isn’t giving you his full attention, he may be sidebarring.
At some point, he’s giving feedback and responding well, but five minutes later, he seems absent from the conversation. Divided attention may be one of the leading signs of sidebarring. Simply because it’s hard to talk and text at the same time.
7. You are overly conscious of your phone
When out in a public space, it’s almost normal to reach for your phone constantly. You want to take pictures of the scenery, take some selfies, and the likes. However, why is your phone still out after all the pictures and videos recorded? You probably want to text someone, or at least receive a message.
Whenever you’re overly conscious of your phone, it means you don’t want to miss out on an important message or on group chat updates.
8. He keeps looking down
If your partner keeps looking down while sitting across the room or at the table, that’s suspicious. He’s either monitoring a boner or texting while talking! Of course, when you’re out, or even eating dinner together, you want to feel closer to your partner. You want to live in the moment and share an intimate time together.
But, if he keeps looking down between intervals, then he’s probably not as present as you would like him to be.
9. Body language
The eye diversions, the blank look they give you before sending another text, the hand movements, and readjustments. All these and more could be the ‘tell’ you’re looking for. If your partner is texting discreetly while hanging out with you, the only way to know is by watching his body language.
10. He’s laughing at odd times
You didn’t crack a joke, in fact, you were talking about something somber. All of a sudden, your partner bursts into laughter. He apologizes quickly, or maybe even excuses himself. So, since he’s not crazy, he obviously received a funny message while sidebarring. To confirm, ask him what made him laugh out loud, the answer should be interesting.
11. Both hands are constantly under the table
If you are texting someone, and don’t want your partner to know, where’s the best place to hide your hands? Under the table right? Exactly, so the first place to check if you suspect he is sidebarring is under the table. If he’s smart, he’ll have just one hand under the table, which could make him more distracted since it’s easier to text with both hands.
This is technically still sidebarring; a new dating trend that many couples are guilty of. People are now texting during work meetings, texting in church, and even messaging during an important date.
Texting someone else while on a date with your partner is called sidebarring, especially if he’s unaware of this side conversation. There are situations where this kind of behavior is allowed. For example, if you feel unsafe, need to attend to an emergency, or if you both agree to text someone back quickly.
Any conversation that sidelines someone you’re with in the same room can be considered rude. If all parties are not involved in the conversation, they will obviously feel left out. It’s also a fact that you cannot give full attention to a person when having a conversation with someone else. Ultimately, sidebarring people is rude and snobbish, even though many are guilty of this act.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, messaging another person or group of people means you have a sidebar. The people you are texting are probably your go-to chat/gossip partners anytime you feel bored or want to text a hot topic.
It can be the rudest thing to keep interrupting people when they talk. First of all, such a person is cutting off the line of thought of the person speaking. Such people who ignore the order of conversation and just butt right in are called chronic interrupters.
In some cases, chronic interrupters feel smarter, or more knowledgeable on the topic being discussed. It’s either that or they are trying to fast-track the conversation.
Interrupting someone while they are speaking is usually quite rude. It’s seen as disrespectful behavior, especially when the other party isn’t saying anything offensive. Everyone should have the chance to express themselves freely and complete their own sentences. The person who gets interrupted will totally feel disrespected.
They may insinuate that you think their opinion is less relevant. However, there are cases where interrupting is permissive. If the person is lying, being offensive, or saying derogatory and negative things, then it’s okay to interrupt.
After reading through this list, are you guilty of sidebarring in your relationship? Or is your partner the one who can’t shake off this behavior? Either way, now you know what’s what, it’s time to start working on some healthy boundaries.
If sidebarring has caused some challenges in the relationship, it’s time to have a talk and do more things that will make you feel closer (with no phones allowed). Have any thoughts on the topic? Leave a comment in the section below and kindly share this article with others who clearly need it.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.