According To Him + Her: Am I Required To Put My Phone On Speaker After 8 P.M.?

Life & Love | Camille Travis | 05/01/2014 | 08:00 AM EDT

The gesture offers up transparency, but is that such a good thing?

Let’s set the scene: you’re lounging on the sofa with your significant other, feet kicked up and bellies full from a quiet dinner at home. You’re midway through [insert your favorite movie] when the buzz and glow of your phone interrupts the moment and prompts your partner to pause the film.

It’s after 8 p.m., do you pick up? And if so, are you obligated to put it on speakerphone?

The situation presents an even stickier twist when the call comes a stalker-ish ex or a co-worker who just can’t seem to get the clue. Picking up the phone could yield hazardous results, but so could ignoring the call.

In an all-episode of “According To Him + Her,” we’ll present the question in our Social Media Submission segment and hear from viewers just like you.

“If you have to put your phone on speaker after 8 p.m., that sounds like it might be a control issue,” says Life/Relationship Coach Tony Gaskins. “What you have to ask yourself is do you want a partner or do you want a probation officer?”

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Regardless of who is on the other end of the line, you should never feel forced to put your phone on speaker to appease your partner. And them suggesting that you do screams “TRUST ISSUES,” an ugly and destructive concern that should make you reconsider your relationship.

A suggestion? Take the business-as-usual approach. If you’d pick up the phone in any other situation (no matter the caller), then do so-- sans speakerphone. If your partner asks who called, present them with a brief who/why explanation and continue on with your evening.

If you’d never pick up (see: stalker-ish ex), then don’t-- although an explanation still might be necessary.

A healthy relationship should be built on mutual respect, honesty and trust-- none of which can be reached with immature speakerphone rules.

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