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This one simple act signals that you see a long-term future

Happy young couple sitting on a couch in their living room, browsing on a digital tablet

Meeting the parents or “hard launching” on social media is no longer the hallmark of getting serious in a relationship.

In the digital age, the relationships isn’t official until you save their number in your phone.

Until then, many singles keep their love interests an anonymous phone number in a sea of texts from friends, family and the like.

“Once you put a name and a number and it’s in your phone and everything — it’s kind of permanent,” Queens electrician Shai Martin, 34, told the Wall Street Journal about the phenonemon.

His fiancée, 38-year-old content creator Kisha Peart, used to only save her dates by first name, although seeing multiple Matt”s muddied the waters after a failed date with one.

She eventually resigned to denoting men by their area codes.

“Because the minute you save their number, they ghost you,” she told the Journal.

Tisia Saffold, a relationship and self-development coach based in Virginia, abides by her own 60-day rule. In other words, don’t save a guy’s number in your phone for two months.

“It keeps women from being so emotionally attached to somebody that hasn’t earned their spot,” the 35-year-old told the Journal. 

She recalled a recent third date with a man whose ego was bruised upon accidentally discovering he was merely a number in her cellphone without an assigned contact — not so much as a name to differentiate his digits from those of appointment reminders and spam.

“He was like, ‘Wow, I thought we were past that,’” she said.

Unlike Saffold, he had already made her contact list official.

Saffold explained that refusing to save a date’s number for 60 days “keeps women from being so emotionally attached to somebody that hasn’t earned their spot.” Allistair/ –

Georgia-based dating coach Benny Lichtenwalner explained that men are more likely to know if they are seriously interested in someone earlier on in the relationship, saving their crush’s number much sooner.

But men will stay in digital dating purgatory for much longer and have to earn a coveted contact card in a woman’s phone.

Sometimes, they might be assigned only a nickname in limbo — like “firefighter guy” or “finance man” — before being saved under their legal name.

Women have to “like him for his real name to go in there,” Lichtenwalner said.

Although, sometimes, devices do us dirty, suggesting their names before we even have the opportunity to decide if we want to add them as a contact. On Apple technology, users might be prompted to save their Hinge match’s number with the suggestion “Maybe: John” as the contact title.

“Nothing makes me angrier than Apple trying to make decisions for me,” 25-year-old Dani Cohen, the founder of an influencer management company in California, told the Journal. “Like Steve Jobs from the grave is like, ‘You will save this man’s number.’”

Young multiethnic couple in love, smiling and hugging, while looking up and thinking about their future together, isolated on a grey background
Women have to “like him for his real name to go in there,” Lichtenwalner said of bachelorettes’ contact lists. Rido –

As a general rule of thumb, the Gen Zer refuses to save a number into her phone before a third date.

“As silly and insignificant as it might seem, it does feel like you are taking a step forward,” she said.

But not all young singles follow the same dating rules. 23-year-old Alex Yetter, a real estate broker in Oregon, saves numbers right away if she likes the person after suffering the unfortunate faux pas of confusing two guys she was seeing and calling the wrong one.

Yetter, however, doesn’t keep the failed flings in her contact book, regularly deleting the dudes that fizzled out.

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