By Deana Meccariello

Have you ever felt like you had to send your date an email or text across the dinner table just to get his attention?  In the age of technology, sometimes a smart phone can be more threatening to your relationship than another woman.  With communication so readily at your fingertips, these days it’s hard for some people to interact on a deeper level.  Between checking emails, staying updated on everybody’s status on Facebook and Twitter, and “checking in” with  Foursquare, a real conversation can be hard to come by.  Here are five ways to get him to put down the iPhone and pay attention to you:

1. Practice what you preach: Put your own cellular device away.  How can you get mad at your date if you indulge in the same bad behavior as he does?  Quit constantly glancing at your phone.  It makes you look anxious, like you have somewhere else to be or are waiting for a message from somebody.  Also, don’t text.  This may be the most annoying thing a person can do on a date.  It tells your date that he does not have your full attention.  Your top priority should be the person across the table from you.  And above all, don’t take a call.  We understand that emergencies happen; however, unless it is a loved one, let it go to voicemail.

2. Make a subtle comment: If he’s texting away every two minutes, say something like, “Well, aren’t you Mr. Popular?”  Hopefully, he’ll hear the hint of sarcasm and put his phone back in his pocket for the remainder of the evening.

3. Just ask: Communication goes a long way in any relationship.  Instead of making your date be a mind reader, just tell him that his constant cell phone use bothers you and that you would like your time with him to be intimate and personal.  Sometimes the direct approach is the best approach.

4. Set limitations: Obviously you cannot ban cell phones from your relationship completely.  Every once in a while, there will be an important work-related email, emergency or a friend in need.  Tell him that on date night you would like his cell phone to be on silent and out of sight for the few hours you are at dinner or watching a movie together.  Realize that when the two of you are just lounging around, you can’t expect him to shut himself off from the world.  After all, while you should be the most important thing to him, don’t give him the idea that you think the world revolves around you.  With reasonable limitations, your man should be willing to compromise.

5. Give him a taste of his own medicine: As a last resort, one day when you are doing something that he loves to do, pay a little more attention to your cellular device than to him.  Text your girlfriends, check your Facebook, send an email and post a tweet.  Keep this up until he says something to you about it.  Maybe then he’ll understand what his “crackberry” addiction feels like to you.

Do you have any tips to keep your partner’s attention on you and not his phone? Share your comments below.