Why You Might Be Hesitant To Save A Potential Partner's Last Name In Your Phone

Single people are all-too-familiar with a contacts list that includes names like "Sam from Tinder," "Bumble Brian," or "Olivia Hinge." After all, it's certainly not a crime to leave last names for later when you're dating around and having a good time. You might have picked up this habit just for the laughs or to practically help yourself keep track of the people you're talking to ... or there could be a slightly more serious, maybe subconscious reason for your rule against full names in your phone.

Not to worry — this is obviously a totally normal habit, and you're in good company. However, this type of hesitation does provide insight into how you feel about and navigate relationships. (You might have concerns about commitment, moving too fast, getting hurt, etc.) So, is assigning these dating app nicknames a healthy practice, and are there any negative consequences? Well, there are potential pros and cons to no last names. Let's walk through them together. 

Why you might not save someone's last name in your phone

It's only natural to want to protect ourselves from heartbreak. We've all had that experience where we got really excited about someone, and then it didn't work out and the rough breakup was hard to get over. The good news is that there's nothing wrong with that instinct, and in fact, it can serve us well when followed in moderation.

Lost Angeles-based therapist Dr. Gary Brown confirmed to Cosmopolitan that the habit stems from a "healthy need to protect yourself in case future prospects do not work out." He explained that leaving out potential partners' last names allows us to "depersonalize" them so we don't get too invested too fast. Basically, it's the polar opposite approach of the elementary and middle school "Mrs. Blank" doodling phenomenon; instead of daydreaming about your future with someone, you're blocking off the possibility of it altogether.

The benefits and downfalls of this hesitation

Ultimately, not saving last names is healthy in doses. There's really no need to get emotionally attached to a bunch of different people who you've only seen a few times — that's actually a bad idea. You deserve to have some lighthearted fun in your single era without feeling crushed after every rejection and end of a fling. Who knows? There may come a time soon when you're never single again, so enjoy it while it lasts.

The hesitant mindset only becomes a problem when protecting yourself goes too far, and you realize that you're unable to find and maintain a happy, healthy relationship. Some people are worth the risk, even when it seems scary to take it. So, if you're still struggling to commit after reflection and talking it through with loved ones, you might benefit from seeing a therapist who can help you work through any self-limiting habits.