Avoid The Dating Dead Zone

Here’s an interesting article about the popularity/dependency we have developed in regards to texting:

Texting allows people to fit dating into their busy schedules, Beyer said, instead of having to make time for it”….”I believe women are the leaders in relationships, and they can turn the tide on this one,” Beyer said. “Every time a man sends you a message, write back and say, ‘I would love to hear your voice. I’m not much of a texter.’ “

First? If a guy does comply, he’s doing it out of duress, not genuine interest. Second? By making such a request of someone you haven’t met or have only met once or twice, you are telegraphing the fact that you require a lot of attention or are insecure. Women pull this because they want to believe they are “special.” Ladies, I hate to break it to you, but you’re not. Not yet. But a guy will let you think you are if it means getting laid. So stop deluding yourselves. To a man that you haven’t met yet or been out with once or twice…you are not special. You are, well, a number. If he wants to see you or date you, he will make the time.

Here’s the deal. If you meet someone online and they ask you for your phone number – and they haven’t tried to set up a date –  be warned. Here’s how the process normally goes between two socially well adjusted people who actually want to date:

  • Exchange a few messages
  • Set up a date
  • Give phone number the day of the date in case there are changes

Fin. None of this cutesy text flirting for days on end. People will ask for your phone number before committing to a date so they can add your number to their address book and include you on their mass text blast or so they can keep you as a back up plan. When I hear women talk about men they haven’t even met who send them cute and flirty text messages, I just shake my head. Those guys are either a) trying too hard or b) investing effort in the hopes of getting laid with little effort.

Then, when they finally do meet, 9 times out of 10, the texting stops immediately after the first meeting. Which of course sends the woman spiraling down the rabbit hole trying to figure out “what went wrong.”

Nothing went wrong. This was always going to be the outcome of this scenario. He knew it. You didn’t. He decided to meet you out of boredom or to get you off the roster or in the hopes of an easy lay. But all those text messages and all that “attention” built the situation up in the woman’s mind, leading her to be crushed when there’s no second date any time in the near future.

Don’t give out your phone number until the date has been confirmed. The minute you open the door to text messaging prior to setting up a date, it’s a quick slide right down in to The Dead Zone. The Dead Zone is where you get relegated to one of three categories:

  • The Booty Call
  • The Friend
  • The Source of Attention
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70 Responses to “Avoid The Dating Dead Zone”

  1. DC Phil Says:

    1. So, let me get this straight . . you’re advocating that no one, under any circumstances (and if, as you say, they’re socially well-adjusted) should give out their phone numbers because this means that you’ve just given the green light to the other person to possibly text blast you or keep you in the “dating dead zone.” In theory, I’d agree. But, what do you do if you’ve set up and confirmed the date via email or chatting and something happens where you have to cancel? I’ve had to cancel maybe three times in all the times I’ve been dating (with a reschedule at the same time), and a few women who have had to cancel on me did it à la flaking or standing me up. They get deleted, of course, but the phone was there to manage logistics in case things went awry.

    2. Moxie, I like this post, but I ask that, in future, you make sure to balance this out by providing the same foibles that women have. Most everything that you outline here is man to woman, and not vice-versa. I’ve been in the “what went wrong?” state of mind because the woman stopped answering my texts after the first date. If anything, women would be WORSE at this because they relax in the “I’m being pursued!” state of mind.

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    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      But, what do you do if you’ve set up and confirmed the date via email or chatting and something happens where you have to cancel

      Gee. I guess you’ll have to stick to email then. Or you could do what I stated in the post:

      Give phone number the day of the date in case there are changes

      2. Moxie, I like this post, but I ask that, in future, you make sure to balance this out by providing the same foibles that women have.

      Or you could read, I don’t know, 75% of this blog. Jesus. God forbid a post not have a fair and balanced amount of gender bitching.

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    • D Says:

      I think she is providing the foibles that women have – that of placing too much importance on an exchange of numbers, a phone call or flirty texts before meeting IRL.

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  2. Howard Says:

    I like your order of events. It sure saves a lot of time. But some people still insist on talking on the phone before setting up a date. I would not necessarily eliminate someone because they wanted to chat on the phone for a few mins. The trick is to severely limit the texting and phone calls and keep pushing for face to face. I don’t do online anymore, so I have to deal with phone number exchange and contact before that date. So the same thing could be managed for online.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • AP Says:

      Some dating coaches advocate talking on the phone very heavily. For example, Evan Marc Katz says it’s a MUST. Never go on a date without a phone screen according to him.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Love Evan, but on this I strongly disagree. Women don’t need this extra interaction before a date. It just feeds the already distorted perception of the situation than they already have.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

        • DC Phil Says:

          Not to mention that, the more the guy talks on the phone, the more he increases his chances of being disqualified over trivial things.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

      • Laura Says:

        Ugh, I HATE when some guy makes me talk on the phone before a date. If we’ve messaged on the site and he has a halfway decent attempt at a profile, I already have a pretty good idea of his communication style and whether we have stuff in common. What I CAN’T screen for online is a physical connection/chemistry, and a phone call isn’t going to get me that either. Huge waste of time until I can actually meet the guy in person.

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        • Rebecca Says:

          Amen! I hate talking on the phone anyway, but to have to have an awkward “getting to know you” conversation on the phone with someone I know so little about and have never met is torture.

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          • Steve Says:

            I agree. I thought it was something women insisted on more than guys. I recently got “disqualified” by phone; I think some women are too quick to draw conclusions this way.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            • Laura Says:

              I’ve never “disqualified” a guy from what he’s said on the phone, but I’ve absolutely “disqualified” guy who WANT to talk on the phone before meeting in person. Not because I think it’s that horrible, but I’m just too busy to make that kind of time commitment for something I consider useless. Once we’ve been dating, I definitely want to talk on the phone plenty – but until we meet up, it doesn’t tell me anything and only wastes time.

              Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 7

              • Rebecca Says:

                I would never disqualify a guy based on a phone conversation, which reinforces my feeling that talking on the phone is a waste of time before you meet up. In what other circumstances would you ever dial up someone you’ve never met and try to engage in small talk? Ickkkkkk, I hate it. And yet, the two guys I’m starting to date both wanted to chat on the phone, so I obliged, and was honest with them that the phone is not my thing. I wonder if they thought that’s what they’re “supposed to do.”

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                • Crotch Rocket Says:

                  I wonder if they thought that’s what they’re “supposed to do.”
                  Every guy can regale you with dozens, if not hundreds, of stories about how a woman told him to do X but then he got in trouble for doing X rather than reading her mind and knowing that what she really wanted him to do was Y–usually the exact opposite of X. Savvy men adapt by ignoring what woman say and doing what the media tells us we are “supposed” to do, thereby passing these bullshit “tests” that women set us up to fail.

                  And women think men are the ones with “communication problems.”

                  Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

                  • Evan Marc Katz Says:

                    The way I see it: you talk on the phone for 40 minutes and make a connection, you’re more likely to have a fun and comfortable first date (which will feel more like a second date). It doesn’t guarantee physical chemistry, of course, but how is getting to know someone better “wasted time”?

                    On the other hand, if you have a BAD conversation, you DON’T go on the date. So instead of making plans, getting dressed up, going cross town to spend 2 hours with a stranger you hate, you figure out how awful he/she is on the phone. Sounds to me like you SAVED time.

                    Finally, in my experience, there’s nothing worse or more uncomfortable than going on a blind date with a total stranger who you’ve barely even pre-screened. 5 blind coffee dates a week? Talk about soul-sucking.

                    Give me drinks on Friday night with a cool woman that I spoke to twice that week over the prior approach – which is all built around speed.

                    And speed is about the worst thing for a nascent relationship.

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                    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

                      But what about the fact that a lot of people – men and women – are lousy phone people? How many of those people get weeded out because they weren’t engaging enough?

                      And what if, after that 40 minute phone conversation, you meet and there’s no physical attraction?

                      These are two very common things that happen. I tend to think that people who want to chat on the phone really just want to bend your ear or sniff you out.

                      Not only that but if you’re going to have 40 minutes to sit and talk, you have an hour or so to meet. So why wait?

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

                    • Laura Says:

                      Why does your first date have to feel like a second date? That’s stupid.

                      I have never heard anything on the phone that’s caused me to weed a guy out. What exactly do you say that is so terrible? For me, the faster I can meet a guy in person and see if we have actual chemistry (which is pretty darn rare), the faster I can either get to know him or move on.

                      If I talked on the phone with every guy I went on a first date with, I wouldn’t have time for any first dates.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

                    • Rebecca Says:

                      I am terrible on the phone, and admit it up front. I’m self-conscious, I don’t know what to do about the pauses, and I accidentally interrupt. Even my friends and kids know I hate the phone. However, I’m generally charming and fun in person. It’s unfortunate that you’re advocating dumping the “bad phone person” without even a face-to-face meeting, Evan. But I guess I wouldn’t want to date someone who would make a decision like that anyway.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

                    • Crotch Rocket Says:

                      you talk on the phone for 40 minutes and make a connection, you’re more likely to have a fun and comfortable first date (which will feel more like a second date).
                      Some people simply don’t give good phone. In that case, there will never be a “second” date to discover a great connection in person if you dismiss them on your “first” date.

                      It doesn’t guarantee physical chemistry, of course, but how is getting to know someone better “wasted time”?
                      It’s “wasted time” because you’re not actually getting to know them, only your impression of their personality while on the phone, which often has little relation to their personality in person.

                      So instead of making plans, getting dressed up, going cross town to spend 2 hours with a stranger you hate,
                      That’s why so many people suggest meeting for coffee or drinks first–and then you can easily and immediately extend that to lunch/dinner if there’s a connection. 2 hours? Insanity.

                      5 blind coffee dates a week? Talk about soul-sucking.
                      I see it as little different from randomly chatting up five random strangers, except that you already know said “blind” dates are single and looking to date someone. IMHO, it’s better to plant a lot of seeds and see which ones grow than to plant only one seed and be overly invested in it–especially before you even know what kind of plant it is.

                      And speed is about the worst thing for a nascent relationship.
                      I agree–and what you are doing is proposing that women, who are coming to you almost certainly because they are prone to dismissing men they could be happy with, speed up the process of dismissing men even more. You’re proposing they don’t even go on a date before doing so!

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                    • Nathan Says:

                      I’m guessing that many of the women who have reported success to Evan are good on the phone. The whole approach assumes you enjoy sustained phone calls, something a lot of people just don’t, even with their spouses or best friends.

                      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. The Private Man Says:

    I strongly recommend that a phone call be part of the escalation process. The human voice and the rhythm of verbal communication is so very telling. The phone call needn’t be long or involved (it shouldn’t, actually), it’s a simple matter of making a verbal connection.

    Words on a screen (note the irony with this very comment) do so little to convey real personality.

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    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      “The human voice and the rhythm of verbal communication is so very telling”

      What cell service provider do you use? Because, most of what I hear on my “phone” is static and crackling. It is not a remotely pleasurable or seductive experience. To me, the phone is no longer even useful for a quick chat to set up a date.

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      • AP Says:

        I also think this is a NYC thing….cell reception is awful here in a lot of high-rises, there is loud traffic etc., so phone conversations are just not appealing and only used when needed. However, I realize people in other cities/areas still do communicate a lot via phone, and less on text/email compared to us.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

        • DC Phil Says:

          It isn’t just NYC. You have the same thing here in DC with the shitty reception in the Metro and the noise on the streets. I refuse to talk on the phone in the Metro and I’m loathe to talk on the streets, but will if I have to. Trouble is, when that happens, I find myself talking loudly into the phone so that I can hear what I’m saying and I have the volume turned to the loudest setting so that I can hear the other person.

          This sometimes has negative consequences, like with the one woman who mistakenly believed that I was being “mean” to her because I was talking loudly into my phone while on the street and finalizing where we were to meet. It happens.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. mari Says:

    I used to think I had to talk to someone on the phone before I met him – but changed my mind – found that I could have a great convo with someone and have absolutely NO chemistry in person – so more likely to be disappointed. Switched to arrange time and date for a quick drink, give cell number when re-confirm date, and then go on date..and skip the flirty texting/talking stage that often didn’t lead to real chemistry in person.

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  5. Jane Thompson Says:

    I’m always blown away at how much people read into the types of things I’d do without meaning any harm (Andthatswhyimsingle!) For example, I no longer give my number out before meeting a guy through online dating…but only because, if things don’t go well on the date, OR if he starts to display disturbing characteristics shortly before going on a date, I’d prefer he not know my number and have easy access to contacting me. I like to have a pretty controlled group of people who know how to reach me. Usually I give out my number the day of the date, or arrange it all via e-mail and then give out my number during the date when I’ve [arguably] verified that the guy isn’t a raving lunatic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    • wishing u well Says:

      Or you could just get yourself a Google Voice phone number and use that instead. It’s free (for now) easy, and it eliminates that issue you just mentioned. Oh, and it also has a number blocking feature.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • WO7 Says:

      I won’t meet a woman who doesn’t give me her number. One time I agreed to meet a woman who wouldn’t give me her number, and she stood me up. I waited around for an hour because I had no way to contact her and find out if she was running late, lost, or not coming.

      If a woman won’t take the risk to give me her number, then I won’t take the risk to meet her.

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  6. Andrew Says:

    The part of the article where the writer suggests that guys
    Who ask for numbers are sending mass texts
    Blasts….total bunk. When I ask for a #, my objective is
    To get off the site, to text and set up a date. It’s advice like this
    that makes people crazy.

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    • Laura Says:

      Also, why do you want to get off the site? What’s the difference if you’re sending a message on the site vs sending a message via text? It’s still not actual contact…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • D Says:

        Most online messaging systems are crappy. At least with texting you can do it without having to be at your computer.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

        • Laura Says:

          I guess it’s just a situation where mileage varies. I hate having to write anything on my phone, so for me it’s a big advantage that I can be on a dating site on my computer OR my phone, whereas with a text message I have to be on my phone.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          Or they could get a real phone. They have internet access now, you know. And these wacky things called “apps.”

          If people are still trying to do online dating with some cheap phone that doesn’t allow for email or internet access, they’re weeding themselves out of the process.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

      • Angeline Says:

        Because I don’t want to (or can’t) log into the dating site to retrieve messages during a break or lunch while at work. Which means 10-12 hours a day wiith no response. Longer if I had something going on after work or didn’t check them a night or two. Suddenly it’s 3-4 days since the guy sent the message, and you come across as not interested.

        Texts or regular email work fine for me. I hate talking on the phone, except with 2-3 people – mom, sister and best friend. Even the boyfriend and I don’t talk much, although we text a lot. And he and I have extensive conversations in person. Topics will leap around from kids to dating to movies to military life to … who knows. For some reaon, I think a combination of no visual cues and imperfect hearing, we don’t have that free-ranging conversation via phone.

        Maybe that’s an illustration for those people – men or women, who think the phone chemistry thing is necessary or screenable. We have smoking hot chemistry in person, which somehow he can translate to texts, in spite of fat-fingered spelling and no idea how to punctuate in a text. But on the phone? Nice voice, but stilted and formal and in a hurry to get off the phone is all that comes across. Woe is me if I’d had that advice in my head about talking on the phone first.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

        • fuzzilla Says:

          This is someone you’re already successfully dating, though; the article is referring to people who haven’t even met in person yet. I take your point of how texting might make more sense in many people’s lifestyles…maybe a loophole is it’s OK to text before meeting as long as it’s short ‘n sweet and in reference to specific plans in the near future?

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          • Angeline Says:

            Actually the main point I was trying to make is that the dating website is cumbersome to use, restricted and/or potentially embarrassing to access at work, and therefore your contact will be severely limited, possibly to a few times a week. That might well make some guys think you’ve blown them off, when you really haven’t even seen their message yet. I can access my email with no fallout at work, but log into a dating site? With all the warnings that pop up on the screen when I click an email or an ad initiates a pop up (no I can’t turn those off at work – our meeting software uses them), you’d think there would be audible alarms and a SWAT force as well.
            The talking on the phone part was an aside I should have skipped – I just get annoyed at the insistence on finding “chemistry” right out of the gate, and even more ridiculous, over the phone before even meeting.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

            • Laura Says:

              For text vs website, that’s personal preference. For my part, I can look at whatever I want on my work laptop without anyone really noticing, but it’s pretty apparent when I’m sitting around texting instead of being on my computer – and makes me look incredibly unprofessional. If someone sends me a text during the day, I usually don’t look at it until I leave work in the evening. Not saying my way is best; just saying it’s different for different work environments.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Oh. So because you don’t do it, that means nobody does? Good to know.

    The “let’s take this to text” step is another pointless time waster/hoop. Exchange a couple messages and ask them out. You will learn nothing more by exchanging a few extra text messages. It’s just another hoop that people use to see how interested someone is.

    The “let’s take things to text” is now the new “let’s talk on the phone” litmus test.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    • Andrew Says:

      Don’t appreciate the sarcasm but fair enough.

      My point is that the authors advice is dubious at best.

      Maybe your approach works for you. My experience
      is that getting the phone # prior to a date has worked for
      me. I resented her suggestion that guys who
      do this are text blasting. Are some…definitely?…are all…hell no!

      I respect the authors write to express their POV. At the same time,
      when I read a broad based generalization that I think
      is erroneous, I’m going to speak up.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

      • Laura Says:

        I don’t think guys who do this are text blasting, but I see them as absolutely wasting my time. Text messages are typically pretty trite – why are you wasting my time to send me something like “how’s your Tuesday going?” How about you man up, invite me out for drinks that night, and I’ll tell you a long/actual answer in person??

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        • Howard Says:

          I don’t know where that expression, “Man up” started. It probably works well among guys. Now a woman using it to, or in reference to men she doesn’t know, or barely know, comes off as having too hard an edge. It’s a really confrontational thing. The funny thing, is that women think it’s cute and somehow makes them cool. Guys will look at you and most likely never respond. And that says it all.

          The only time a woman should use it, is if a guy is not covering his responsibilities to the family, especially his kids!

          Inviting you out for a couple of drinks has nothing to do with being a man. That’s just you and your inflated sense of yourself.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 10

          • Laura Says:

            I mean, of course I’m not going to SAY “man up” to a guy, but I sure as heck will think it if he keeps making small talk without making a move toward an actual date. I find it extremely unattractive when a guy is too shy to go after what he wants. I don’t want an online penpal; I want someone who wants to meet up in real life… and I expect that anyone online dating wants the same thing. Unfortunately, I’ve had a few instances where I get stuck in that limbo Moxie referred to in the article, which have led me to believe that’s not always the case…

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            • Anonymous Says:

              Laura – I agree.

              My experience of men who engage in multiple text messages, emails and phone calls is that they’re not serious about meeting up. (I’m sure there are women who do this too, but I don’t date them.)

              Sure – one phone call to get a “feel” for the person is fine, but if they can’t set up a date by then, I’m suspicious about their intentions and availability.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

            • Howard Says:

              Absolutely timewasters if a guy keeps texting, but that has nothing to do with being a man. He may be doing everything else quite well in his life. He is just not sure you are the one, but he is keeping his options open.

              But guess what? We all continually imagine, that with all the people out there, there is someone that is a better match. So we are all guilty of the same thing. Now, some of us won’t impose as much, to waste someone else’s time, as we proceed down that road. But in the end we will waste someone’s time with that behavior. The manifestation may not be endless texts that go nowhere, but too many dates to make up our mind, or something similar.

              What each of us has to do is to insist on not being the victim. And that is easy, NO RESPONSE to any of the timewasters. It’s as easy as that. Just do it with no change to your emotional balance and he or she goes away, with you occuring little to no angst.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

            • Saj Says:

              Agreed a guy who constantly keeps conversations to idle chit chat rather then making plans unless I find him to be incredibly awesome based on what I know of him online is friend zoning himself without realizing it.

              If he is incredibly awesome (as in I think his picture is great and think we have a lot in common) then I’ll set up the damn date. A guy who is in the not sure about category just got himself a pen pal as he’s acting like one.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

              • Saj Says:

                Actually that makes me laugh from the POV’s of the stories here.

                Guy = I’m keeping my options open and a stable of women

                Girl = Wow I sure got a lot of male friends who I’ll probably never go out with or else I would have by now.

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

            • Shelley Says:

              Hell yes! Man up and actually ask me out on a date Not text me everyday for a month asking how my day is today.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

        • D Says:

          On this I agree. I only text if I have something to say that is (hopefully) witty or thought provoking.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • Andy Says:

          Laura, I actually agree with you about the pointless “how’s your day going?” texts…my problem is the author seems to be creating red flags where there may be none.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

          • Anonymous Says:

            I’m beginning to wonder whether online dating is plagued with social phobics, or married folks who are looking for harmless excitement. It’s staggering how many people out there waste time with endless communications.

            When I just started online dating, I gave my number to a guy who called me almost every day for a conversation, often hinting at meeting up but either not following through, or cancelling and rescheduling. Eventually, I avoided his calls for days, and picked up every 10 days to see whether he was ready to ask me out. (He would always end the call with “I’ll call you to arrange a date”.)

            After I blocked his number from sending me texts and phone calls, he looked it up in facebook, and emailed me there. Needless to say I blocked his communications. It was my first encounter with a time waster.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. Richard Says:

    I disagree with this and several other stories on this blog. Too many rules for people to follow. If you like somebody just strike up a conversation and take it from there. If you see a person is probably just playing games or after something that you are not then just dump them.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  9. Andrew Says:

    In an attempt to be fair, I’ve broken the author’s main points in two categories:

    Valid Points:

    To a man that you haven’t met yet or been out with once or twice…you are not special. You are, well, a number. If he wants to see you or date you, he will make the time.

    True – dating is a numbers game, especially early on

    None of this cutesy text flirting for days on end. When I hear women talk about men they haven’t even met who send them cute and flirty text messages, I just shake my head. Those guys are either a) trying too hard or b) investing effort in the hopes of getting laid with little effort.

    100% agree, just set up the date and only contact the woman to confirm or let her know if you’re running late.

    Dubious Advice:
    Here’s the deal. If you meet someone online and they ask you for your phone number – and they haven’t tried to set up a date – be warned.

    Really? Has the author ever considered that maybe the reason the guy is asking for a phone number is because he’s found that the best practice is to email a few times, ask for a #, then call/text to set up a date? It about awareness. The author is advising the reader to look for a red flag where maybe there is none.

    People will ask for your phone number before committing to a date so they can add your number to their address book and include you on their mass text blast or so they can keep you as a back up plan

    People? Who exactly are these “people”…I’d like to know because they’re ruining it for the rest of us that are doing what has worked best for ourselves by asking for a phone # prior to setting up a date.

    Then, when they finally do meet, 9 times out of 10, the texting stops immediately after the first meeting. Which of course sends the woman spiraling down the rabbit hole trying to figure out “what went wrong.”Nothing went wrong. This was always going to be the outcome of this scenario. He knew it. You didn’t. He decided to meet you out of boredom or to get you off the roster or in the hopes of an easy lay.
    Or maybe, just maybe
    a) he didn’t feel a connection
    b) he’s lazy or lacks confidence
    c) He’s trying to juggle too many women and doing so poorly.

    My point is that sometimes us guys are simply doing what has worked best for us by asking for the # prior to the date and sometimes, you simply just don’t know why someone fell off the map or pulled the ever popular fade.

    Every situation is different and pigeon-holing men and women into categories based on one course of action may not be the best way to expend one’s mental energy…in fact, it can only lead to over-analyzing and making oneself crazy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Really? Has the author ever considered that maybe the reason the guy is asking for a phone number is because he’s found that the best practice is to email a few times, ask for a #, then call/text to set up a date?

      Really. Have you ever considered the fact that it takes literally a minute to set up a date? Pick a day, agree on a time. Done. Why is this so offensive? Plenty of men manage to do this quite effortlessly. They don’t need all the extra steps. You do. Got it.

      Or maybe, just maybe
      Or maybe, just maybe
      a) he didn’t feel a connection
      b) he’s lazy or lacks confidence
      c) He’s trying to juggle too many women and doing so poorly.

      .
      So then ..HE WASTED HER TIME? That’s the point I was making. He built things up by texting and chatting and all that hoopla and then, when it came to meet, it resulted in a big fat goose egg. So better to just make the date, keep the chatting to a bare minimum, and just meet. Women get invested easily., even if they haven’t met the guy. So why not lessen the chance of being bummed out or disappointed by not building up expectations with all the chatter and flirting?

      My point is that sometimes us guys are simply doing what has worked best for us

      And I’m going to tell you, quite bluntly, that if you need all these extra steps, then there’s a malfunction in your strategy. If you can’t just ask a woman out after 2 or 3 emails and need all the extra time and messages, you’re too much work. Seriously. Who the hell has the time or inclination to sit there and text back and forth with some guy they’ve never met? I suppose if you’re someone who thrives off the attention and has this teeny tiny comfort zone, that’s enjoyable. But those people are pains in the ass to date.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

      • Laura Says:

        To Moxie’s point, setting up a date via text or via the website is THE SAME THING. Both of them are just words on a page. You’re not getting anything special by texting; you’re just wasting time moving the channel from online to text. What exactly are you going to write in a text message that you can’t write on a website?

        I’m happy to give my phone number out so that they can contact me the day of the date if there’s a problem, but I don’t see any reason why a guy needs it in order to ask me out.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

      • Andrew Says:

        Btw…a little too much sarcasm in comments like “you do ”
        and “got it”…. I’m actually trying your approach of asking for a date in email #3 and agree that texting with a stranger is usually pointless. At the same time, I’m a little wary of dismissing someone because they want a phone conversation prior to a date. I certainly don’t have all the answers and like most of the posters here, Im open to new ideas and suggestions.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

      • Evan Marc Katz Says:

        I can’t believe that you’re so adamant about this, Moxie.

        So I want to get to know a woman on the phone…to build up trust and comfort and rapport and anticipation…and that’s somehow a step backwards in dating relations? That’s news to me.

        I kind of thought that getting to know someone was part of the point. I acknowledge that YOU may think you can “only” get to know someone in person, but I don’t. So why is your opinion more valid than those who do believe in phone screening?

        Finally, for what it’s worth, if I’m a man, I don’t want to blow $75 on someone that I may absolutely despise. One terrible phone conversation can therefore be quite a godsend to a man.

        But frankly, all of my clients who started using the phone to screen have THANKED me from saving them from going on tons of crappy, no-investment, no-connection, let’s-rush-and-see-if-there’s-chemistry dates. So I’m not going to stop giving this kind of advice.

        This isn’t about the speed of setting up a date; this is about what’s more likely to ensure a quality first date. And I don’t see how rushing anything – first dates, sex, marriage – EVER results in a positive outcome. Slowing down, to me, might mean four emails and a phone call over the course of a week. But it sure beats, “You’re hot. We have a lot in common. What are you doing Saturday? Starbucks on 3rd and Main, see ya there!”

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          “But frankly, all of my clients who started using the phone to screen have THANKED me from saving them from going on tons of crappy, no-investment, no-connection, let’s-rush-and-see-if-there’s-chemistry dates. So I’m not going to stop giving this kind of advice.”

          That’s the point., isn’t it? If they didn’t actually go on the date, they don’t know whether you saved them from a bad date, or just a person without great phone “connection” skills, which is pretty much everyone, in my opinion..

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          I can’t believe that you’re so adamant about this, Moxie.

          Please don’t talk down to me, Evan. I don’t appreciate the tone or the implication.

          So why is your opinion more valid than those who do believe in phone screening?

          Because I think, more often than not, it’s an excuse to screen people out. Rarely do I think it’s about building trust or rapport. And honestly, I don’t think anybody should be that invested before meeting someone. You’re building up those expectations really high. I’m also speaking out against most of the arguments because the majority of them are weak.

          But frankly, all of my clients who started using the phone to screen have THANKED me from saving them from going on tons of crappy, no-investment, no-connection, let’s-rush-and-see-if-there’s-chemistry dates.

          Well, let’s be fair here, Evan. Let’s consider the audience. People (mostly women) who have a hard time meeting anybody “good enough.” If they didn’t have such trouble, they wouldn’t hire you. It’s hardly a surprise to me that they’re on board with this. They’ve spent the majority of their adult lives blowing off guys for not wearing the right shoes or because they have no impulse control or have inordinate expectations.

          I wonder how many of those clients blew off perfectly decent people because the person on the other end of the line wasn’t “interesting” enough. Or because they “sounded boring.”

          Nobody is suggesting you stop giving your advice. Nor should you be suggesting that I stop giving mine simply because it doesn’t jive with yours.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

          • Evan Marc Katz Says:

            I don’t tell clients to blow off men for not being brilliant and charming. I tell them not to go out with men that they can’t stand on the phone. If he’s an arrogant ass. If he’s a toxic narcissist. If he’s relentlessly negative. If he is a total misogynist. If he’s a complete pervert. Sometimes a phone call can reveal enough to know that you don’t NEED to meet the person. No?

            But in most circumstance, a phone call is a good way to get some of the awkward small talk of a blind date out of the way so that the first date feels more like you’re meeting a friend.

            You can tell me I’m misguided all you want. I’m just letting you know that there are very few downsides to getting to know someone a little better before you meet in person.

            But the cost of meeting total strangers in person – in my experience – is that dating becomes a mindless parade of instant gratification in the almighty pursuit of chemistry.

            I’ve done it. I’ve seen it. And after 9 years of coaching, I feel pretty confident that taking a little time to screen and build trust before a date makes for better dates.

            It’s not perfect. It’s not foolproof. It simply beats the alternative that you seem to suggest – setting up a date as quickly as possible by text.

            But hey, to each her own. Thanks for letting me defend myself on your blog. Keep up the good work

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

            • Laura Says:

              I guess it comes down to what kind of guys you look at on an online dating site. I have never met a guy in person that I found to be arrogant, narcissistic, overly negative, a misogynist, or a pervert. I HAVE, however, gone on dozens of first dates with guys that were perfectly decent, with whom I had great conversation – but I simply wasn’t attracted to them. For me (and from what I’ve heard, for all my friends as well), we’re not struggling to find decent guys with whom we have something in common (which is why you’re screening for on the phone). What we are looking for (chemistry) can only be detected based on meeting them in person – so extended investment before meeting just doesn’t make sense.

              Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

              • Steve Says:

                I’m surprised that of all these dozens of decent guys, not one was worth a second meeting. I’m not criticizing but just wondering what element is missing for a second meeting. Is there no chance attraction couldn’t develop over time/multiple meetings with any of these guys?

                Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

                • Laura Says:

                  Totally legit point and that’s something I am constantly reevaluating. However, every time I’ve “given a guy a chance” despite not feeling it from the beginning, it hasn’t worked out – and I’d much rather stay single than be with someone I’m not thrilled about. Every long term relationship I’ve ended up in has been a case where I’m attracted to him right from the first time we meet, so I think that’s just how I operate.

                  Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          Also, it’s not clear why it’s a choice between a “phone date” and a “coffee date.” Both suck. How about meet over drinks, in a nice but causal setting and see if there’s any connection? Doesn’t that sound like fun? Your way sounds tedious. And, more importantly, no one with viable options would endure it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  10. WO7 Says:

    I have to disagree here. It is easier to setup a date over text then email. I get a woman’s number when I’m ready to start trying to setup a date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  11. fuzzilla Says:

    If a guy (perhaps a woman, I don’t date women) suggests taking your communication from the dating site to e-mail it could mean he wants to send you naked pictures that the dating web site would have blocked. Or he wants to send you excerpts from his crappy novel or a link to his band’s website or some other weird ego-y thing that has nothing to do with building a connection with you. Could be nothing fishy, but as someone said, it’s a lateral move, from words on a screen to words on a screen, so what’s the point?

    I do like to chat with people enough to get a decent idea of who they are before meeting, but it shouldn’t take more than 1-2 weeks. I agree that a bunch of calls and texts prior to meeting is a waste of time and signals the person is more into attention than meeting and connecting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    • Andrew Says:

      Unfortunately, you’re correct, especially about those types that insist on going from the dating site to IMimg
      …giant red flag right there.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. Saj Says:

    Texting sucks. It takes 3 minutes to write a sentence that could take 15 seconds on a normal keyboard (maybe I haven’t mastered the proper skills) Keyboards are better. If he wants to text me fine but send it to my email so I can use a damn keyboard to respond with. Also don’t expect a normal conversation via texting. Waiting 5 minutes for a sentence takes MORE time then having a phone call or write a decent sized email and be done with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  13. M Says:

    I cant say I agree with this. I dont want to set up a date via email. I want to do it over the phone. Why? Because its 100 times easier. First off, YOu have to send an email asking if your would-be date is free your day of choice. Then she emails you back. Then you suggest a place, Then you wait for her response. Then you suggest a time, and once again, wait for a response. If she does anything other than accept your proposed day/location/time, you add another round. Also, when I plan dates, I like to plan something in a location between where we both live, so its equally convenient for both of us. If you dont know exactly where she lives, then that’s another round of emails. Since I dont live on these sites and generally check in once a day, this can easily take 1-2 weeks to plan a date. All this can be done over the phone in less than 5 minutes. Insisting on setting up dates over email is a huge waste of time.

    Honestly, Im a bit surprised that someone who has no problem with things like first date sex, casual sex and who encourages people to put off commitment as long as possible is so resistant to giving out a phone number. Seems contradictory to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    • Laura Says:

      Here’s how you do it via email with very little back and forth:

      “Let’s go out for drinks on Tuesday night. Where in the city do you live?”
      “Tuesday works for me. I live in Tribeca – have you been to Little Owl?”
      “I live on the LES, and I love Little Owl, so that works great for me! See you there at 8pm? My number is 123-456-7890 if anything comes up day of.”
      “Great – mine is 987-654-3210. See you then!”

      Personally, I’d much rather that than some weird phone conversation that puts both of you on the spot when trying to figure out a location.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  14. DC Phil Says:

    The back and forth that you describe is too time-consuming. Better if the guy proposes a couple of days and times and venues right up front. The woman can then decide if any of those fit her schedule. If not, then the guy has a counterproposal.

    The key is that the guy takes initiative. The “Are you free?” stuff treads dangerously into “So, what do you wanna do?” territory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    • uesider Says:

      Agreed- I do try to find out where she works/lives (neighborhood) because it shows some consideration- I try to pick something in her neighborhood or near her train at least. I then say “I am free Tuesday. Let’s meet at Red Hot Bar at 700.” Sound good?

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