Men Always Give Me Their Phone Numbers But I Don’t Want to Call Them First!

Published: 17th July 2008
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I am noticing a trend in men who I write to or men who write to me online. They are leaving their phone numbers and when I respond with here's my number, "I'll be home Monday evening", they just email me back leaving their number again and say "call me". I remember you said it was up to them to call, should I just write them off if they don't call me or take the first step? I have tried going ahead and calling a couple and it worked out OK but I really didn't like the way it made me feel. Is there a protocol that if you are the one that starts communications you should be the first one to call? A couple of guys that did this I wasn't that excited about I just dropped and they never called. What's this all about?


Dear Carol,

If a guy wants to meet with you, but can't take the effort to pick up the phone, he clearly doesn't want to meet you that bad.

But there's more to it than that, which is why I chose to answer your question this week.

Now, to all our readers, Carol is a private client of mine, and, to be honest, a favorite. She's in her early 60's, a tough age for a single woman, but she doesn't let it get her down. She has a can-do attitude, a great sense of humor, and a healthy perspective on this whole dating thing.

When we were working together on the phone, she had great success and lots of dating options. She was also bombarded by men's phone numbers, so I gave her a technique to redirect them in a positive way.

If a guy offers his phone number, but you want him to call you, you have to give him a playful counteroffer - one in which he feels encouraged, not rejected.

Dear Fred,

Thanks for the email. Sounds like you have big plans this weekend with your daughter. Let me know if you're looking for a good restaurant in the Berkeley area.

Anyway, I'm flattered that you offered your number and very much look forward to speaking to you. But, call me traditional - I'd like it even more if you called me. My number is 555-1212 and I'll be home after 8pm on Thursday night. Look forward to hearing from you then.


Thus Fred gets what he wants AND Carol gets what she wants. He's not being rejected. He's being complimented and encouraged to continue his advances. All Carol asks is for him to make a further investment in her. And she makes it real easy for him by warmly and confidently giving him a window to call. Fred's job, at that point, is to either call her or to give her another time he can call her. If he ignores her email, she has her answer. Any man who is serious about you can pick up the phone to show it.

But before we call it a day, let's understand why men do what they do.

If Fred's been rejected by hundreds of women online, he doesn't see the point in writing any more long, thoughtful emails. Instead he concocts a cut-and-paste job, "I think that we have a lot in common. If you're interested, give me a call at 555-1717. Fred."

This email doesn't mean Fred is a bad guy. Or inarticulate. Or not relationship oriented. It just means he's a crappy online dater, because he's put Carol in an uncomfortable position.

The fact is: women don't want to have to make the first move. And you know what guys? They shouldn't have to! Too many men try to save time by telling women to call them, not realizing that there's no chivalry, courtship or flattery in writing your phone number on a bathroom wall and saying "For a good time, call..."

Just like meeting someone at a party - you take HER card and follow up with her as soon as possible. That shows her YOUR level of interest and gives her the reassurance that she's really valued. Give her your card and you can't expect to ever hear from her.

So, Carol, the men who email you their numbers are most likely some combination of a) lazy, b) frustrated, c) clueless, d) not interested. They're putting their flyers on car windshields and hoping that some business trickles in. The way THEY see it, if YOU were interested, you'd call them.

But I don't blame you for not wanting to. A man needs to EARN you. No man deserves a date simply because he's cute and knows how to type out his digits. He has to charm you, woo you, make you laugh, win your trust, build rapport, gain comfort. THAT's when it's time to ask for a date.

However, the instant gratification of the internet makes it really hard to insist on this process. Men email their phone numbers wantonly because SOMETIMES it actually works. What they don't realize is what a bad strategy it is. They think because they get a few numbers that it's effective. It's not.

Literally 80% of emails in which men OFFER their phone numbers are IGNORED.

You may think you're saving time by giving your number, but you're just turning off women. Women who want to feel valued and safe before they meet. Women who think the tradition of men courting women is something to be upheld.

Keep doing what you're doing, Carol. Because it doesn't matter how long who wrote to whom first. He's the man, you're the woman. Which means it's his job to ask for your number, ask you out, pick you up, and pay for your first date. And if he doesn't get that, then, well, some other guy will.

Want better results in your love life? Click here to read my FREE eBook "7 Secrets for Dating Success" and receive news about all my new articles, products and seminars.

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