Digits


True to form, I’m attempting to get this dating thing down to an exact science.  I’d like answers neatly recorded at the bottom of the sheet, and don’t forget to show your work.

Today’s problem involves numbers.  Well, phone numbers to be exactly.  I don’t get when to give them out on Match.com.  In fact, I don’t want to give mine out, period.

Part of me thinks it’s because my mother has instilled in me the absolute fear of giving out my digits online from the time I was twelve that I am actually convinced that giving out my number will lead to some sort of strange axe-murderer automatically show up on my door step.  And another part of me uses the excuse that I’ve had the same cellphone number for ten years..I’d hate to have to give it up because of one false move. I love my number, it’s my number and if you’ve ever had you, you know exactly how to reach me.  Because it hasn’t changed.

I think the honest truth is I just hate talking on the phone.  I do.  Even when I was in college my mother was constantly frustrated at my lack of ability to communicate with her via telephone.  I rarely called him.  At first, calling home made me miss home.  But then, calling home felt uncomfortable.  So I just didn’t.  I had to actually force myself to start calling home once a week.

My willingness to give out my number in no way indicates my level of interest in a potential bachelor.  Seriously, I will dread talking to losers, to hotties, to bosses, to friends, to family.  God, I just want to grab you all and shake you until you understand exactly how much I hate talking on the phone.

I feel like I’m bad at phone conversations.  I feel like I’ve been bad at phone conversations since it became cool to talk on the phone in second grade.  There are pregnant pauses, awkward pauses, the moments where you both try to speak and you do the weird no-no-you-no-sorry-no tango. In some ways, to me, a phone conversation is more stressful and more awkward than a first date.  And I am the worlds WORST at not answering calls because I’m nervous.

What’s worse than actually having to answer the call?  Missing the call, getting the voicemail, and having to call back.  I hate when the onus of calling back is on me; and Lord help me if I get involved in a game of phone tag.

But clearly this is not how adults function.  This is not how life works.  Dating in the real world involves telephone calls, doing things I am uncomfortable doing, and taking risks.  But let me speak for my stomach when I say I wish it didn’t.

I am totally comfortable in the world of text messaging and GChatting (I absolutely LOVE GChat for getting to know someone!).  These forms of communication give the option to read the message, and craft a thoughtful, funny response.  I can eye what I am saying until the moment it is released, rather than saying something and immediately regretting the words that flew out of my mouth.  Awkward pauses are easily explained, poor subjects are ignored without need for feeling awkward.  And I hardly ever speak over someone via text message.

But a lot of people don’t like texting or chatting online.  Some people won’t ever be attracted to someone without speaking to them in the ‘real world’ on the phone.  My fear is those people will see exactly how much I hate phone talk, or how bad I am at phone interaction, and totally give up on me.

I guess I just have to start giving it out and making myself answer. Maybe that’s my goal for lent, more phone interaction.

Guidance on any of this? When is the number switch appropriate?

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11 thoughts on “Digits

  1. You could get a Google voice number. It can forward to your cell phone, but it’s not actually your cell number, and you can get a number for pretty much any state. I keep meaning to get a GA number, but I’m not sure which area code to use. (I think all the 404 numbers are taken. Boo.)

  2. When I was online dating, I was loathe to give out my phone number to someone I don’t really know. And like you, I don’t like talking on the phone. I’d rather talk to someone face-to-face. I was able to get away with planning first dates with guys without giving out my number. A few others requested to speak on the phone first… awkward in my opinion, while a necessity for others.

    I think you can take two routes here if a guy asks for your number (prior to you having met him face-to-face):

    You can tell him that you’re not completely comfortable giving out your number in the beginning and that you are accessible via email. As a female, you need to be careful and even guys need to be cautious about giving out too much information at first.

    Or, because you know that your phone interaction needs work, you can simply tell him that you’d much rather talk in person (if you are up for it).

    Good luck!!

  3. I hate talking to someone I’ve never met on the phone — it has all of the bad attributes of email (inability to judge body language and adjust accordingly being my biggest one [hey, I can speak fluent sarcasam, and be pretty self-deprecating, but if you’re taking me too seriously, I’ll back down]) and none of the positives (time to think about what you’re going to say and how it may be misinterperted).

    Usually (and I’m beginning to think it’s pathetic I have a “usually”) after the first date has been completely set up (date, time, location) I’ll send a “Hey, feel free to call or text me my cell xxx-xxx-xxxx if anything comes up, otherwise I’m looking forward to seeing you then”-type email; if she gives her number I’ll call (not text, not email) the day before just to confirm everything. Curiously, not once have I had the date actually answer this call — I’m actually more comfortable leaving a voicemail, it just strikes me as odd.

    But I don’t ask for her number (I don’t know why; may have something to do with knowing that women have the fear of giving out their number to strangers ingrained from an early age)

    Lincoln

    1. I like this approach and it’s what I am used to doing; maybe I’m just naive and assume that at some point I’ll have to have a long, late night, high-school style phone call with someone…gross!

      Can I ask something? If you’re sort of sure she won’t answer if you call, why don’t you text to confirm? Just a gentlemanly thing or what?

      Interesting stuff, as always

      xoxo the Blonde.

      1. I’m not a big fan of texting generally, It seems like women on the dating blogs I read start complaints pretty consistently with “He texted…”.

        It also strikes me as as more gentlemanly and a bit less self-absorbed. I might be a bit old-school in my thinking but a text to me still has a tinge of “I’m too busy to actually call you”… with my luck, anyway, the one time I texted would be the person who would actually answer the phone.

  4. You don’t even answer when I call and I’m important.

    And you are an excellent phone conversationalist contrary to your belief.

  5. You are totally justified in not (and not wanting) to give out your digits. As you note, you’ve had the number for 10+ yrs. Why should you end up in the position of having to ditch it because you provided to a potential date, only to find out he is not and never will be your type … and then have to put up with ongoing Txt msgs or even worse, drunk dialing?

    Jessica has it right, either get a Goggle number, or go to the mall and get one of the cheap, pre-paid phones and use it only for txt & calls with future dates/bachelors. While I realize the expense (really not THAT much $) may not be appealing on a tight budget … think of all the potential hassle (and $) it could save you down the road.

    I typically prefer to meet the person face to face before providing my digits & can tell in pretty short-order if they are someone I would want to remain in contact with … or want to finish my drink and run for the hills!

    (& BTW, with your cell number and $4.95, a potential stalker can find out pretty much anything he needs to begin stalking you.)

    1. & BTW, with your cell number and $4.95, a potential stalker can find out pretty much anything he needs to begin stalking you.)

      Thank you for totally justifying my biggest fear! 😉 Honestly, though, I think tonight I am looking into a Google number, that way I can give out that number, but choose to answer incoming calls AND protect my ‘real’ cell phone number since I am so attached to it. And drunk dialing?! I never even thought of that! Eeep!

      Thanks for writing, Deffeb 😉

      xoxo The Blonde

  6. Its funny, Ive heard girls say they dont want to talk on the phone because their bad at it, yet they only girls Ive had awful phone conversations with have been ones that WANT to talk on the phone. Go figure.

    Im chatting tonight with a lady on Skype because she doesnt want to use the phone (her suggestion). First time using it for this purpose. Should be interesting. I’m thinking I might not wear a shirt and put the camera so that it shows from my shoulders up. Ill periodically complain about how cold it seems in my house. I bet that will make her feel comfortable 😛

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