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?