Hanging Up on a Date

What is the point of a phone call exactly? Is it just to set up the time and place for a date? Or is it also to gauge whether you want to go on a date?

“Just set up the date,” my father insists.

“Because after our first phone call I didn’t want to go out with him,” my mother explains.

My second cousins concur. “I thought we were just going to set  up when I’d pick her up,” the He said. “An hour and a half later I was like, ‘What just happened?!’ and thought the date was going to be miserable.”

His wife just laughed.

I’ve had my share of conversations where I hung up and thought, “I’ve had more intelligent conversations with an iPhone.” Still, I let them call again, or we go out, albeit with misgivings. And, in spite of it all, awkward telephone callers do get more interesting with acquaintanceship. Soon enough you find out that they’re smarter than a smartphone. Although, thus far, I still haven’t met an awkward telephoner I wanted to use to round out the list of marriages above.

IMHO, if a guy works up the nerve to give you a call, you can give him a date for it. But I have a pretty lax criteria for dates. If he’s orthodox, male, and doesn’t work in the same field as me, I’m game for at least a first.

Many others are pickier about how they spend their evenings, preferring to stay home and play Angry Birds rather than spend an evening in a lounge with a male they are convinced they will never marry.  To these folks, the telephone conversation is an opportunity to gauge whether this potential date is worth the cathexis of an evening. And if he’s not… well:

“…I asked [Female] if she’d like to meet for coffee in a few days and she said yes. An hour later, the shadchan emails me to say that based on the phone conversation, the [Female] feels we’re not a match and doesn’t want to waste my time with a date.” – A Dude

Wrong? Right? Shallow? Rude? Who knows. But if she already made up her mind, to the point where she’s ready to cancel the date, she’s unlikely to change it just by meeting him. In which case, she really is saving Dude a trip.

Don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s her.

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5 thoughts on “Hanging Up on a Date

  1. LOL. Predate phone calls are a funny thing. I’ve always had a predate phone call – I like it. I may not be able to know what the guy is going to look like when he comes to the door (unless he has facebook or a picture on linked in),but at least I’ll know what he is going to sound like. And I’ve had a range of how long the first phone call lasts. With one guy it was 5 min phone call – just direct, get to the point, where are we going and when. With one guy it was an hour and a half phone call (I was a little scared after that we had used up all the first date convo on the predate phone call, but was fine.) Then you have times when convo flows great on the phone and he’s def a phone person – but when you meet him, somehow doesn’t flow as well. Then you have times when convo is horrible on the phone – but when you meet him, convo is great. Overall, I like them though – I feel like predate phone calls make it a little less awkward when he comes to the door because at least you have talked before. But I’m curious to hear the other side from people who do not talk before the first date,

  2. Phone calls are rarely an indication.

    Let’s see, phone call lasting 90 minutes? DOA.

    Call lasting 30 seconds? Not bad.

    The one time it was an accurate gauge was when the guy seemed to stay stuck on the topic of french fries. I felt dread then, at it turned out to be absolutely valid.

    I hate phones in general, so I’m guessing I don’t present myself well-enough on them either. In my youth there were fellows that awkwardly hung up without making up a place and time. So conveniently neither of us had a wasted evening.

  3. 1 – I am invariably bored by guys in the same field as me. This might be because we wind up talking shop, and who wants to talk shop on a date?
    2 – We’ll wind up with autistic kids.
    3 – I’m still angling to date a lawyer. Six years and 36 dates and I still haven’t gone out with a single lawyer. There is obviously a selection bias here.

  4. I have never rejected a guy prior to dating him based on a phone call. However, I have found myself dreading dates because of the prior phone call. Usually I’ve been correct to do so.

    I do think it was not nice of the girl to tell the guy she was interested in meeting and then turn around and tell the shadchan she didn’t want to bother. If she wasn’t interested, she should have told him directly; I think the way she did it was rude.

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