That Alexander Graham Bell fella has a lot to answer for. Ever since he invented telephones, women have wasted zillions of hours sitting next to the infernal things, waiting for them to bring (…brrring) tidings of that bloke who bought them a drink last night. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting.
It’s not the phone’s fault. Those of us who inflict violence on our silent mobiles should remember that they aren’t just things that ring. They’re also things with numbers on. They are designed to make calls as well as receive them. Clever, eh?
But when you fancy a guy, you don’t want to phone him – you want him to phone you. And you’re scared that if you do ring him, it’ll put him off. Then, when he ends days of torture by sending you a text, you worry about what to do next. Text him, phone him, play hard to get? And are you really supposed to wait three days to phone a man, or is it five days?
These questions are not for us to answer, they’re for guys to answer. So, over to our dating round table for the truth about when to call – and when not to call.
Question 1: How soon should I ring him after a date?
Anna (25, single): “I think life’s too short to wait around for a bloke to ring me. If I’ve had a date and I like him, I’ll ring him. But I do wonder if it puts guys off. Is it really true that I should wait three days, or should I wait until they phone me?”
Aaron (24, single): “Some guys are put off by girls who phone them, because they want to do all the running. I’m not like that, but I admit there’s a bit of ‘I only want what I can’t have’. If a girl seems too busy and sorted to worry about phoning me, it makes her more intriguing. So don’t play hard to get, but make them sweat a bit.”
Harry (29, attached): “I’d agree with most of that. It depends when you call them, and how forward you are. I think everyone’s slightly put off by people who are too keen. If you’re in the habit of ringing men on your way home from a first date, then yes, you’re probably putting them off. That’s not because girls shouldn’t phone guys, it’s because you’ve phoned too soon. Give them some breathing space.”
Andy (40, single): “You should definitely leave them wanting more. But the ‘wait three days’ thing is really silly. It depends on how the date went, and how keen he seems to be. If you really seemed to get on well and you got a good vibe from him, ring him the next night. If he likes you he won’t be put off by that.”
Harry: “Thing is, most guys are far more shy than you’d think. If they like you, they’d love to get a phone call. Doesn’t really matter when.”
Question 2: Does playing hard to get work?
Erin (30, single): “I once got obsessed with a guy because he never phoned me. At first I only fancied him a bit, but the more I waited for his calls, the more interested I got. Should I use this strategy on men?”
Aaron: “Yep! If a girl doesn’t phone me, I’m desperate to know why, and it makes her more interesting.”
Harry: “I think you have to be so careful with this. You only got more interested in your guy because you fancied him to start off with. If you hadn’t fancied him, you wouldn’t have cared if he rang you or not. You’d have forgotten all about him.”
Matt (29, single): “I like girls who are funny and clever, so a good phone conversation can make me far more interested in her. Also, if I like a girl a bit and she never phones me, eventually I’ll lose interest because I can’t be bothered waiting around.”
Question 3: Does a text count as a call?
Louisa (29, single): “If I’ve had a really nice evening with a man, I’ll text him on the way home to say thanks, let’s do it again and all that. Am I being too keen?”
Aaron: “Yeah, I think you should switch your phone off on the way home from a date and ignore it until at least the next afternoon. You’ve got to leave him wanting more. Don’t be too much in his face, it’s annoying.”
Matt: “I love getting a text on the way home! I’m disappointed if I don’t get one, to be honest. If you really clicked and you had a brilliant evening, send him a text that’ll make him smile. Nothing cheesy, just smart and flirty. That’s definitely not the same as ringing him up from the cab and going ‘Oh I liked you so much, when can I see you again?’. It’s totally different.”
Andy: “I think it’s fine to text, but only if the date really did go well, and you know that he liked you too. It keeps the momentum going. Also it puts the ball in his court – he feels like he’s got permission to phone you the next day.”
Question 4: Does a text mean ‘call me’?
Erin: “When a man sends you a flirty text, does it basically mean that he wants you to phone him? And if so, how soon should you ring?”
Aaron: “I don’t know… often I’ll text someone because I can’t be bothered talking to her. If she rings me straight away I’ll think, ‘Oh God, can’t you just text me back?’. If you really want to phone him, wait an hour. Otherwise he’ll think you’ve been lying in wait, which isn’t cool.”
Matt: “He won’t think you’ve been lying in wait – loads of people reply to texts straight away. But if you’re excited to hear from the guy, maybe wait a little bit before phoning him, just so you can calm yourself down a bit and think of what to say.”
Andy: “Yeah, don’t miss your chance though. If he’s texted you and you wait ages to text back or ring him, he’ll think you’re not interested.”
Question 5: To booty call or not to booty call?
Louisa (29, single): “Do people really make booty calls, or is that all made up? If a guy ever phoned me in the middle of the night to say ‘I’m coming over, assume the position,’ I’d tell him where to go!”
Aaron: “I’ve never done it. But now you mention it, I might give it a try tonight. What’s your number?”
Andy: “I’ve done it, but only when I’ve been really drunk. We didn’t even end up having sex, I just fell asleep and snored. We didn’t see each other much after that.”
Harry: “The moral of this story is, don’t accept a booty call if it sounds like he’s just left the pub.”