The death of phone game

by GK on May 21, 2009 · 2 comments

My favorite comedy of all time is probably “Swingers” — I dare you to find me a better guy movie — though I find it unfortunate that just 15 years later, it’s sadly outdated. Swing revival is long over, “Vegas baby” is played out, and that oh-so-painful answering machine scene would likely never happen today. Mikey would have texted the girl.

I’ve handled lots of questions from guys about calling girls, and this forum thread is an example of my advice. If no one has said it yet, allow me to be the coroner and declare it: phone game, as singles knew it for decades, is dead. Technology may have killed my beloved newspapers, but it has given men greater options to contact the women we meet, and calling them is rarely necessary anymore.

For guys like me, who have stared at the phone for hours before leaving cringe-inducing voice mails, this is great news and a time-saver. Of the many dates I’ve had this year, most of them have been arranged by simply exchanging a text message or two. Some were even made over e-mail or Facebook. And perhaps two were done over the phone as well.

I no longer have to worry about games of phone tag, in which the vibe can cool off if we don’t speak soon enough. I don’t find the flake rate to be any worse than it was when I was making calls. As long as our in-person connection was good, the dates usually stick.

Of course, for you purists who prefer the phone, there’s no need to fret — you can stick to the old-fashioned way and still make it work. It really doesn’t matter whether you text, call or use smoke signals — as with everything else, technique takes a back seat to charisma. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • I recommend that guys send a text message within 24 hours after they first meet a woman. During that meeting, you should have made it clear that you want to see her again, and ideally you’ve already discussed your first date. This way, your contacting her is merely a formality.
  • If you made a good connection with the girl in person, she’ll be more likely to respond whichever way you contact her. But if you see that she’s quick to respond over text, you can safely presume she’ll make plans over text as well. At this point I simply propose a time and place for us to meet, and that’s usually all it takes.
  • Don’t get caught up in silly texting games. Just because a woman talks dirty to you over text doesn’t mean you’ve hit the jackpot — if you don’t set concrete plans soon after you meet, you may simply become her text-flirting buddy, which is not a good place to be.
  • I’ve made post-first-date plans over Facebook, but unless you’re in college or hip with technology, I don’t recommend using social-networking sites initially with a woman. Once you become one of her 523 Facebook friends, you could get lost in the shuffle. And do you really want her seeing that pic of you at the porn convention?
  • If you’re still clinging to that three-day rule from “Swingers,” it’s time to let go. You should be reaching her right away, while the iron is still hot. It won’t make you look needy unless you really are needy.
  • If a woman will only give you her e-mail address, get her to step up, or walk away.

The bottom line is this: whatever way you prefer reaching a woman, you should not be using it to “game” her — the heavy lifting should have been done in person. I consider the phone a means to an end, with the end involving the two of us in person. Just be able to lead her to that — ideally to watching “Swingers” at your place.


1 Mark May 21, 2009 at 8:11 am

Hey GK
Not really about the post in particular, even though it’s great.
I just wanted to thank you for writing this blog. You give the most consistently useful advice. Actually the only useful advice as far as blogging goes. Thanks.

2 GK May 21, 2009 at 11:28 am

Thanks a lot, Mark — I do appreciate that. This stuff is a blast for me to do. Keep reading!

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