Posted by: Amelia | June 25, 2007

Gentlemen Non-Callers

Fellas, a word of dating advice: if you meet a girl at a bar and you want to see her again, do not ask her out via text message.  Call.  That’s why she gave you her phone number.  Not only is text messaging the least personal form of communication (hence its classic use as a booty call method), but it also leaves you open to looking ridiculous.  Case in point:

I would like 2 c u again. I had a good time with u in front page- u r a sexy dancer! [name redacted].

I think lolcats are extremely cute, but I don’t want to date one.  Yes, I danced with you at Front Page and that was fun – and you were cute!  But your air of desperation, coupled with a lack of interest in knowing anything about me, diminished my interest.  If you had called, maybe I would have started to think of you as a person instead of an indiscriminate wannabe-Casanova.  Just because I’m not out there looking for my soulmate doesn’t mean I don’t screen a little.

The next case, from the opposite end of the spectrum, is a little less deserving of scorn:

so when are we having lunch? : )      – [name redacted]

Innocuous, right?  This boy, whom I met at a happy hour, was a nice fellow who is probably just a little nervous to call me up.  But if you’re asking someone out on a first date, I’m sorry, but you have to call.  Even email is acceptable.  A six-word text message makes you look either too timid, minimally interested, or both.  Not attractive qualities.  Also, another piece of advice for guys: do not ever use smiley faces when texting or emailing a girl.  Smileys are juvenile and dorky (and not in the good way).

Am I too picky?  Perhaps.  But I, like many girls, have trouble regaining interest in a person once it’s lost.  I don’t need flowers, I don’t need chocolates, and I don’t need hours of conversation.  But a text message never casts you in a good light, no matter what the situation.  Pick up the phone!

A semi-related piece of advice for boys who do online dating (a different form of electronic wooing fraught with almost as many pitfalls): don’t wait too long to ask her out for coffee or a drink.  If you send a message to a girl and she responds, consider it a positive sign.  She probably responds to only a fraction of the messages she receives.  If you then email back and forth with her a few times, take it as a sign that she is interested and ask her out.  Several times I have been excited about some guy for the first couple email exchanges only to completely lose interest by the tenth email full of inane questions.  Especially when those questions were followed by smiley faces.



  1. now that I’m back from 15 minutes of laughing at the lolcats…

    I don’t think smileys are that bad in emails. I have to litter mine with them sometimes b/c I’m being a smartass and I don’t know another way to do it. Also, sometimes I’d rather do just drinks for a first date. It can turn into dinner if warranted, but if it sucks then I can go without having to cringe at the way he eats or whatever.

    However, I’m with you on the text messaging. Baaad form.

  2. I agree in many ways! If it’s a first date, or someone you’re just getting to know, texting is a no-no.

    I do admit, though, that I use it often with friends.

  3. So here’s the question: How long must you be seeing a girl before a text message is an acceptable form of communication?
    In my mind, it would require someone’s pants to have come off at least once, and likely a pre-text agreement of some sort to be in place.
    Although, I must admit that if the tables are turned and a girl is flirting with me through texting, I’m probably not going to ignore it.

    Ms. Tart: And I must admit that if I’m really into a guy and he texts, I will probably answer (and probably forgive smileys as well).

  4. Might you be placing form over substance? In the old, old days, there were “gentlemen callers.” That’s right: they actually came to visit in person, and could be turned away at the door by the butler (or parent) who could say “the lady is not in.” Since then the letter, the telephone, email, IM, and text messaging have developed as substitutes, each one less personal than the previous mode. While the more-personal modes might be preferable, the more-modern modes are almost certain to become standard. Besides, how would you know, in a phone call, that a guy was saying “u r 4 me” while smiling?

  5. I’d prefer that someone I’m dating NOT text me at all. Call me! Or if you must, send me an email. If you want to text, it’s ok to say something like, “I’m thinking of you.” or “I had a great time at dinner last night.”, but don’t use texting as a means of real communication.. Such as asking me out to dinner.. or asking if I want to stop by, or for an actual conversation.

    That’s how I feel anyway. Not to say I haven’t texted with a man I was dating.. I have. And it works out ok. I just much prefer the phone.

  6. […] I went out for dinner with some great old friends last night and mentioned my blog post yesterday. They thought I had probably been a little harsh on the second gentleman texter, so I texted him […]

  7. see… i love texts. i hate talking on the phone for all the typically awkward reasons, and texting is a means of instant communication with low expectations. but maybe i’m just weirdly anti-social.

  8. I refuse to date any man who uses the term “lol” in casual emailing. Unless he’s referring to lolcats of course. I also refuse to date men who I meet online who ask me out after exchanging only 1 email. I might as well date the random stranger riding next to me on the metro. 1 email? Too soon.

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