Happy Tuesday Dignity Daters! As you may know, I am a big fan of the short and sweet phone call. Memories of hiding in the closet twirling the yellow phone cord haunt us all… That said, let’s review how the short goal-oriented phone call goes: Man calls woman. They speak for 5-10 minutes on the phone in which he ends the conversation by asking her to meet him (known to most of you as asking her to go on “a date.”) I invite you to keep these conversations short because spending one hour on the phone with someone you don’t know very well gives you an opportunity to send an inaccurate message about who you are. Remember, people are trained to “rule out,” rather than “rule you in.” One slip made out of context and the person on the other end of the phone may make an entire closet full of assumptions, interpretations and generalizations about you are. For example, perhaps you would describe yourself to friends as a person who is positive, engaging and authentic. Then, however, when you get on the phone you begin telling her, in the course of “harmless” casual conversation, that the economy has you concerned, and while you have really changed your spending patterns, you can’t stop dining at your favorite expensive restaurants. Hmmmm. What messages does this “harmless” conversation project? Instead, keep it short. Make the date the focal point of getting to know more about him/her.
In addition, steer clear of the acclaimed “Swingers” answering machine faux pas. Leave ONE message. (No hang-ups please…it’s just plain rude) If she or he doesn’t call back, let it go. Move on. And as I always say, create space for someone new to come into your life. If someone calls you, make an effort to return the call within 24 hours. Even if you are not interested in a first or 2nd date, return the phone call to let him/her know it’s “not a match.” Remember, what goes ’round, comes ’round, and I’m confident there isn’t one of you who appreciates having phone calls go unreturned.
Last, don’t say something to a potential love-interest on the phone that you wouldn’t typically say to a new friend. During the 10 minute phone conversation make sure you are polite. Be open and kind. For example, if you are uncomfortable when men pick you up at your home on a first or 2nd date, you don’t need to let him know this prior to him asking you on the date by stating something that results in him feeling like he’s just been given the “Heisman.” (Envision little statue of a football player giving his imaginary opponent the defensive strong-arm). For example, Sara might mistakenly say to Max during their first phone conversation, “My job? Well, I’m an interior decorator, Max. Oh..and…. I never let men into my house until I know them really, really well. My home is my castle.” This statement leaves Max feeling rejected, before he has even attempted to get to know Sara better. In short, yikes.
To some, the phone is like a typewriter. Archaic, slow and inefficient. However, when used correctly, the phone can set you apart from the rest of the dating community. Picking up the phone to make a call demonstrates your willingness to make an effort, shows you want to connect with someone via voice technology instead of the written word. It shows you care. Returning phone calls promptly demonstrates your unwillingness to play games. It can reflect that you have integrity, and that your words and actions match. Using the phone effectively can help you become a dating superstar. Make a mistake and the consequences can be tragic.
I have to go now. I’m getting a call…..