About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Honey’s Take: The Number-Close Isn’t As Easy As You Think

First of all, hi everybody! I moved in with the BF this past weekend and it’s been a flurry of activity, as I’m sure you can all imagine. Fortunately I hired movers to load and unload, and the BF drove the truck (I followed behind in the car so we wouldn’t have to tow anything), but there was more than enough packing, unpacking, and moving of furniture to keep me busy since Friday night. I almost have everything under control here, so I should be able to focus a little more on the site from now on (especially since I am procrastinating my search for a day job)!

When Lance said that we should write this week’s double take on getting phone numbers (or e-mail addresses, myspace pages, whatever) I thought it was a great subject. He believes that it’s easy to get a girl’s number, and not so easy to ensure that she picks up the phone when you call (or that she doesn’t flake before your date). I think that his point that you have to really wow her so that you stick in her memory is well taken. However, in my own experience dating the reason that you have to be really sure that you’re coming across as exceptional and not creepy is that many, many times the number that you are given isn’t even the girl’s real number.

When I was doing the club thing, if I wanted a guy to go away I would give him my phone number with the last two digits reversed (sorry, whoever’s phone that was!) or give out the Rejection Line (the local radio station had a fake phone number for people to give out with a mean message about how they’d been rejected and they would play subsequent messages on the morning show). I can only think of one time that I gave a guy my actual number, and the subsequent date was so horrible that I never did it again. So how can you make a good impression, ensure that the information is correct, and arrange that all-important second meetup?

The BF’s Story: Control Your Surroundings

I first asked the BF if he had any experience getting–or not getting–phone numbers back in his dating days. Well, sure enough, he was at a bar near the university when he was an undergrad, and it was packed. He was chatting up a girl and managed to get her phone number. However, his psycho ex showed up at the bar and started hanging all over him. The girl whose number he wanted then blew him out, saying, “It seems like you have better things to do.” The BF was furious because he and his ex didn’t get along–she was only hanging all over him to cockblock. He finally managed to get rid of the ex and was talking to his friend about the girl he liked, and the friend said that she probably didn’t even give him her real number. He went to the bathroom to call her, and it turned out she a) had given him her home number, and b) she still lived at home with her parents! Her dad answered the phone and basically told him never to call again. Of course he did, but she never picked up or called him back.



The lesson here is to control your surroundings. While being in a place that is familiar to you and where you know people can provide good social proof, you have to think about everyone that might be there. The BF’s sucky wingman and crazy ex were the beginning of a downward spiral that his own drunken phone call (even if it had been a cell phone, she probably would have found it creepy and overeager if he left her a message while they were both still at the club) and subsequent follow-up botched completely. And while a bar near the U is crawling with girls, it is likely to be too loud and provide women with too many options for any real game. If you’re out specifically to meet people, going to a place that’s medium-busy is a better choice.

Standing Out From the Crowd

I have to say that now that giving out one’s email address has become more common, I would never give out my phone number. Never. Under any circumstance. And not to cockblock you, Lance, but if you’re a woman reading this I highly recommend that you never give out your phone number. In fact, I wouldn’t give out your primary e-mail, either. Use one of your backups (I know you have 3 or 4 accounts, anyway. I would be happy to give out my e-mail address and use the length and wittiness of his first contact as a screening tool. However, fellas, in order to actually get either of these pieces of information, you’re going to have to make extra sure that you a) stand out from the crowd, and b) aren’t creepy.

  • As far as the first, I recommend dressing in something at the upper end of what’s acceptable for the venue, and making sure that you’ve got an awesome accessory (for example, a brightly colored t-shirt, a sharp blazer, or a great belt buckle) and a lack of douche-y accessories (such as tipped hair, a puka necklace, or a thick chain). Also make sure your clothing fits you. Shirts that are too big or too small are the kiss of death. As Lance says, women in these venues have choice, so they’re basically looking for any reason to disqualify you.
  • Second, develop a couple of stories that really show off something awesome you’ve accomplished recently or something unique and cool that you’re interested in. Ideally you want a story to consist of three components: a compliment to her, something cool about you, and a question to get her engaged in the conversation quickly. For example, “Your outfit is fantastic! Hey, I’m up for my annual review next week and am expecting a promotion. Got any clothing recommendations?”
  • Third, tell stories that are funny. No one can think you’re creepy if you’re witty. IMO, you’re much more likely to get the digits if you ask her while she’s still laughing at one of your jokes.

Final Thoughts

Whether the girl is out for fun, a one-night stand, or her soul mate, she doesn’t necessarily want to explain all that to you the first couple times you hang out. The most important thing is to get to know her in a way that seems fun, with no pressure. If you can pull that off the first time, then she’s going to want to get to know you better, and whatever turn the relationship takes will seem natural and easy–even though she’ll have no idea of the effort that you put into making it seem that way.

  • http://40ssingleness.blogspot.com/ lisaq

    I completely agree Honey. I never give out my number (sorry Lance!). Too many bad experiences. The number is reserved for men I have interacted with on a regular basis and who, I think, may actually have some potential. I like the idea of giving out the email address. Might have to try that and see how it goes.

    One other thing worth noting about giving out your number in a club is that there is alcohol involved. I might like you if I have enough beers in me, but sober I might not. Let’s face it, alcohol changes perceptions. Beer goggles do not help with the screening process. When I take them off, I could very well realize that you’re not someone I would ever consider going out with in another situation.

    lisaqs last blog post..The Long and Winding Road

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Honey – you’re right, your BF at the club with the psycho ex should have controlled his surroundings better. If he had stalked the girl who gave him her number, he could have timed his phone call to her house when her dad wasn’t home!

    (just kidding, of course. Have a great weekend!)

    dadshouses last blog post..I’m a Mother!

  • http://www.vcarded.com The Virgin

    If you’re *REALLY* interested in someone, you ARE going to give them your number. (If Johnny Depp or your favorite hunk wanted your number, would you decline then? 😉 ) Unfortunately, lots of guys don’t understand the above and beat themselves up needlessly for it.

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    Honey, some great advice here. I have to strongly disagree with you on your advice to women about not giving out numbers though.

    Here’s the way I see it. If you’re a gal getting hit on by a dude, it’s your job to screen him and test him for douchebaggery. Ask questions and shit test. If he has lousy game or he’s a douche, don’t give the number. Simply excuse yourself (“I’m gonna go dance now, peace out”). If he’s a great guy and has great game, exchange numbers with him, because he’s earned it. That’s the reward of the game.

    As a guy, it’s my job to prove that I’m worthy of an info exchange. That means I have to generate attraction, build trust & credibility, frame the interaction sexually, and oh yeah also have fun. That’s a lot, but if I can pull it off then I’ve earned the digits. BTW, just because I’ve got skillz doesn’t mean I’m secretly an asshole, which is what playerz get accused of. It simply means I’ve developed my social skills. It means I decided to get good with women. And that’s a good thing.

    David DeAngelo recommends exchanging emails and I tried that for a bit but had zero luck. I always calibrate to the individual about whether she’ll respond to phone calls, texts, or myspace. Generally, younger (around college) women are very amenable to becoming your myspace friend. If you can get the myspace, you can run myspace game. For that age group, it’s practically replaced email. Women around my age are happy to exchange digits, and I always try to make a strong enough impression so that she’s compelled to ask me to take her number. I NEVER call immediately after getting a number because she never picks up. Basic screening. But if you flirt over text and you get a flirty response, then make the call and set up the date.

  • Anon

    What about the pity number give-away? Obviously, you must live in the hell that is NYC for women. A friend of mine — a musician — introduced me to a friend of his — a songwriter who I mistook for homeless — and I was being polite but I’m also a musician so I don’t want to create bad blood with a fellow musician. But there’s a difference between male and female musicians. First of all, the women tend to attract the freaks no matter how attractive they are. Even the weirdest male musicians can attract hot women.

    Anyhow, I was being nice and of course when he called I didn’t call back. Hell, it wasn’t even a “want to go out” call. That would be doubly difficult for this dude because if you saw him, you’d probably give him money. I saw him a few weeks ago and I have to say he reminded me of a biblical character. He has a beard nearly to his waist and long crazy curly hair. It’s a scary sight. I’m tempted to give him some advice about the freaky appearance. If he’s getting laid, I’ll be shocked because I keep thinkin Unabomber whenever I see him. I feel bad about being so shallow but he’s freaky looking.

  • Me Thinks

    Well I have given out my number and will likely continue to do so – but very rarely! I am pretty cautious – have given it out before when I’ve been boozing with friends and been sorry when the dude won’t give up (yes, I remember you and no, I’m really not interested, I was just drunk and being nice).

    But I have to say one of my best FRIENDships came out of giving my number to a guy. We chatted and clicked but I had started dating someone, it wasn’t exclusive but I wanted to give it some time so I initially refused. The guy and I talked for a long time, finally he “gave me” his number by calling mine from his (this is game I’ve had run on me more than once, I know what it is but if the dude is cool I will agree). Anyway, it was all hot texts, etc for a while, then phone calls and then we started e-mailing and a year plus later we are just really good friends with a lot of stuff in common.

    Anyway, I’d give out my number but only to someone I really clicked with after a long conversation or knew through a friend. I’ve had enough stalkers that I am reserved but sometimes you have to take a little risk (hell, its just a phone number! you can always tell them to go “get stuffed” as my Canadian friend says).

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    I don’t give a crap if some guy thinks he’s been charming enough to “earn” my number. It is not “earnable.” It is a safety issue…easy enough to hit delete on my backup e-mail account that’s not even tied to my real name, but there are men out there who are DANGEROUS, and just because you’re not an asshole doesn’t mean that someone else wouldn’t assault and/or harass me if he had the chance. Most sociopaths are very charming.

    I met the BF on myspace, and actually refused to give him my phone number OR add him as a friend until I’d met him in person at a well-lit venue walking distance from my house.

    Honeys last blog post..Honey’s Take: The Number-Close Isn’t As Easy As You Think

  • athena

    nope, my number is NOT “earnable”. honey is totally right- i’ve had too many stalkers to give out my number like that. and no, you CANT tell if a guy is going to get crazy on you in the first night, or even the second. they dont have any warning signs, either. some are shy, some are funny, some are so charming – you just never know.

    after you have had to deal with over a hundred calls a day, or get a restraining order, or call the cops to get some freak to leave your work – yeah, you arent giving your number, primary email, last name, work OR home address out.

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    Ladies ladies ladies. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one. I feel the safety issue, and I’ll be the first to admit that there are plenty of psycho douchebag guys out there. Avoid them like the plague. If I were a chick, I’d probably not give my number out very often, unless I met me of course 😉

    Besides that, if you’re single, I say have fun and find ways to connect with people on a deep level. Give value. At some point during that communication, people are going to have to exchange digits or whatever. If no one exchanged numbers, no one would be dating or getting laid.

  • Joe

    “Agree to disaree”? As a guy, I’d rather listen to the women. Afterall they are the ones I want to date, not the men. heheh

    But I have never asked for the number. I can understand their concern.

    Besides, I ask for the date. I want a date, not a number.