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.
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.