I've been co-hosting group discussions online about dating and relationships for the past 2 years. During a recent group session, one of the female participants asked us : Why do men ask for your number and then don't call?
She had been going to various speed dating events and during one of her sessions, a man asked the organizers if he could get her number. Since she was also interested in him, she gave the organizers her number for the man to call her back. Unfortunately she waited for a call that never came.
She felt upset at the situation because 'she was put' in a powerless position. All she felt she could do was to wait and wonder when he would call her. And that made her uneasy. To alleviate that unease, she concluded that perhaps the reason why he didn't call her was because he wanted to be in a position of power. That got her to decide that she would no longer give her number to men anymore. Instead, she would take their number so that she would decide when to call and no longer feel powerless.
I imagine she's not the only woman in a similar situation who would react that way (typical of a type A personality). But creating har rules based on one unpleasant encounter might make it even harder to connect. Also, there could be other reasons why a man (or woman) doesn't call after getting your number. I'd like to offer three other possible reasons that may shift your perspective and reaction:
1. They got cold feet
It doesn't matter how confident someone may seem to be, calling a new person for the first time can be nerve racking. One of the reasons someone end up not calling could be that they just got scared.
Our mind is clever enough to create all kinds of scenarios that would terrify us out of simply pressing numbers on the keyboard and saying 'Hi' : "What if I end up sounding like a douchebag?", "What if I say something wrong?", "What if she doesn't remember me?", "What if that other guy already called her? They seem to hit it off better than me", "What if I call too soon?", "What if it's too late and I should have called sooner?", etc.
Most people have a fear of rejection and that can block them from being able to make connections. So with that in mind, refusing to give your number so that you can 'have control' doesn't necessarily change things. You might end up becoming the one with cold feet or they might be the one afraid to answer. It's best to not take it personally and realize that the right person will conquer their fear of potential rejection over loosing the opportunity to connect with you. It doesn't make them a bad person for not calling you. They're just not ready or not the right one for you.
2. They were just practicing
Some people feel so disconnected from the dating scene (especially those coming out of a long term relationship) that they might need to take baby steps in order to get back into the dating scene. Dating today looks nothing like dating 10,20 or 30 years ago. A lot of the connections are now done via mobile as opposed to being in setting where people can introduce you or you can get a feel for someone before approaching them.
The level of dating experience varies quite a bit from one person to another, regardless of how old (or young) they are. Some people are professional daters and know all the steps to this new dance by heart. Others are still figuring out what kind of music is playing before they can even start dancing. Asking for a phone number might be as far as they can take it for now as they build up their confidence and courage to get to the following step : calling.
They may have reason with themselves that they are not the only one who asked for a number and that most likely the person who gave them their number was just being polite. Clever minds
3. Something came up
We tend to think in terms of us at the center of any disagreement or conflict, especially when it comes to dating. Things often get taken too personally. But it's important to remember that on their side, they are doing the same : putting themselves at the centre.
So if for example, something came up, it could be something as silly as losing their phone, finding out some disturbing news about a family member, or getting the wrong number because of a typo. In other words, it's possible that something happened and prevented the person from being able to call when they had the intention to do so.
When it comes to dating, every situation is different. There may be patterns but it's best not to make generalizing conclusions that would potentially negatively affect your approach to dating. Basically, try not to let one unpleasant moment affect the many other opportunities awaiting you... even if it's easier said then done. :)
Getting a phone number doesn't necessarily have to be a power move. It's most likely an impulse from a genuine interest or curiosity in getting to know someone and potentially connect.
If the person calls: great! You have an opportunity to make a new connection. If the person doesn't call : great! You know that it's not the right time or the right person for you right now. You can still continue to live your life and don't need to wait for that call. There will be other opportunities.
Have you ever not called someone you were originally interested in? Why didn't you call? Let me know.
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