Here's the deal: if a guy wants to date me, he needs to pick up the phone and call. At this point, being a grown-ass woman and all, I figure that if a guy tries to make plans over text — to use a cliche I hate — he's probably just not that into me. I understand texting is convenient, but I like to feel that a guy is making at least a little effort. If he's texting before we've even gone out, it makes me think he'll be pretty lazy going forward.

 

 

 

It's not lazy, it's considerate! Texting doesn't put the other person on the spot. It keeps things appropriately casual, for having a drink with someone you don't know that well. It's not a marriage proposal. If you call someone to ask them out, they maybe feel pressure to say "yes" when they feel "no." Or feel flustered and push you off, when if they reflected more calmly they'd probably go for it.

 
 

If I gave him my number, I probably wanted him to ask me out.

 

 

 

Always?

 
 

Okay, not always. I gave someone my number last week I didn't want to go out with, but in most cases...

 

 

 

See, if that guy called you, you'd be stuck talking to him. If he's gracious enough to text you, you'll be able to put together a polite brush-off.

 
 

Getting off the phone is easy. And if he called me and asked me out, there's a chance I might be so impressed with this courage that I'd at least give it a chance – a chance I wouldn't give if he'd texted, which he did, and I gave him the polite brush-off.

 

 

 

Why should this be such a big deal that it requires a display of courage? Does he need to bring you the heads of the hydra while he's at it?

 
 

If it doesn't require any courage, why not just do it? Why is texting so much better than dialing a number and having — God forbid — an awkward, three-minute conversation?

 

 

 

Having a phone conversation isn't the worst thing in the world. I'm not against calling someone, but depending on context, it can be very appropriate to text someone.

 
 

But initially, if a guy can't pick up the phone, call, and ask me out, there are probably a lot of things he won't do if we do end up dating. My friend Scott, a thirty-two-year-old in Brooklyn, said "If I really like the girl, absolutely I'll pick up the phone. Less so if I'm lukewarm."

 

 

 

At this point, I don't want to be asked out the same way thirteen-year-olds finagle blowjobs on the playground.

 
 
 

They do that by text? Good lord. But regarding actual adults, I'd hesitate to project any idea of future behavior from something like that. Why make it bigger than it is? Who calls anyone these days anyway? Calling is not what it used to be. At this point, you might as well send a singing telegram, no?

 
 

So if you really, really like a girl, you'd still ask her out by text?

 

 

 

My likelihood of texting versus calling wouldn't be affected by how much I liked her. And if she was going to blow me off, then why should I try to convince her otherwise? It'd be her loss, wouldn't it?

 
 

People are quick to dismiss others, all the time. Had you called, you could’ve charmed her on the phone, then probably gotten her to say yes, and then charmed her in person.

 

 

 

Why couldn't I charm her by text? And, I wouldn't text a girl for something serious.

 
 
 

Oh, like asking a girl you like out on a first date?

 

 

 

A first date's not serious. If I were inviting her to a wedding or something, I'd call.

 
 

How would you ask her out via text? What are the exact words you'd send?

 

 

 

Shit, I don't know. Are you asking me to ask you out?

 
 

Yes, ask me out.

 

 

 

So, Emily, this is probably totally inappropriate since we're kind of coworkers and stuff, and I know we have our differences about texting, but if you're around this week, do you feel like having a drink? We can have out the argument old-fashionedly in the flesh.

 
 

Wow, that would be two whole text messages! I'm sure that's longer than 160 characters.

 

 

 

Yeah, I usually go over.

 
 

Also, no: I'm not around this week. Sorry.

 

 

 

See, now if we were on the phone, you could say, "When are you free?" But if you texted that back, it might verge on creepy/too much.

 

 

 

Why? What's the difference?

 
 

If I write back, "Sorry, I'm not around this week," you have no idea if I'm really sorry. If we were on the phone you might hear, "Sorry! Oh, I'm not going to be around this week."

 

 

 

So I could pick up more nuance. Yeah, maybe so. But why should it be such a mind game? You could just text back, "I'm not around this week, but next week?"

 
 

And then we'd spend the next week texting to find out when we're both free, where we'll go and what we'll do, when it all could have been decided in one five-minute phone call. Then, I'd probably decide that I'd already texted too much with you. Too much talk, not enough action.

 

 

 

You're reading a lot into some pretty minor distinctions. Also, you sound like a fast texter.

 
 

Yeah, I'm super-fast, because I text-message with all my friends, my family. I want a potential date to be different, special, exciting! I've had too many relationships and potential relationships ruined by the miscommunication that comes along with technology. If a guy is really interested in dating me, he should pick up the phone. I don't want my relationships to happen over text message.

 

 

 

But "relationships" and "asking for a drink" aren't the same.

 
 

Any time you have relations with someone, it's a relationship. And drinks always have the potential of turning into more. So why start off communicating in an unclear way?

 

 

 

What's so unclear about "would you like to have a drink?"

 
 

That is clear, sure. But it just doesn't seem so... enthusiastic?

 

 

 

How enthusiastic do you want someone to be? If they don't really know you...

 
 

Very! I've just been on too many bad dates, set up with bad communication. I've been on dates that I'm not even sure were dates. And been out for drinks with people who probably thought we were on a date and I didn't. If a guy calls and says, "Would you like to go out with me?" I know we are going on a date, and can proceed accordingly.

 

 

 

Wouldn't it be weird for someone to be super-enthused when they don't know you at all? I mean, Emily, you're special, we're all special, but...

 
 

I get what you're saying. But dating sucks. It's a pain in the ass. It's confusing and more often than not it's a let down. Why not make it a little more clear, a little nicer, at least in the beginning?

 

 

 

Let's make a deal: next time you want to ask a girl out you call her. And next time a guy I like asks me out over text I'll say yes. Then we can compare notes.

 

 

 

The last time I asked a girl out, I did call her, because it was the right thing for that situation. I just wouldn't want to rule out texting.

 
 

Why not? You want that person to go out with you, right? Say she's on the fence, you call, she's impressed by the fact you call and says yes. Then you go out and she's surprised at what a good time she had with you. Whereas if you texted, she could have easily said, "I'm busy, sorry" and never gotten to know how great you are.

 

 

 

If she's impressed by calling, she must be easily impressed. Who knew it was so easy?

 
 

It is! In this day and age, a guy who calls is very impressive. I went out with a super-dorky guy when I first moved to a new city, just because he worked to track down my number from some mutual friends and called... on a Sunday morning! I thought, "Eh, why not give it a chance?" I wasn't into it, but at least I didn't discount him before we went out.

 

 

 

I'm tired of going out with guys who don't think I'm a big deal. And I don't mean in the "Emily Farris is a BIG DEAL!" kind of way. I mean, for all I know a guy could be mass texting "Do you want to have a drink this weekend?" to five different girls.

 

 

 

How big a deal do you want to be to someone who's never really hung out with you? If it's just about hanging out with someone for the first time, do you really need the supposed validation of being called?

 
 

Well, Pete, women often make a big deal out of things that men see as not a big deal. Get used to it.

 

 

 

I don't think that follows. Again, if it's just about hanging out with someone for the first time, do you really need the supposed validation of being called? Or do you just say, hey, modernity, let's give it a try...

 
 

I asked this question on my Facebook status, and every woman who commented agreed (except the married ones, who didn't get it). I also don't want to G-chat with someone I'm dating or IM all day. It all comes down to the idea that there is too much technology involved in our relationships. I've been giving modernity a try for a long time. I'm over it.

 

Commentarium (44 Comments)

Oct 27 09 - 12:48pm
lr

grow some balls and call. it's not that hard. texting is so junior high. and it's not "validation" that is being sought, it is authenticity. give it a try.

Oct 27 09 - 1:17am
3nD

If I remember right, wasn't this the same debate people had over the telephone itself? Texts can be used for the same thing the telephone can/could be used for; to avoid confrontation. But it can be used to express quick thoughts, serious or not, without having to add on 3 minutes of cordiality to a phone conversation. I prefer texts to telephone conversations, but I also understand that the elimination of voice from a conversation takes away some of the communication itself. You have to spend time phrasing things like you want them to 'sound', and it doesn't work a lot of the time. I'm sure at the dawn of the telephone, it would be considered more respectful to physically ask someone out rather than to use an impersonal tool like the telephone.

Oct 27 09 - 1:18am
RM

Please send a courtesy text before you call. I'm a girl and I hate random calls from guys that I don't know well. It's awkward. Text first to see if it's a good time to call - I'll do the same thing.

Oct 27 09 - 2:26am
AR

Moral of Article: Don't ask Emily Farris out via text.

Now what about the rest of the world? Can we see this debate moved to another level? Ask experts, more people in the office. Get the "I Did It For Science" people to ask out via text and via phone and see what response they get...

Oct 27 09 - 4:14am
AJ

This seems like another stupid hoop women choose to make men jump through. It's like the toilet-seat debate: utterly insignificant, except that women decide to make it hugely significant as some giant test of whether they can bend a man to their will.

Oct 27 09 - 9:10am
LF

I'm with Emily on this one. If I give you my number, call me.

Oct 27 09 - 9:43am
WJ

So, hypothetical here, say you send a courtesy text and the girl is at work. So do you wait until after work and give her a call? What if she's not sure when she gets off work? Then you're in a text conversation just to figure out when you can call her. Is it still wrong to text her and setup a time to meet instead of dragging everything out just so you can call and ask her out?

Oct 27 09 - 10:12am
HC

Obviously, this is another non-universal rule. I HATE the phone. Please text or email me. If you call, it'll just go to voicemail anyway. (OTOH, I probably wouldn't have given a guy my number and would have given him my email address instead, if possible.)

Oct 27 09 - 10:34am
mebo

yeah, i'm a girl and i hate calling. if we don't know each other well, text me please. don't call, i won't answer and will also probably think you're pushy and/or weird.

Oct 27 09 - 10:44am
J

It is ridiculous that there is even a question about this. Are we now so impersonal that we can't even take the time to dial the phone? Don't you want to hear the other person's voice? I for one am sick of this impersonal robot-land many of you seem to live in.

Oct 27 09 - 11:05am
ja

I'm a girl, and I hate talking on the phone. I'm a writer, so I love the written word. Therefore, texting suits me just fine. But I agree that after you've gone out with someone a few times and are in the "I'm dating this person" mode, it's weird if they NEVER call you, even when it might be more appropriate than text. But for the first 3-4 dates, just text me. Or, if you call, I'll suck it up and deal with the phone. All my female friends disagree with me (and agree with emily) but I think girls do make too big an issue out of this one.

Oct 27 09 - 11:55am
MT

Pete is right. Although if a girl gives you her number its not always for phone call purposes, as some of the comments suggest. Dating is a gradual escalation of comfort and communication. So start small. The invite or meet up for a drink is just casual and can be done text -- such as to not intrude upon the other person's comfort. After things have gone well, phone communication should replace it.

Oct 28 09 - 12:28am
S.S.

I think it depends upon the context (I'm a woman btw, in case that's an issue). If a guy I don't know well is asking me out, I would much prefer a phone call. If it's a post date "I had a great time" a text is fine.

Oct 28 09 - 12:54am
HF

My call quality is horrible. Can two people on cell phones even understand each other these days?

Oct 27 09 - 4:10pm
CT

Texting is fine, though in most cases a call is probably better.

I do want to take issue with something Emily wrote: "if a guy can't pick up the phone, call, and ask me out, there are probably a lot of things he won't do if we do end up dating." That's bullocks. A guy might be shy to ask a girl out but rather daring with everything once he knows the girl is into him. Don't judge people on a single action.

Oct 27 09 - 4:42pm
BBO

I do not text. Ever. I'm a grown man, not a 15 year old girl.

If I'm asking someone out I want to hear their voice, and I want them to hear mine. So much more is conveyed by the tone and cadence of one's voice than by words alone.

Oct 27 09 - 4:51pm
sp

I almost feel like this article is more annoying and a headache than it is helpful. You two need to let out some agression towards each other...for people who write for a sex website there sure is alot of tension.

Oct 27 09 - 5:02pm
b

I'd be interested in knowing the age of folks who are pro-texting rather than making the call. Are odds better that the early 30's ladies my own age would prefer a call rather than the texting the girls only a few years younger grew up with?

Oct 27 09 - 6:34pm
Drew

Interesting. I asked a girl out over text, she accepted. I tried to ask a girl out on the phone and couldn't even get her to pick up the phone (I opted for leaving a quick voicemail in case she didn't recognize my number, and she never called me back).

A text is not only less awkward, but allows you to gather your thoughts and not sound so uncomfortable on the phone. A text that says "Hey, I had a great time talking with you the other night and was wondering if you'd be interested in grabbing drinks on Thursday" is straightforward and appears confident, and doesn't at all convey the butterflies in the stomach that a guy can get when trying to ask a girl out.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with texting a first date invitation, especially if the extent of your previous interaction is a few minutes talking at a party or a bar.

Oct 27 09 - 6:44pm
chri

dood. why are you arguing with emily. sounds to me like it's the guy who wants to not be put on the spot w/ a rejection. if a girl wasnt willing to be put on the spot w/ "will you go out w/ me." she wouldnt have given the guy her #. period. guys who text are afraid of dealing with fact of dating: rejection. if that's the case, save yourself the misery (and the girl) and just do not date.

Oct 27 09 - 7:02pm
rh

I think this is a personal preference, not a gender issue. I'm a female and I much prefer text. I'm also over 30 so I don't think you can relate it to a generational thing. Text is less pressure for both parties and someone who can do the witty repartee thing with the written word is really hot to me. If I don't really know you and you call me, I won't even pick up.

Oct 27 09 - 8:14pm
kel

well, i'm a woman and 31, and i much prefer CALLING. I totally agreed with Emily here. If a guy wants to impress me, a phone call shows some sort of thought and care has been taken. If we've never spoken, texting is cool to start. But to ask me out of a FIRST date, I'd want a call.

Oct 27 09 - 11:24pm
aj

As a female, i prefer email just because it's not too personal and you get a better context than a quick text and people check it at their leisure so you don't have to worry about bothering someone.But honestly, this is really a non-issue- who cares how he contacts me? This is like other non-issues like what way the toilet paper goes over the roll. And the dullest nerve article i've ever read.

Oct 27 09 - 11:39pm
DCF

I hate the idea of texting for remotely serious conversations. Texting lacks the ability to verify timeliness of receipt or response. It doesn't put people on the spot when you text them, but frankly, if you call someone to ask them out and that puts them on the spot, they're not interested in you anyway. The couple of minutes of small talk can act as a pre-date buffer to make sure you're not wasting your time by even going on the date.

Oct 27 09 - 11:50pm
Mixe

I am a 29 year-old guy and I hate texting and calling. But if a girl gives me her number and tells me to call her,that's what I'm going to do. Texting is so annoying to me. I would only use it if I think she is busy or asleep.

Oct 28 09 - 1:42am
JJ

this is a non-issue and Emily is making it one. If calling is a test of suitability I would hate to find out what other tests Emily and "most women" who need a phone call to go have a drink later require of men to pass. The other day a women told me that men dont have the guts to go up to women anymore. Wonder why?? These silly rigid judgments cast by women have pushed men to the point where they avoid the increasingly narrow set of actions women want of men. Emily and anyone who has an issue with a text message for a drink need to RELAX and not take life so seriously. Open up. You will learn more about someone by going on the date then by judging them over a simple text message asking you to join them for a drink.

Oct 28 09 - 11:49am
MW

The other day a girl gave me her number. I called. She texted back. I then asked her out with a text because that was the medium she had chosen.

Oct 28 09 - 11:51am
ayde

Don't blame Emily for your lack of success. If a lady gives you her number, call it. It's an invitation. From a lady. What more do you need to know?

Oct 28 09 - 11:27pm
jm

I'm a 35 year old woman and I prefer text. I find I can talk to them longer on text because you can text at you leisure. If the guy can keep me interested in his texts, we can text for hours (not continuously) on different types of things. On the phone, it's like hi...bye...and then eventually unwind. I feel like I can connect better mentally through text than by phone especially in the beginning stages. When a guy can't keep my interest through text, I just ignore it and he knows not to call. We're both saved the effort.

Oct 28 09 - 11:45pm
rr

Emily is so smoking hot. Wowza. I would do whatever she wanted!!!

Oct 30 09 - 4:01am
LEA

Texting is so much better than calling...from a 33 year old single girl.

Oct 30 09 - 7:01am
wr

what if the guy only wants to email with you between dates? makes you wonder if they're really dates at all.

Oct 30 09 - 2:06pm
zz

women love to talk on the phone... Have no idea what the fascination is... If you don't know the person, the conversation will be forced and perhaps awkward... via text, all info can be disseminated and then when you hang out you can discover whether or not you're into eachother... That whole thing about women wanting to be made to feel special is just a giant yawn... Are men chopped liver? SHould they not be made to feel special? everyone wants to feel special...

Oct 31 09 - 5:52pm
DM

And women wonder why they are single, why guys use & throw them away, why they don't stick around. THIS IS WHY! Apparently we are both impressed with each other thus the exchange of number. You want more? I'm already asking u out, will take you out, feed you and pay for it without asking you to pay. Ya'll are your own worst enemy. Your idol Oprah said "get with the program", listen to her, and get with modern world. Old school ways don't work! Nothing really works when you will be unnecessarily difficult! A kinky girl I know called me today; I didn

Oct 31 09 - 6:15pm
SD

Well put, DM. It's unbelievable that Emily really thinks all guys should be fawning over her and jump at her beck and call (no pun intended). If she likes a guy, she should go out with him, not judge him by his choice of communication. If a phone call a gallant man makes, God help our definition of courage. And God help our senseless, egotistical women, who really do deserve to be single if they lack the maturity to engage with guys as adults instead of like petulant teenage schoolgirls.

It's also weird that a woman would whine that a txt shows a guy to not be "so into her." Well, m'lady, you're not that into him either, so why so whiny? You don't know each other, so try to impress him. Here's your chance.

(As an aside, it isn't easy to see why Emily has fallen into a pattern of "horrible dates." Her methods for choosing suitors seem quite questionable at best.)

Nov 01 09 - 6:56pm
kb

I am dating, but I am also working, being a mom, and live at my mom's house for a few months. I really, really prefer if someone texts me before they call. It is considerate and saves the embarrassment of having to leave the room to talk or get off the phone quickly, which is also rude. My life demands a text before a call and if it is a good time to talk, I usually text back something like, "call me if you can so we can chat!"

Nov 03 09 - 4:40pm
JF

The only time texting is acceptable before a first date is to say, "are you free to talk" or something along those line. Texting is so lame & impersonal. I've NOT dated a guy because he'd always text instead of call.

Nov 15 09 - 11:08pm
SY

lol I believe that you should text each other for the first 2 dates. You may go to the movies on the first date and talk a little about each other. On the second date you go out to eat and really get to know each other some more and have a good laugh. For the third date I strongly feel that you should call her and ask her out. You should be very comfortable talking to her by the third date. She will also appreciate you for taking it slow and not rushing into it by calling her. I messed up big time by texting a girl one day and then tried to call her at night for a third date. It may have showed her that I was really interested in her after the second date, but she was annoyed by it. A lot of girls are just too busy during the day and dont like getting texts all the time. You also dont need to text her asking for permission to call. I'm sure a lot of girls would think that is silly. So definitely call her out on the third date. This will show her that you truly like her and want to start a friendship/relationship. She will be more comfortable to answer the phone and talk with you.

Nov 26 09 - 8:34pm
bm

a first date is the first step towards possibly something more. It means you like the person enough to see if there is a spark. It's just a nice gesture if the person calls. What is important is getting to know one another to see if you're compatible. I can tell you after being happily married for 15 years it's not the little things that keeps you married. It's the big issues that are important. To the little things, be blind and deaf. Let things roll off your back. Relearn what is important.

Nov 26 09 - 8:39pm
bm

about being blind and deaf. It was something my grandmother told me, and my mother. 3 generations of happily married women. No divorces. It's not YOU giving up anything by being blind and deaf. It's BOTH of you giving up and meeting in the middle and learning that fighting over small things is what kills a relationship. For example..this conversation. Who cares how you get asked. Go on your date and see if you like them. Actions speak louder than words. Where will you be if you accept??? ON A DATE. Face to face. Talking.

Sep 19 11 - 2:07pm
AE

IF YOU DONT WANT TO GO OUT WITH SOMEONE AND THEY CALL YOU ... BE GROWN-UP ENOUGH TOP SAY NO

Feb 20 12 - 3:16pm
JJC

This is the longest debate for such a trivial matter. I would do what she prefers and/or what is convenient for me. For instance, if she likes texting more than calling, I would text. If she likes talking on the phone, then depending on how much, I would call. No big deal. Initially though, I would call if I said I would call. If I said I would text, then I would text. Just be smart about word choices when telling her you will do something.

Mar 01 12 - 8:45pm
quinn

text when you want something call when you need something

Jul 18 12 - 2:43am
Roman

I just did a "split test" regarding this issue (Ive only did the first part). Over 1 week, I collected 10 numbers from women I met at various places. I text all of them to set up a date. I procured first dates with 5/10. However, it took at least 10-14 days (or longer) before the first date took place. I'm in the process of calling to set up a first date with a new batch of numbers. When I finish, Ill post my results. I think this split testing is the only way to solve the debate, albeit it trivial or not.