Updated (January 7, 2015) – even though this article is less relevant today than back when it was written in 2007, since guys for the most part no longer call but text the girls they meet, I still want to encourage you very much to call, and not text, the first you are trying to contact the girl you met after getting her number, whether you met her online or in a “real world”. This will make you stand out in all the rights ways to the girls who appreciate this and who are still there, and who want more than a probing “How is it going?” text from the guy they just met.
The issue of how soon you should be calling a girl after getting her phone number has been turned into a science by various dating gurus, many of whom make it sound much more complicated than it really is. Some suggest that you should call the girl you met as soon as possible, while the majority of sources of dating advice, which strongly advocate the notion of challenge, suggest that a guy should wait at least five days before calling a girl, to make her wonder and anticipate his call, and to make sure that he doesn’t come across as needy and/or desperate.
So, how soon should you call a girl after you met her for the first time and got her phone number?
Here are a few different situations that affect how soon you should be making that call:
1. You had a very short interaction with a woman. Perhaps you met at an elevator or in line at a coffee shop, exchanged a few words and a few jokes, and you got her number right before both of you had to rush back to your own business. In this case, calling a girl 2-3 days later would be perfectly appropriate. Calling her too soon will create the risk of coming across as needy or desperate. Wait for 5 days or longer, and she might literally forget who you were or might start resenting you for playing games and pretend that she doesn’t remember who you are. And, make no mistake about it – most women have heard about the “rules” and will know if you are playing the waiting game.
2. You met a girl at a bar, lounge, or a restaurant, you had a great conversation, and it is obvious that you like each other. In this case, you should not wait or make her wait for more than two days. If she liked you as much as you think she did, she will be anxious to hear from you, but if you wait too long to call, that positive anticipation of hearing from you on her part will turn into doubt or, again, resentment towards you for playing games.
3. You met a girl online, had an interesting e-mail exchange, and you asked her for a phone number. In this case, you can simply tell her when you will call her (over the weekend, or tomorrow evening, etc…) and stick to your word. It will make an early good impression on that woman, if you show that you are responsible guy, and you keep your word by doing as you say you will.
4. You met a girl at a bar or club, you had a great chemistry and connection and you spend many hours or even the whole night together. Whether or not you went “all the way”, you should call her the next day, or if you hung out till the morning, you should call her later that day as a matter of courtesy, if you are interested in seeing her again.
5. You have been introduced to a girl by a mutual friend at a house party or in a similar setting. You talked for a while, enjoyed each other’s company and you got her phone number at the end of the evening. Again, waiting for 2-3 days before you call her will be appropriate, but not longer than that.
As you noticed above, I do not really recommend waiting for longer than 2-3 days before you call a girl, as waiting longer is likely to make more harm than good to those initial stages of communication and attraction. This is because women are very well familiar with the waiting games. They read more dating advice books and magazines than guys, so they will very likely figure out that you are trying to follow some kind of strategy, and will start resenting you for it, even before they meet you.
The only time when I suggest that you wait longer than three days is if the woman you met is actually in some kind of relationship right now, but is clearly unhappy about her situation and is looking for the way out. She might need more space and time to sort things out before she can focus her attention on you, so taking things slower and not confusing her even more with your pressure in that case might be a good idea.