A number of male readers recently reported that when they meet a woman on an online dating site, exchange a few messages and ask for a phone number, she would often say that she doesn’t want to talk on the phone for whatever reason, and that she would much rather meet in person. They want to know my opinion as to whether asking for a phone number is a good idea, and how to handle a situation where the girl they are talking to online does not want to share her phone number.
I have looked into this issue by talking to a number of guys and a number of women who active meet and date online. There seem to be three main reasons why many women don’t want to talk on the phone with the guy they met online and they would rather meet in person right away. First, some of these women are concerned about their safety and don’t want to share their phone number with someone who may be able to call them over and over or be a stalker. Secondly, some girls want to simulate meeting a guy “naturally” when they meet online, so they want to skip talking on the phone and meet in person instead. Lastly, many women don’t trust the impression they get about a guy based on a phone conversation, whether it’s good or bad, and they believe that a meeting face to face is a far more reliable way to find out if you like each other.
I believe that talking on the phone before meeting in person is actually a very good idea. First, one obvious advantage of talking on the phone with someone you met online before meeting in person outweighs the above mentioned concerns. Having a phone conversation before meeting in person can be either a great ice breaker or an effective time saver. If you have a good phone conversation, you will look forward to meeting each other in person. It will not be a guarantee that you will be attracted to each other or otherwise interested in each other when you finally meet face to face, but at least it will be a good start, and it will take a lot of the awkwardness out of your first date.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a good conversation on the phone, chances are pretty high that you won’t get along in person either, so there is really no reason for you to meet in person, and that one short phone conversation will save you lots of time and aggravation of going out on a boring or otherwise bad date.
I found one compelling proof that talking on the phone before meeting in person can actually make your meeting more interesting and exciting. A few people reported that they started talking to someone online while being away from their hometown for an extended period of time. Not wanting to have the conversation go stale by e-mailing back and forth, they decided to talk on the phone, and were forced by the circumstances to talk on the phone several times before they were able to meet in person, once of them return to his place of residence. That extended phone communication make their first date much more interesting, regardless of how well it went and whether they ended up dating.
In the end, I simply can’t see how having a phone conversation before meeting in person can hurt that potential date.