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Who should have to call?

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 14, 2011 08:03 AM

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Happy Valentine's Day.

My presents to you are this story about our second year and the "Mortified" contest entries, which are very funny.

I wish I could have mentioned more regulars in the Globe story. I could have had an entire section about my favorite haiku.


Q: Hello Meredith,

I'm a 33-year-old woman who got out of a five-year relationship a few years ago. The last year or so I've been trying to figure out the dating scene. During this time I've noticed a pattern with guys -- mostly younger guys -- who, when we meet and express genuine interest in each another, ask to exchange numbers (or they simply give me their number at the moment when I thought they would ask for my number). In most cases these guys want ME to call THEM.

I'll be honest with you, when this happens I automatically become disinterested. Maybe I'm old fashioned but whatever happened to the days when a guy would ask for your number and would (or in some cases wouldn't!) call you? I'm of the mindset that if a guy is really interested in me they'll call, but since I've noticed this pattern I wonder if I should change my attitude. Are these guys really waiting for me to contact them? Are the dating dynamics between men and women really changing?

Would appreciate your insight.

– To call or not to call?, Boston


A: I can't make sweeping statements about what young men do or do not do, but I will say that communication has changed for sure, and I'm impressed that these guys are mentioning phone calls at all. I'm surprised they're not just texting you.

I don't know why they're handing you their numbers, TCONTC. Maybe they're afraid of rejection. Maybe they know you're older and want you to take the lead. Maybe they believe that by giving you their digits, they're allowing you to do what makes you feel comfortable. It's a mystery.

But I do know this: I've waited for a call or two in the past, and I'd much rather have a number to dial. I believe in old-fashioned stuff when it comes to chivalry and respect, but if these guys are being nice and treating you well and simply want you to call them first, I'm OK with that.

Now, if these guys don't respond after you've left a message, that's another story. It doesn't matter who makes the first move as long as everyone gets treated with respect.

And remember, as soon as you call them, you'll be waiting for that precious call back. Before you know it, it'll be just like the old days.

Readers? Does the man have to call first? Is this a trend? Why is it taking the wind out of the LW's sails? Do they really want her to call? Young men out there: Do you give numbers or ask for them? Spread the love.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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