Dating Advice #10 - Telephone Blues


If the answering machine doesn't pick up, it's time to get the message: Trying to build a relationship on the phone may be too much of a barrier.

Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I am trying to get to know a young woman whom I am interested in dating. I find her physically attractive and I see many positive qualities in her. She has also indicated an interest in me. However, I don't know what to make of the fact that she is not very good at returning my phone messages. At least one other person I know has encountered the same problem with her.

This woman does return some of my calls and we are able to converse on the phone. We've also had opportunities to talk together face-to-face. However, when she fails to return my phone messages it really bothers me. I would like to develop our friendship and I see potential for that, but when she doesn't respond to my calls all sorts of scenarios cross my mind. Is she simply a disorganized person? Is she forgetful? Is she giving me some sort of test? Am I rushing things? Should I just call her again? Since I feel so bad when I don't hear from her, should I even bother to try to reach her?

Am I reading too much into this? Can you shed some light on what is going on here? Thank you!

Jack in the Midwest

Dear Jack:

There's an old Yiddish expression, "Sometimes a broom is just a broom." You can spend a lot of time analyzing why this woman hasn't phoned -- but in the end you could be completely off the mark. Maybe her answering machine is just broken! So you're better off just asking her about the problem.

There's no need to come on so strong that you scare her away. Tell her that you would like to get to know her better and look forward to the times the two of you can talk on the phone. When she doesn't return some of your calls, you wonder if she ever got the message, is too busy to get back to you, or just doesn't want to return the call.

Also, you might want to alter your strategy: Try getting to know her better by actually dating her, and using phone calls as a supplement (rather than a substitute) for face-to-face contact. Spending time in each other's presence is always the optimal way to get to know someone.

Rosie & Sherry

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