I saw this on Yahoo tonight. It's one of the first dating stories they have run that I can actually agree with and feel was written smartly.
I know I have made many a faux paux in this area. I tend to be someone who returns calls within a very reasonable amount of time regardless of whether or not that person got back to me quickly. I have always felt that is is just rude to leave someone hanging and so I never thought about the fact that the other person took their sweet old time or not. I never thought about how my quickness would be received because I knew what my intent was and that I was not and am not desperate. But over the past few months of reading I realize how I was perceived exactly how I would not want to be simply out of the desire to just be considerate...you know thinking that I was living by the golden rule of "do unto others".
My niceness has been perceived as a weakness, or desperation. So I do realize now that I need to analyze the other person's moves a bit like a chess game and choose my move based upon the person I am playing.
Do I really want to call back some guy who took five days to decide to call me? Or even, do I really want to call someone that it took me five days to decide to call?
So well in the meantime, I am not actively dating. I am spending my time learning about activities that I like and people that I enjoy spending those times with. I figure that when the time does come that I do meet someone I would even care to date, I will be so busy with my activities and friends that I won't have time to think about caring if some guys does call me back or not. :-)
So here's the yahoo story:
Here are five phone rules that everyone should following when dating:
1: Be Prompt When They're Prompt. If you give out your phone number and a date calls you within 24 hours, then you should call this date back within 24 hours. There should be none of this "waiting four or five days to call" business.
When your date has called you within 24 hours, that's called momentum.
When your date has called you within 24 hours, that's called momentum. It's called momentum for a reason, and so many people in dating lose that momentum very quickly by not promptly returning phone calls. Even if you're busy, call your date back promptly to let your date know that you're busy and tell your date you will connect with him/her in a few days when your schedule settles down; Waiting four or five days to return a phone message to me is simply rude. You would never do this in your business life, yet that is what so many people do in their dating life.
2: If They Waited, You May Also Wait. You've given your phone number to a date, and that date waits four or five days to call you. As far as I'm concerned, when that happens you are entitled to wait four or five days to return that person's call. That person did not make you a priority, and he/she played games. Although the person decided to call you, what he/she was likely actually doing during those four or five days was debating whether he/she wanted to call you. This shows lack of interest. I know that when I get a woman's phone number and wait four or five days to call her, that I'm really not that interested in her and I really don't care whether or not she calls me back.
3: It's OK to Call Right Back. If a date calls you promptly after you've given him/her your phone number, then you should call this date back within 24 hours -- but it is even perfectly fine to call him/her back the same night your date called you. It doesn't look desperate. It looks like you actually have manners, that you're someone who pays attention to detail, and that you're someone who respects other people's time. Think about this for a second. When a date calls you, he/she is taking time out of their day to talk to you. So it's not only "OK," but really simple courtesy, to acknowledge this with a promptly returned phone call. This is something we do in business every day without ever thinking twice about it, but we don't do this in our dating life because we conduct it with emotionally based decisions.
4: You Can't Manipulate Your Date Into Liking You. So many people think there needs to be some "strategy" in making the decision when to return phone calls. They'll think things like, "Oh, let me think when I should call my date back. Should I wait four or five days so I'll seem busy and not too available? If I call back today will I seem desperate? It doesn't work that way! This is simply a matter of courtesy and being a mature adult. If a client calls me and leaves me a message about wanting me to coach him/her, I will call the client back as quickly as possible not because I'm desperate for business but because I respect the fact that the client took the time to contact me. Playing games and trying to make your date think certain things about you (like that you're busy or not desperate) by waiting to return a phone call will not make your date more interested in you than he/she would otherwise be. All you will accomplish by doing this is make your date think you're rude and uninterested.
5: Being Busy Is No Excuse. So many of us are busy being busy. As busy people, we get how busy everyone's life can be. Returning a phone call and leaving a voicemail message, though, takes only about 15 to 30 seconds. Returning a call to let a date know that you're busy and will call him/her in a few days takes barely a minute. It's better to return a call promptly and let your date know you're busy and will call him/her in a few days after things settle down (with work, kids, or whatever it might be), then to put the phone call off and to think about it. The longer you wait to call your date back, the less likely your date will still have the same interest in you that your date had in the first place.
These are all tips that you should follow in navigating the phone calls you receive from someone you're newly dating. These tips are equally applicable to men and women. So remember to follow these rules, and when your date calls you -- call your date back!