A Numbers Game

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You met him at a basement party. You stole his phone and punched your digits in before he could say no. “So sly,” thought you!  “Who is this bitch,” thought he. Aggressive is good. Cross the line between cute and crazy, however, and I can guarantee that your phone’s custom ringtone will be grossly underplayed…such a tragedy. There’s a right and a wrong way to slip a guy your number. 

Traditionally, before cell phones served as miniature game consoles, Twitter-machines and GPS’s, a landline was the best way to reach someone. Getting a number was like winning the crane game – not everybody succeeded, and it took a certain skill and finesse to extract the prize. But social media has made it so that getting in touch with someone is no longer a privilege; it’s almost hard to avoid. Here’s a tip: Jessica Rabbit was definitely onto something with those mysterious “come and get me” vibes. By acting like getting your number is “kind of a big deal,” he can’t help but to think it is one.  If you’ve had an interesting interaction with a guy, and you think it might be headed somewhere, let him know that your number isn’t just another trophy to put in a jar with everybody else’s.  “Look,” you can tell him, “I’d love to give you my number.  But I only give my number to guys who use it.” This, of course, is nothing more than a tease.  But if he’s interested, which – don’t kid yourself – he is, he’ll realize that you’re not here to play. Treat yourself as though you’re an accomplishment, a gem that shines out from all the rest, and he’ll start to see it your way. Just like working hard to earn an A makes it so much more worthwhile than coasting through a class, he’ll be a lot more jazzed to have merited the honor of receiving your number.

Another protip – always get his number too. If you’ve read my article on making the first move, you’ll know I fully endorse being able to pursue a man.  If this guy is worth your time and efforts, don't let him slip away just yet.  If you get his number, and don’t hear from him right away, give him a reminder of your awesomeness with a brief, concise, sexy good night text—something to reflect on in the morning. “Hey, sorry if I upstaged you with my pool skills… maybe next time you can show me a thing or two.”  A simple reference to your meeting, playful and coy, earns you a place in his mind as a girl worth getting to know better.  When planning your goodnight text, there are a few things to avoid at all costs: silly habits like vowel repetition, useless acronyms, overly enthusiastic smilie faces, and unnecessary flattery, or overt sexual advances.  Waking up to, “heyyyyy ur adorable. Last nite was 2 great, n I really wanna c u again, maybe naked next time ;)))))” will rarely earn you another date with your man. Unless you’re in high school.  In which case, kindly navigate back to collegeboard.com and study hard for those SAT’s, they’re a bitch.

At the end of the day, sometimes no amount of clever wordplay, sophisticated seduction and textual titillation can bring him to pick up his phone and call. And you know what, that really sucks.  But before calling all of your best friends crying, take a minute to consider a few possible options. Maybe he’s been a little busier than normal.  Maybe he thinks he’s playing hard to get – how cute. Perhaps he’s got a girl already, and he’s morally conflicted; in this case, you’re dodging a bullet by not hearing from him again. Or maybe you just felt more of a spark than he did, and that’s more than okay. 

The odds are in your favor, girl…Don’t waste your time on the ones who don’t call, focus your efforts on the guys who have, the guys who do, and all of the lucky men who will. This might be easier said than done, but it’s a case of mind-over-matter.  

My trick is to take his number, write it on a piece of paper, delete the contact from my phone, and put this slip of paper in a drawer or box somewhere. If I really feel like he’s worth contacting, I’ve gotta go through the process of finding it first. Most of the time I realize I’ve got a better things to do, and by that time, I’m on to the next one. Don’t waste time over what could’ve been, just focus on what is.

Magazine Journalism > Syracuse University

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