The Call

I make a lot of phone calls. I’ve called people to sell higher, buy lower and haggle interest rates. At times, I’ve made more “cold calls” in one day than a teenage girl would text.
Nothing really compares to the call to ask a girl out on a date. If you’re a girl out there whom I’ve called for that purpose, know that I deliberated on it for at least 3 days, I picked up the phone about 19 times, I hung up the first time before the cell towers even had a chance to connect us, and I probably asked advice through it all from two or three friends.

I hate that call. And yet they’re saying I need to make it.

By “they” I mean the focus group of single professionals I started to explore the best ways to communicate on the dating scene.

With the growing popularity of texting I had silently hoped that I would be left off the hook with making phone calls, but no, those things are still in demand if you want to be set apart, different, or unique from the billions of messages zapping into phones every minute.

While the group was pro-phone call, they also had some input on what to say during the call. I mean you can’t just call and be silent on your end, hoping the other person will figure out what you want and say, “Sure I’ll go out with you”.

Apparently, the most popular approach to ask someone on a date is to say, “Would you like to go on a date with me?” I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising given that if I want to invite someone to go for a bike ride with me I normally say, “Let’s go on a bike ride.” I don’t say we’re going jogging and then show up, “Surprise, surprise! We’re going biking! Try and keep up.”

Coming in second place was, “Can I take you out to falafel?” I don’t mean the falafel part. I mean saying, “taking out”. Where you go doesn’t really matter, although falafel doesn’t seem to be a bad idea if you want to give it a shot.

According to some participants, that approach gives the girl a pretty certain idea that this is a date and not a business meeting or platonic foodie outing.

Coming in last place was, “let’s hang out sometime”. Again keep in mind that this is someone you have a minimum of romantic interest in. You can say “hang out” to your guy friends or maybe your dad. “Pops, let’s go hang out at AutoZone this afternoon.” It’s a poor option, however, for the girl you really want to ask out.

Wait, that’s not it. There’s actually an honorary mention, “let’s chill sometime”. This is something you can say to someone you don’t really want to go out with. Maybe you just wanted to ask her out as a courtesy but were silently hoping she’d say no; then that’s OK, because, according to my focus group she probably will say no to that. In other words, if you’re hoping to go on a date, advise against opening with, “Let’s chill….”

Now, it looks like the call isn’t so bad after all. All you need to do is articulate a single string of words into the receiver, “Would you like to…”

Then, wait for a response.