Should women call men?

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Should women call men?

I can’t believe I’m writing an article on this topic and worse, I’m appalled by what I’m about to tell you. Women should let men phone first in early stages of dating. I’m in favor of modern gender roles and relationships but, as a dating coach, I’ve discovered that traditional “courting” norms still apply. They’re so ingrained in our subconscious; if a woman calls a man he’s apt to think she’s overeager, too available, and perhaps a bit desperate. In truth, his interest cools because there’s not the anticipation and anxiety that comes from harboring uncertainty about whether she’s really interested.

Any woman who has waited for a man to call knows her desire grows as the hours pass. And there’s research to back it up. Bruce Bower wrote about it in his article “The Dating Go Round” for Science News published this past Valentine’s Day. Thirty years ago, Dorothy Tennov interviewed thousands of people and found that passion grows from a mix of “hope and uncertainty” about how interested the object of affection really is. A speed dating study published in September 2008 by Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick confirms her research: worry about whether the other person is interested heightens the motivation to pursue the relationship.

We know we should not dial the phone, but this is one of the most nerve-wracking times in dating. The vulnerability of waiting and wondering becomes overwhelming. So how do you stay cool and calm? When you notice yourself going down a fear spiral, stop yourself, trust that if you’re meant to date him, he will call, and take action. Action is an antidote to fear. Get busy seeing friends, exercising, and going on more dates. There’s nothing like a date with someone else to shift the power dynamic. You’ll feel more desirable from the abundance of options and there’s the opportunity to get a little distance and perspective. 

What if he really is a shy guy who thinks you’re out of his league and needs a bit more encouragement to pursue you? Chances are as slim as a meteor landing on your home. But, if you seriously think he’s always pursued and never the pursuer, you may e-mail him if you don’t hear from him in a week. Say, “I was just thinking about you. How are you”? You’ll get your answer.

One last thing, no calling also means no texting, e-mailing, or Facebooking to “innocently” say thanks for a great date. It’s obvious you’re fishing for an invitation for a second date, which is like driving the final nail into your own coffin.

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