I met a man through an online personal posting. We have gone out three times, all very casual so far. I like him and he seems to like me but I am shy and it takes me time. What bothers me is that he doesn't call. He uses email to ask me out. I know the call has a small long distance fee, but I gave him my work number and that is local and he still doesn't call. Yet he wants to go out on a fourth date. I want him to know it bothers me that he doesn't call, but I don't want to make him defensive or feel pressured by telling him so. What should I do? Give up on him maybe?
Hmmm. . . the only options you see are a nice little, "hey, give me a call at work tomorrow, ok?" or giving up on him?? This guy you actually like? You want to ditch him because you think he'll feel pressured if you ask him to call you???
Ok, please excuse all those question marks. I was just a little startled. I forget sometimes that far too many women really do think that to ask for something - something completely acceptable and expected is somehow a sign of impoliteness. Repeat three times: "When I date someone it is ok to expect him to call me."
Now, I am not completely insensitive to your plight here. If you've lived a lifetime of trying not to be demanding, a couple of extra question marks from an online advice columnist isn't going to snap you out of it. So here are two techniques you need to learn.
First of all get just a tad out of your own head and see things from his perspective. Many people are too busy at work to field personal calls, he might just think he's being polite. Or he might be shy he knows you have a rapport on e mail after all, talking on the phone might just be a hesitating, complicated disaster. So give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment. He's working up to calling you, just hasn't done it yet.
That brings us to technique #2. Learn to be creative. So you can't bring yourself to say, "Hey buster, call me like a normal paramour already, ok?" Fine. In fact if you said it like that, it's true you might make him feel defensive just as you worried. But what about an e mail that says, "oh, I'm totally bored at work right now the boss is out and I have nothing to do, give me a call. Here's my number again." Or a cute, smiley, this is a little joke between us that I know you're nervous to call me "um, so do you think you're ever going to call me?" at the end of a date. If you can get him to call you once or twice, he's going to be more comfortable with that.
More than anything, he will hear this request as a Big Deal only if you turn it into a Big Deal thing you have to psyche yourself up to tell him. If you can learn to just sneak such things lightly into conversation, you'll find you're able to ask your beaux for a lot more. And you'll realize that asking for the things you deserve isn't such a trauma after all.
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