Why would you talk to someone over the phone when you’ve already messaged a lot on a dating site or app?
Maybe you know the answer, or maybe you don’t, but either way, this article will give you some great reasons.
Before the internet took over the world, having phone calls was pretty normal. Now, emails and messages are more common than any other form of communication, and we’ve gotten used to using them above all else.
Somehow, talking to a stranger online and arranging a meet-up with them has become more normal than having a phone call with a potential match. Crazy, right?
So, here’s how to approach someone when you—or they—want a phone call before the date:
Why Pre-date Phone Calls Are 100% Worth It
Some people really don’t like phone calls, and many of us would rather write a message than pick up the phone. That was normal even back then when phone calls were the most powerful way of communicating. However, when the person you’re communicating with is a potential romantic partner, it’s good to speak to them. Here’s how and why:
1. Voice is important and can create attraction.
“I just wanted to call to hear your voice…” Remember that phrase?
Voice creates attraction, and when you haven’t even heard the person’s voice, you don’t really know them that well.
Maybe your writing voice is entirely different from your spoken one. The way you sound to a person when they read your messages is not how you really sound. They want to hear your voice and how you use it to communicate.
2. Safety comes first.
You’re not a sexual predator or a scammer, you’re sure of it… But how can the other person be sure of anything about you when all of it could be an elaborate plan to do them harm?
There are also a lot of fake profiles out there these days, so having a phone call—or, even better, a video call—would confirm that both of you exist and are who you say you are.
Even if your potential partner feels safe and confident about dating you, talking on the phone first would reassure them and increase that sense of comfort and safety. Having a call is an important safety tip for online dating.
3. Communication is not the same through messages.
People communicate differently when they’re typing a message versus when they’re talking. When speaking, a person must think on their toes; whereas, a person can spend a great deal of time developing the perfect written response.
The way you write and the way you talk just aren’t the same. Plus, it’s much easier to fake the way you write or make it seem better by taking your time and rereading what you wrote before hitting send.
All of this means that, without chatting over the phone, you are maintaining a certain distance, and a call could bring you closer together and increase intimacy, but more on that later.
4. Speeds up the process when dating is tiring.
Dating can be exhausting, and after several tries, people sometimes just want to know whether you’re interested or not. A short phone call before meeting can help you figure out if there is a connection between you.
You might decide that, having spoken for a while, you aren’t as well suited as it may have seemed when exchanging messages. It’s amazing how quickly you can figure these things out when you can hear someone’s voice and perhaps even see their face. And a quick chat can be the equivalent of tens of messages back and forth.
5. Increases comfort and intimacy.
Hearing someone speak is very different than imagining a voice based on written words. As already mentioned, your voice is very important, and a person can learn a lot about you from a phone call.
They’ll know how you react instinctively, not just when you have enough time to think things through. They’ll get a better idea of your personality and attitude, as well as your manners and behavior.
Most importantly, talking over the phone before the date increases comfort and brings you closer to each other, both metaphorically and literally. If you then decide to go on a date, that date can almost feel like a second date because you’ll have already spoken to one another.
6. It determines whether a person is really interested in dating.
Well, of course you’re not going to give your phone number to someone you don’t want to speak to; in doing so, you are showing the person that you are interested in something more.
This has been explained in one of the previous points, but it should be mentioned again. Dedicating your time to a short phone call just to prove that you’re serious about meeting in person can mean a lot to a person, so why not?
7. It lets you get to know each other better.
You don’t have to talk for hours to learn more about each other through a phone call. Your voice, reactions, and the way you handle improvisation will show the way you connect or don’t.
All in all, you will learn a lot through a simple short phone call. You can talk about things that you normally wouldn’t talk about through messages. It’s much easier to open up a bit over the phone than when you have to pour your soul into words on the screen.
8. Some people have had very bad experiences.
You have to understand people who request a phone call, or even a video call, before meeting in person. After all, if you don’t live close to each other, there’s not much that you can do other than that, at least not quickly.
However, even people from your area may want to make sure that you are who you say you are and learn more about you before seeing you. Often, this is because they have had bad experiences in the past, which might have been easily prevented if they had requested a phone call before the date. It saves time and makes them feel safer.
9. You can use alternatives.
So, you don’t feel comfortable talking over the phone. That’s okay. But could you leave a voice message or arrange a virtual video date? If a phone call is not an option, suggest a compromise and give something comforting to the person that wanted to hear or even see you.
You don’t have to do this if you don’t like them, but if you’re into them too, it’s a great way to make sure that you’re both you. At the same time, it’s a test to figure out whether you click outside of messaging.
18 Ways To Leave A Good First Impression During A Pre-Date Phone Call
Now to the main question: How can you have a great phone call before your first date? Well, start by making a great first impression by doing this:
1. Ask for it.
Start by simply asking your potential match whether they would like to jump on a call with you. If they hesitate, explain that you would just like to hear their voice and establish a better connection in the hope of your conversations leading to something. Make sure to say that you’ll schedule the phone call so that the timing works for both of you.
2. Suggest alternatives.
If your potential match says that they’re not a big fan of phone calls, suggest alternatives. As already mentioned, you could exchange voice messages or have a virtual video date. A person may reject you because you’re asking for this too soon, so make sure that you only ask for a phone call when you’re interested in dating in person.
3. Be casual about it.
Don’t make a big deal out of it. Your potential match shouldn’t feel pressured to have a call if they don’t want to. Even if they’re interested, the whole thing should sound casual. For that to happen, you need to consider the timing and how you’ll phrase your answers and questions.
If they’ve declined, ask them whether they did so because they had bad experiences before. Reassure them that it’s not going to happen again by explaining your reason for wanting a phone call before the date.
4. Explain your reasons for wanting it.
Why do you want to have a phone call? Your answer might be in the previous part of this article, but why do you really want it? You should ask for this only if you are serious about meeting and dating in person, not because you want someone to see your private parts or to quickly estimate whether the person’s right for you.
These are most commonly the reasons why someone will reject your request, so don’t sound like a creep and elaborate on your request.
5. Have a phone-call date a few minutes too late.
Don’t stare at your phone until it’s exactly the time when you agreed to talk. Do whatever it is that you were planning to do that day and relax. It’s even a good idea to have the call a few minutes later than you agreed upon so as not to appear desperate and needy.
In addition, it will help you sound more casual if you’re really not waiting by the phone and staring at the clock until it’s the right minute.
6. Talk about your common interests.
If you don’t already know what your common interests are, then you haven’t messaged long enough to even have the phone call. Remember, you shouldn’t ask for a call right away or very soon upon connecting.
Message first, and when it’s time to have the phone call, mention your common interests and ask to learn more about them. Let the other person talk about what they are passionate about, and be a good listener. Don’t pretend that you’re just as passionate about it if you’re not, but show interest even if you might not have considered it before.
7. Ask them about something you read on their profile.
Something from their profile probably caught your eye and made you want to connect with them in the first place. So, mention it now during the call if you haven’t messaged them about it previously.
Even if you already talked about it, this is when you can ask them to go into more detail and share more information about yourself as well. For instance, if their profile says that they’re a big fan of Tim Burton, ask them whether they prefer Corpse Bride or Big Eyes and why are they so different.
8. Ask them if they have been traveling lately.
Have you visited some new places lately? Asking about traveling and experiencing new things could spark a conversation during a phone call. What’s more, it hints that you’d like to travel with them eventually too.
If they haven’t traveled anywhere lately, ask what has been going on in their area. Maybe there was a fun exhibition, a festival, or a concert they’ve been to. You might even schedule a date during this conversation!
9. Stay cool.
Don’t sound too eager to hook up. This is just a phone call; you haven’t even been on a proper date yet. So, stay cool and don’t sound needy. Let the conversation develop naturally. The things you read about so far are only suggestions and guidelines, you don’t have to blindly stick to them if you’re sensing that the conversation can’t flow that way.
10. Explain that you might like to go on a real date.
You wouldn’t bother to call them if you weren’t interested in going on a real date. So, casually mention that and see if you’ll get an opportunity to schedule the date right away. Even if you don’t schedule it immediately, let them know that you’re calling because you’re interested, not to spook them.
11. Ask about their favorite food, and/or restaurants.
Likes and dislikes are always a good conversation starter, and this one might lead to a date too. Ask about their favorite food, and/or restaurant. Say that you’d like to try it sometimes and mention a restaurant you’ve been to lately. This conversation can be just two people talking about food, but it can also be an intro to scheduling your first date.
12. Talk with a friendly tone but stay natural and add details.
Don’t overthink it—it might make you sound weird. Maintain a casual, friendly tone and stay natural as if you are talking to one of your friends. Add details to the things you say and ask.
For instance, instead of asking what kind of music a person likes, ask whether they’ve ever heard about steampunk and say that you’ve heard a great song while you were playing an RPG game yesterday with your buddy, Tom. Recommend it to them and ask for a recommendation too!
13. Keep the conversation fun, playful, and short.
The conversation should last 15 minutes tops! So, the conversation topics you’ve just read about are only guidelines, you don’t need to use them all during this call. The most important thing is that you keep the conversation fun, playful, and short. Think of it as calling someone to cheer them up with a few jokes before you head to work and you have to wrap it up fast.
14. Make sure that the phone call doesn’t sound like an interview.
It’s a good idea to ask questions, but don’t ask too many of them. You don’t want to make the other person feel like they’re in an interview. They will enjoy being asked to talk about themselves, sure, but they also want to learn more about you, so don’t make them do all the talking.
Three questions in a row is too many, so be mindful of when and how many questions you ask during the call. Don’t force a conversation. If it’s not working, say that you’re busy and that you can chat again another time.
15. Do other stuff while you’re talking.
A great way to make sure that you sound natural and casual is to do other things while you’re on a call. Just keep on doing whatever it is that you were doing before the call started, and it will prove that you’re busy. It will also help you stay cool instead of turning it into an interview.
16. End the conversation because you’re currently too busy.
Knowing when to end the conversation is a very important part of all this. Don’t keep talking, even if the person seems interested in talking for hours. Remind yourself that this is just the first phone call, and you can have as many of them as you like later on.
This one should be short, so excuse yourself and end it because you have plans that you need to tend to.
Ending the conversation because you’re too busy right now shows that you’ve made time to talk to them, not just waited for them to be available.
17. Decide whether you want to go on a date.
After you’ve had the call, consider whether you really want to date this person. Did the call go well, or was it an awkward disaster? Don’t judge them purely based on the call, and remember other things you’ve talked about so far. Do they seem like the kind of person that you’re looking for? It’s time to let them know.
18. Send a message.
After the call, you should send a message to tell them whether you’re interested in going on a date. Of course, you shouldn’t put it that way. If you enjoyed the conversation, mention that and then ask for a date. If it didn’t go well, send a message to say that you don’t feel such a strong connection and that you think it would be best if you stay connected only online.
How long should the phone call last?
This is not a phone call that should last for hours and turn into a soul-sucking experience or phone sex—it’s a 15-minute conversation. After the initial phone call, you’ll still have each other’s numbers and the ability to talk again if it went well. It should definitely last 15 minutes or less.
How can you politely decline the pre-date call?
Do you understand the person’s reasons for wanting the call? Are you that into them too? Could you use the alternatives mentioned previously? Do you have 15 minutes to spare? Are you hoping for a surprising date instead? How quickly did they ask you for the call? Are you afraid that you’ll get judged too soon?
Answer these questions to yourself and then rephrase them into a message for your date. You could say something like, “I understand that a phone call would bring us closer together, but I’m not sure it’s what I want right now… So, let’s keep our conversations here for now, take it slowly, and we’ll see how it goes…”
You may also like:
- How To Date Online Successfully: 30 No Bullsh*t Tips!
- Here’s How Long To Wait To Meet An Online Date In Person