Phone Etiquette

by JeremySpoke under Online Dating,Single Life

There are rules to follow when talking on the phone, and none of them apply to talking on the phone with someone you’ve met online. Do not use anything you’ve ever learned about how to converse when talking to somebody in this situation. This isn’t a conversation. It’s closer to some sort of horrible mix of job interview/wrong-number-dial-apology/call to senile grandparent. You have to present yourself in the best way possible, while simultaneously making sure that you’re loud and clear and slow and understandable. All both of you want to do is get off the damn phone so you can get back to your terrible lives of nothingness and loneliness.

However, there still are rules to follow when talking on the phone in this situation, they’re just different than the regular rules. You can’t just say, “Hi.” You have to explain everything. “Hi. This is Jeremy. We met on JDate®. I just wanted to call to see how you are doing. I hope you’re having a good week. I sure am not. My a/c isn’t working and I have gotten very little sleep. Also, my dog barks constantly until 5 am every morning. But yeah, at least work is good. Lunch was catered today. I thought it would be Chinese but it turned out to be Mexican. Now my stomach really hurts. Oh! Also! I went to the dentist yesterday. I had no cavities, and the hygienist said she could tell I floss daily, but I really only floss every other day. So now I’m starting to wonder if I should floss at all.” And then she replies with, “Hi.” Don’t you know the rules? You can’t just say hi! This isn’t a regular phone conversation! This is the worst of all phone conversations. You must continue talking more to avoid awkward silences. Say whatever the hell you want. I don’t care. Just good lord do not stop.

But seriously, this conversation must be short and superficial. You can get into the real stuff on the date, or maybe the second or third date. This is not the time for that. This is just the initiation, and though uncomfortable, it is tremendously necessary.

Also, it is not a good idea to be drunk or in any other way preoccupied during this first phone conversation. You have to be slow, focused, and clear. Don’t convey any sort of personality, or anything that could potentially put her off. There will always be time to put her off later, and that will probably happen.


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