Should I ask her when would be a good time to call her for a date?
March 12, 2013 10:03 PM   Subscribe

I (30) met this woman (35) at a work-related meeting ten days ago. We were in a small group (2 men, 2 women), and chatted briefly. Among a few other things, she asked me if I was married and had children (no to both). She is divorced and told us (most of the interaction was with the group) that she was on her own, and had to work really hard to support herself and her two young children. She seems a very loving mother, in addition to an attractive and easygoing person. Before leaving she asked me (and the other guy) for our email addresses and told me she would send me a facebook friend request. This didn´t mean much in itself, as we might conceivably need to get in touch for work-related issues. Later that evening I see and accept her fb friend request, and we chatted for a few minutes.

Couple of days later I iniciate fb chat, and learn a little bit more about her life, and she learns something about mine. More or less same thing today. The interaction flowed nicely, with what for me was a good combination of humor and getting-to-know-each-other. We exchanged phone numbers.
I want to call her and set up a casual meeting for coffee, the problem is, as far as I remember, our 3 online interactions finished when she said she had to either pick up her children somewhere, or leave for work (at various times of the day). I know that her working hours are very irregular (she might be finishing as late as 11 PM one day, or starting at 8 Am another), and that raising children as a single parent is demanding.I don´t want to call at a bad time, which given her circumstances, I suspect it might be anytime.
Suggesting a meeting for coffee over fb or sms would be much more convenient, as she could answer whenever she could. On the other hand, I understand that adults interested in asking someone out are generally supposed to at least phone the potential date to set up a meeting. Somehow I feel that if I call her when she´s busy or unavailable, my second attempt will have lower chances of being well-received.

So: Do you think it's ok to ask her via fb or text if,e.g., she´ll be busy tomorrow afternoon to make sure my call doesn´t arrive at a bad time? Should I tell her (via fb or sms) in advance I want to call her to invite her for a drink?.
PS: Asking her face-to-face is not an option.
We are not at all likely to be bumping into each other at work, since our workplaces are miles away from each other.
I´ll appreciate your wisdom and/or common sense on this topic.
posted by Basque13 to Human Relations (23 answers total)
 
Best answer: Go ahead and email or message her.
posted by brujita at 10:09 PM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best answer: I apparently never got the "don't ask someone out via message" message. I wouldn't ask her when a good time to call would be, that's making two steps out of one simple thing. I would just ask her, at some appropriate point in the next conversation you have, if she would like to meet up for coffee sometime. No? Ok. Yes? What day would work for your schedule?

Easy peasy.
posted by celtalitha at 10:09 PM on March 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


Best answer: On the other hand, I understand that adults interested in asking someone out are generally supposed to at least phone the potential date to set up a meeting

She's an adult with better things to do than worry about than dating etiquette. Just contact her in whatever way seems most convenient. And make it clear that you are asking her out on a date.
posted by benzenedream at 10:09 PM on March 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Best answer: You shouldn't break up with someone via text message, but it's totally fine to ask them out for a date that way!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 10:09 PM on March 12, 2013 [19 favorites]


Best answer: You can absolutely ask her out via FB email/chat or text. Just say something like: "I'd love to invite you out for coffee or a drink - would you be up for that? If so, when would be a good time for me to call you to set something up?"
posted by hapax_legomenon at 10:10 PM on March 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best answer: None of the 35-year-old women I know would be miffed at being asked out via txt/email/whatever, but it is kind of charming that you want to ask her in person!

"Hey, can can I call you sometime? I know you're probably busy with your kids; is there a time that works better for you?"

No big deal.
posted by homodachi at 10:14 PM on March 12, 2013


Best answer: Ugh, don't make it sound like a business appointment. Instead say something more casual (and understanding of her parenting commitments), such as "I'd like to ask you out sometime! I know you are busy, but let me know if there's a time when you might be available."
posted by Dansaman at 10:14 PM on March 12, 2013


Best answer: I'm in your basic age range and I've been asked out via text many times. I don't think it's inappropriate at all, especially if text/chat/internet is your main way of communicating.
posted by Sara C. at 10:17 PM on March 12, 2013


Best answer: I am a divorced single mom. Nthing that texting, fb chat, etc is perfectly acceptable and respecting my harried schedule would win you more points than some old fashioned notion that calling somehow was The Correct Way To Ask.
posted by Michele in California at 10:23 PM on March 12, 2013 [9 favorites]


Best answer: This might be a generational thing, but I hate it when guys want to call me to set up dates. I'm horribly uncomfortable talking on the phone to people I don't know well, so I always prefer text. Maybe she's a fan of phonecalls and would love for a guy to call her, but what you know is that she's comfortable in text-based settings, so it makes sense to stick to that for now!
posted by littlegreen at 10:29 PM on March 12, 2013 [7 favorites]


Best answer: Just show that you're considerate of her (you know she has commitments) and that you're not going to put on pressure or rushing her --- whatever this means for your situation. And that's the best you can do.
posted by victory_laser at 12:33 AM on March 13, 2013


Best answer: Somehow I feel that if I call her when she´s busy or unavailable, my second attempt will have lower chances of being well-received.

I think you should just message them. But bear in mind (and maybe spend some time trying to deal with this now) that you are showing some heavy and early signs of totally over thinking this. It's the kind of over thinking that could screw things up for you if you're not careful. Make sure you stay grounded and trust your initial instincts on things and actively ask yourself "am I over thinking this" regularly.

Over thinking is a fantastic way to make you do weird things that are in the best of (over complicated) intentions but are inexplicable from the outside. Take a deep breath and relax...
posted by Brockles at 5:32 AM on March 13, 2013


Response by poster: I think I'll text her nearer the weekend. Thank you all folks, that´s been enlightening (and fast). Further comments welcome.
posted by Basque13 at 5:35 AM on March 13, 2013


Best answer: Can I make the suggestion that you text her sooner/now? She will probably appreciate the extra time to find someone to watch her kids.
posted by Flamingo at 6:40 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Best answer: This might be a generational thing, but I hate it when guys want to call me to set up dates.

I'm in this category too. The phone to me is the medium people use when they need to deliver heavy news and can't do it in person. It's also a lot easier to both say and hear "no" (if things go that way) without having to then make idle chitchat afterwards. Just be light and whatever over chat "Hey I'd love to talk in person, interested in getting a cup of coffee?" and go from there. Best of luck.
posted by jessamyn at 7:06 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Yes, please give her a chance to find childcare/make plans of some kind. Single mothers in particular need lots of warning.
posted by Capri at 7:07 AM on March 13, 2013


Best answer: Like littlegreen and jessamyn I would strongly prefer not to be phoned--for me, too, it tends to mean bad news. It would also make me wonder about what other etiquette rules you might cleave to (especially gendered rules), which I'd inevitably, inadvertently, end up offending you by violating.
posted by Bergamot at 8:04 AM on March 13, 2013


Best answer: Ask her via text or Facebook, but make it clear that you're asking as a date, because from what you've said here there's a more than slight chance that she is networking with you as a business colleague, not flirting with you as a potential romantic partner. Clarifying things at this stage will keep things from getting super weird later on if you're not on the same page.
posted by MsMolly at 8:07 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Best answer: I am busy with a child and prefer email, as soon in advance as possible, with a set location and plan but a flexible time.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:29 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Best answer: Can I make the suggestion that you text her sooner/now? She will probably appreciate the extra time to find someone to watch her kids.

Oh, God yes, do it now. That shit about The Rules is out the window, because she already has plans for every Saturday (and pretty much every other day she's got her kids). They can certainly be pre-empted, but (e.g.) I need to let my sitter know tonight if I need her on Saturday, otherwise she'll probably take a shift at Olive Garden.

Also, I originally left the letter f out of the word "shift" above. Hilarity ensued.
posted by disconnect at 1:24 PM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: I asked her via text yesterday afternoon if she would like to go out for coffee next Saturday. I got no reply. I´ll try one more (last) time over fb, just in case she didn´t get the message. I know that´s not probable but I want to be sure.
Thanks to your collective advice I probably spared her and myself one awkward phone conversation.
posted by Basque13 at 9:46 PM on March 13, 2013


Best answer: Basque13, you never know. A lady just sent me a message via an online dating service, which got routed to my email, which is essentially a prelude to asking for a date. I deleted it, because the title at first glance looked like spam, and I'd just deleted a (real) spam message.

Fortunately, she sent another email right after the first, and I suddenly realized I'd made a mistake(!), and fished her first email out of the Spam folder.

Definitely give her another chance to reply. If she doesn't reply to that, don't keep be that desperate-looking person who keeps pinging, of course.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:17 PM on March 14, 2013


Response by poster: She texted me the day after my invitation with something like this:
"Hi X! Sorry for not replying sooner. I might have some plans for going out with friends that day, but it's still up in the air. Have a nice day!"
I let it go at that.
posted by Basque13 at 7:45 AM on April 16, 2013


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