Should I give her/me another try?
December 11, 2015 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Non-texters of MeFi, explain yourselves

Warning: The following contains: Snowflakes, First-world problems, and Over-analyzation.

I met a woman about 3 weeks ago (sat down next to her at the counter at Whole Foods). We talked, hit-it off. During the conversation, she touched me on the arm. This is sign I look for as an indication that a woman is interested. I got her phone number and texted to her iPhone right there to make sure I got it right. As we were saying goodbye, she asked "How do I know you're going to call me?" To which I replied "because I said I would", the point being that this is another indication that she was interested. We agreed that I would "call" her after thanksgiving (travel and such).

So this past Monday I texted her:

Hi Joni,
I hope your trip was good. I'd love to see you again. Would you like to meet for tea on Wednesday at 6 pm?
Take care,

(Note that when I text I use full words, not 133t5p34k or even abbreviations)

I never heard from her, so I assumed she was not interested.

A friend pointed out to me that she may not be a texter, that she may have taken the word "call" literally (whereas to me it call means call/text) and so she chose to not respond to the text.


1. Really? Even if she doesn't like to text, she couldn't bother to send just a short message to say, Hey I'm not much of a texter, can you call me?

2. I have a guideline for asking a woman out: Any reply but "yes" is no and if I don't hear "yes" the first time I ask her out, then I move on. It's a guideline, not carved in stone. Do I "call" her and ask for another date? Both early 50s, fwiw.
posted by falsedmitri to Human Relations (49 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, call. Not everyone is a texter and if she's not 22, she may prefer phone conversation to text. Plus, she already was clear about the fact that she wanted you to call her.
posted by quince at 12:29 PM on December 11, 2015 [40 favorites]

Yes, "call" means call, as in actual call, and I think she may have felt that you literally lied to her (which would be a red flag for her) and/or that you were overstating your own interest (similar) when you promised you would call her. Yes, you can try to call her one more time without being overly persistent. But don't text. Call.

More broadly: some people don't like texts. Some people feel texts are a good quick/informal communication method, but don't like to have conversations via text. Some people don't even have texting plans. (I'm not sure it's possible not to have one on an iPhone, but I do know someone who found the iPhone texting interface frustrating for a very long time. She could see my texts but would have to call me to reply.)

Is it a dealbreaker to you if someone does not text? You need to answer this question for yourself before moving forward. A 'yes' answer is perfectly legitimate, as you are allowed to decide what you need in a relationship. MeFi cannot determine this for you.

Best of luck!
posted by capricorn at 12:31 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Call means call.
posted by headnsouth at 12:32 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am divorced and 50+. I expect text from my kids and maybe male friends trying to get together for a beer. I expect calls for women I may be dating or trying to date.
posted by AugustWest at 12:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]

Oh man, if she's anything like me, she's trying to find the right way to respond and then forgetting and then freaking out because it's been too long for it to not be weird but not responding is worse oh man oh man.

Texting, for many people, is less anxiety-inducing than calls. But not for everyone!!!! IT SUCKS!!!!!!
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:34 PM on December 11, 2015 [14 favorites]

I always assume someone is saying exactly what they mean unless they tell me otherwise. So "call" means call (no quotes), not text. So call her and get that date!
posted by kimberussell at 12:35 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Do you WANT to go out with her? Then call her, give it another shot.

Otherwise, move on. I get that she might not be texter, but if she can't be bothered to text back "Call me" or "Hey, I thought you were going to call?" then move on. Because clearly there might be communication style differences that wind up frustrating both of you. So is it worth it to you to try to navigate the difference, or would you prefer to move on? That's all up to you.

I'll just note that the time spent asking random strangers on the internet, could have been spent answering this for yourself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:36 PM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]

My cell can't get texted because the number I've had 15 yrs is now an Ooma forward. Call.
posted by tilde at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

For me, 2 weeks lag between meeting and contact is long enough for me to either rethink whether I liked him enough to go on a date, and/or have found other people to be interested in.

30s, living in a fast-paced city.

On the other hand, calling won't hurt if you really would like to see her. Heck, the worst that can happen is, she won't pick up. No harm done.
posted by enlivener at 12:38 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am 50 and I do so hate to text and also receiving texts is not fun for me. You said you would call, so call and not text. I look at thos kids with the thumbs flying and just know it is not for me.
posted by 15L06 at 12:38 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

What do you stand to lose if you call? nothing.
posted by Postroad at 12:48 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

Texts don't always go through/get delivered. I have sent some that just vanished in the ether.

Sometimes when people text me, I don't see the notification for quite a while because I never actually text on my phone & that icon is kind of hidden.

Call her.
posted by belladonna at 12:48 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am 50. I have never once sent a text message. I am not sure I would know how or would be able to readily figure it out. If I agreed to let you call me, I would be expecting a phone call.

Think of this way: You are being kind of overly pedantic about the correct way for HER to signal interest in you. Why shouldn't she be equally pedantic about the word "call" meaning a phone call?
posted by Michele in California at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2015 [13 favorites]

Texting is a funny thing. It's my favorite way to communicate with my close friends, but for it to work, it requires a shared vernacular. When I'm texting someone for the first time, whether it's a friend I already know or the pizza guy saying he's at the door and the bell isn't working, it feels a little awkward.

Maybe she didn't get the text, maybe she's not sure how to respond to it, maybe she's ghosting you. Call her.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:55 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

It seems likely to me that she didn't actually remember that "Dmitri" is the guy she met at Whole Foods two weeks ago when she got your text, and doesn't bother to respond to texts from people she doesn't know (for example, I'm a texter, I semi-regularly get misdirected texts, and I don't bother to respond).

If you still want to date her, go ahead and actually call her - assume she doesn't actually remember who you are after 2-3 weeks so reintroduce yourself "Hi, it's Dmitri - we met at the Whole Foods in XX a few weeks ago..."

If you don't want to date her anymore, feel free to move on.
posted by muddgirl at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]

I'm a 100% texter and would prefer that voice only call conversations would die in a fire and even I agree you should call her. (Once, with the same message/invite as your text.) Hopefully she responds!

Have fun :)
posted by phunniemee at 12:58 PM on December 11, 2015 [21 favorites]

Edited to say upon preview, ditto what muddgirl said.

I note that in your text to her you didn't remind her who you were/where you met. After a couple weeks of family activities and so forth I might have forgotten "Dmitri" but would remember "cute guy I met at Whole Foods". Call her, tell her who you are/where you met, and see how it goes. FWIW, I am 51.
posted by clone boulevard at 1:02 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

"because I said I would" her. Because you said you would.
posted by sageleaf at 1:17 PM on December 11, 2015 [12 favorites]

Oh man, if she's anything like me, she's trying to find the right way to respond and then forgetting and then freaking out because it's been too long for it to not be weird but not responding is worse oh man oh man.

Yeah. This.

The thing about calling -- actual calling -- is that you get a response right away.

I am in my thirties. I don't like texting. I don't understand what the advantage is supposed to be. Might as well send a telegram.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:24 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I text, but it's a really minimal amount and frankly I hate it. Your lady-friend probably did indeed mean call-as-in-talk, so call and talk to her.

Also in my own case, it's only been a little over a year since I've even had a phone CAPABLE of texting; I only upgraded because of some serious pressure. Perhaps your lady also has an older phone.
posted by easily confused at 1:25 PM on December 11, 2015

I'm only 40 and I'm not anti-texting, but I would never assume "call" means "text."

Also, like Metroid Baby, I feel odd texting with people I don't know really well. My issue is that with my sister, wife, mom, etc. the texts all fit into the broader ongoing conversations. With strangers and acquaintances, I don't have that context, the other information I'd get in a conversation (tone of voice, pace of talk, etc.), or the additional written content I would get in a letter or email so many texts feel like they convey too little information.
posted by Area Man at 1:31 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm in my twenties and when a guy has said he's going to call me, he calls! Texting wouldn't offend me, but even though I'm a ~crazy millenial~, it would feel a little more lazy/less romantic. Texting is for my homies.
posted by easter queen at 1:47 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I am in my thirties. I don't like texting. I don't understand what the advantage is supposed to be.

I am in my forties and was once as you are (that is to say, in my thirties and dismissive of / baffled by texts). I find if someone is contacting me with some specific info like an address where I am supposed to go for a party or a confirmation number to pick up tickets for whatever, it is pointless to call me and tell me the info (have to stop what I am doing, find a pen and paper, hope this line is clear enough that there no transcription errors, etc.) when the sender could just text me the address/number. If you are making group plans of an asynchronous nature, texts are great: here are the ten people invited to Denise's birthday dinner in three weeks -- four text back yes right away, one sends regrets, two have to check their work schedule, and so on. For casual conversation I tend to prefer voice communication, but ultimately whatever the other person suggests will weigh heavily in how I choose to make contact.

Specifically, in this case, the woman is expecting a call. The OP's course of action should be obvious. Call. Save the tweets and snapchats and cookiegrams for later.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:50 PM on December 11, 2015

Yes, over-analyzation is right. I understand if you don't want to waste energy or lose face pursuing someone who might not be interested, but you only reached out once? Just call her.

When you set up your first date, post back here and let us know how it went.
posted by Leontine at 1:51 PM on December 11, 2015

Yeah I'm 25 (and happily married) but I would be super annoyed if a guy said he would call then texted. Here's some food for thought:

- She may completely not remember who you are, and doesn't want to be rude by saying "Who dis?"
- She doesn't like texting and is annoyed that you texted instead of calling.
- She may not respond to a text from someone she doesn't remember for her own safety or fear of unsolicited dick pics.

A call means a call. If you want to catch up with her CALL her. And guess what, if she doesn't answer, you leave a voicemail! Gasp! What is that ancient technology?? She may not recognize your number, so leave a voicemail and say, "This is ... We met a whole foods.. I texted a bit ago, wanted to catch up, here's my number again."
posted by Crystalinne at 1:52 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm in my early 40s and not especially anti-texting, but:
  • Calling and texting are definitely two different things, and if someone specifically uses the word 'call' I assume that's what they mean.
  • I don't text much with anyone but my wife. A quick "Hey I'm at the corner of Boylston and Tremont" / "Ok, I just got to Park Street Station, see you in a few minutes" exchange with a friend is one thing, but like a couple of others above I find texting to be a weird tool for actual conversations.
  • Speaking of texting with my wife, we both have texts disappear into thin air on a fairly regular basis. Once in a while one will arrive literally days later than when it was sent.
  • I am occasionally terrible about reciprocating contact... as in, I'll get an e-mail from someone and say to myself, "Oh, that deserves a proper response, I'll send them a nice note later tonight" and then two weeks will go by and I feel like a jerk and like I maybe shouldn't even reply at that point.
  • Because I don't text much, and am lazy about managing contacts on my phone, when someone not-my-wife texts me I won't know who it's from if there's no other context provided. You did use your name in your text, but it's possible she's not great with names and didn't recognize yours, and assumed somebody had a wrong number.
So, yeah - don't read too much into it. Give her a call, see what happens.
posted by usonian at 2:04 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

2. I have a guideline for asking a woman out: Any reply but "yes" is no and if I don't hear "yes" the first time I ask her out, then I move on

It's not a bad guideline, but you're re-thinking it enough to Ask Metafilter if you should stick to it in this case.

So, here, let me tell you: "no, you shouldn't."

Connections can fail in at least two ways: people just aren't interested enough, or they get snagged on some practical obstacles. What you're seeing right now sounds to me like it might well be a practical obstacle.

Your guideline keeps you from pestering or getting hung up on someone who isn't interested enough. That's nice. Your guideline probably also make you more vulnerable to getting derailed by snags than you might want to be.

So, maybe you want to dial the balance there in better. Here's the new plan I would give you:

1) Call. If she doesn't pick up the first time, don't leave a message. Try at a different reasonable time a day or two later. If she doesn't pick up the second call, leave a friendly message letting her know you'd like to meet with her and asking her to call you back. Wait 2-3 days. If nothing, call one more time. If you don't get her then, leave a last friendly message letting you know you're interested but the ball is in her court. Then totally forget about it.

2) If you *do* connect by phone, suggest not just one but two or three potential times for a get together. If she doesn't say yes to any of those or suggest another time, then move on.
posted by namespan at 2:05 PM on December 11, 2015

I am with you on this - if she didn't respond I would assume she's very likely not interested, not because she changed her mind about being attracted to you but because she might have met someone else in the meantime.

Just to be doubly sure, give her a call, leave a voicemail if she doesn't pick up (what's the point of not leaving a voicemail if you called, to me it reads as very insecure), and mentally give her 24 hours to get back to you.

If she doesn't respond delete her number and move on.

As an aside, Thanksgiving was ages ago, why should you have to wait with finishing travel in order to call someone?
posted by Dragonness at 2:31 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

> The thing about calling -- actual calling -- is that you get a response right away.

Well sure, if they're available to answer. Plenty of people don't feel compelled to answer a ringing phone when there are other ways for a person to leave a message, vmail and texting included.

> I am in my thirties. I don't like texting. I don't understand what the advantage is supposed to be. Might as well send a telegram.

Texting is about two things: it doesn't require your voice (I don't like to have a phone call on the bus), and it's asymmetric. Asymmetric meaning you don't both have to be available for the communication to happen. The text arrives and notifies, and the person can check for messages as soon as they get back to their phone, or get off a plane, or wake up, or whatnot. Not only that, it can be typed now and then wait until you're off the plane/out of the subway to send the message.

Way cheaper than telegrams, and those still only go to addresses. (Yeah, you were being tongue-in-cheek, but still...) Text Messages go where phones go, and, unlike when you and I were kids, phones go everywhere people go.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:41 PM on December 11, 2015

Waiting 2 weeks to send a text after you said you'd call me does not make me think this guy is at all into me. I'd personally expect a call within a few days of Thanksgiving, a week at most. I'd be wondering why this guy even bothered getting my number at all at this 3 week later point and would totally have written you off by now, if I even remembered who you are.
posted by Requiax at 2:55 PM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm not a texter. I'm not *anti*-texting. I just don't. If I have something to say I'll call or email. That means that if you text me, it could be days before I notice there's a text on my phone. Further, since the only people who text me is my phone company with stupid crap about my bill being ready or winning Justin Beiber tickets, I frequently don't look at the texts when I have them. I hit the little clear button to get rid of the text notification and then it's gone and go back to my happily text-free world.

I do however, check my email on my phone every 30 seconds or so.

So if you said you were going to call, she's expecting you to call, whether she's a texter or not. And if she' s not a texter, add to that that she may not eve know you've texted.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:03 PM on December 11, 2015

I'm in my 30s, I've flirted with guys, given them my number because I was feeling them in the moment, then never replied to their texts because I lost interest or met someone else or was just flirting for the fun of it. And if a guy I kinda spark with takes what feels like a little too long to initiate contact (because a "hey, how are you?" text takes zero time/energy) even if they say they're busy, I just kind of lose interest. I can get enchanted and then get bored because I forget what I found charming. and if you're a social or friendly enough person to strike up a conversation with a stranger at Whole Foods, you're constantly probably meeting new guys all the time anyway.

It was 3 weeks ago, after all. You sent the message. She'll reply if she wants. Give her a call but don't push it past that.

And it's not just 22 yr olds who text. I'm so much more comfortable texting than talking to people I don't know that well on the phone because some people are so awkward on the phone that it saps my energy having to carry the conversation. I think texting is smart if you're not good at conversation flow.
posted by discopolo at 3:23 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Definitely call. If you said you'd call, that does not mean texting. (I don't actually know anyone who would say "call" to mean "text.") I'm 27 and work in tech (and married), so it's not about an aversion of technology.

Also, 3 weeks is a really long time. Obviously, I don't know you or your date, but 3 weeks is long enough for me to have gone from meeting someone to deciding to be in an exclusive relationship with them. That is, the boat may have already sailed.

I'm not a texter or anti-texter, but I habitually forget to respond to texts. Especially if someone I don't know well sends me a very polite text, I treat it as email. Except it's not in my inbox, so I just forget about it. I've done this to my partner, my friends, my family... basically everyone. I tell everyone to email or call me if they *must* have a response. Do not assume I've received a text unless I've replied to it (in a logical way).

Texting is convenient when you just need to check something. But consider it an extremely lossy form of communication. There are no guarantees that the other person received it, or if they forgot about it or simply decided to ignore it.
posted by ethidda at 3:25 PM on December 11, 2015

You asked her a direct question and it deserved to be answered. I cannot imagine being such a stickler about it - "Well hmph, he said he would CALL and he'd better well CALL because that's what he said he would do!" as to not answer a direct question.

But things being what they are, it's possible she somehow missed it. So text her again, or CALL her ;)
posted by the webmistress at 3:25 PM on December 11, 2015

I once told a guy that I didn't text so if he wanted to get in touch he should email or call. He texted. I didn't reply right away because at the time I never texted - I had notifications off and didn't see it for days!

He felt bad when I finally replied and I felt annoyed that he said he'd call and then he texted. Just call her. Don't mention the text. Call once and if you get no reply or she's not interested then you actually have an answer.
posted by sockermom at 3:41 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Well, she's either not interested after all, or - yes, you should have called.

If I were this woman, I'd be a bit put off by a text. It doesn't show confidence or sincerity, smacks of being a little bit cowardly too.

As someone who would much prefer a call to a text, certainly in the early stages of dating, this would be my perception and preference.
posted by NatalieWood at 4:29 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I bet it's less the texting and more the fact that Thanksgiving was two weeks ago. She's either forgotten who you are or met someone or she thinks it's a little awkward to start a conversation back up via text so long after you first met.

If you're still interested, call her and see. If not, chalk it up to bad timing and move on.
posted by lydhre at 5:31 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

Dude, you waited way too long. 2weeks?! Definitely call her once in case this is salvageable.

But next time? Contact her the following day to make plans, even if those plans have to happen after the holiday/ your busy weekend/ etc. It's not desperate, it's confident.
posted by jessca84 at 5:45 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not everyone is an active texter, especially if you didn't grow up texting every day.

I don't have notifications on for texts (if it ain't important enough to call then it ain't important enough to wake me up) and it will sometimes take me up to a week to even see a text message. Meanwhile, my husband doesn't text at all and won't even look at any text messages he receives.

We're both in our mid-30s. I imagine that disinterest in texting is likely even higher in your age group.

Call her. Mention that you texted her a while back (so she doesn't think you've been ignoring her this whole time) but when you didn't hear back you realized that she probably expected an actual phone call. DON'T act like she should be sorry for not texting back. Apologize for the initial misunderstanding and ask her if would she like to go out with you to [thing] on [day]?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:45 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all the responses!

Just called her. We have a date for this coming Wednesday. :)
posted by falsedmitri at 5:57 PM on December 11, 2015 [59 favorites]


Please remember to make the obligatory MetaTalk follow-up post if you two end up getting married someday. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 6:06 PM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]

Yay! Did she explain why she didn't text back? TELL US!

Even though it's 2015, I still hate to use text as the initial contact (especially in work situations, w-t-f), because there are actually people out there with dumbphones who prefer not to text and I have no idea if my text will even reach them.
posted by easter queen at 7:42 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't ask if she received my text because I didn't want to make her feel awkward. My feel is that she didn't receive it (or did receive it but didn't realize it). If I can work it into the conversation Wednesday, I'll report back.

Fwiw, I am not good at talking on the phone. I find it difficult to focus on a disembodied voice with all the visual distractions (i.e. the world) all around me.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:56 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I much prefer texting and always write back but sometimes they get lost in the inky darkness. I've had my best friend call me to say "hey are you dead?" because I didn't reply. You can just never be 100% sure which is way to stressful for initial dates!

Glad it worked out :-)
posted by kitten magic at 8:56 PM on December 11, 2015

Hooray! Three cheers to you for putting yourself out there. Have a blast!
posted by kimberussell at 4:17 AM on December 12, 2015

So glad you got the date! Yay!

I just wanted to add my experience that I know multiple women 50+ who have texting capable phones but only look at their text messages intermittently and are too intimidated by the concept to ever text back (I'm younger so I don't understand this, but they say they cannot figure out how to text back). I do text them sometimes but only with non-time-sensitive stuff like random photos of my kids.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 5:45 AM on December 12, 2015

Fwiw, I am not good at talking on the phone. I find it difficult to focus on a disembodied voice with all the visual distractions (i.e. the world) all around me.

Yes, me too, and especially over cell phones because cell call quality is so terrible. Remember, it's ok for you to like your preferred communication style just as much as it's ok for her to like her preferred communication style. If you're a regular Ask reader you probably see a question here every other week or so with people fretting over basic communication in early dating--just remember it's ok to hate phone calls and it's ok advocate for compromise!

Have a blast on Wednesday!

And p.s. your opening text was great. Clear, you showed interest, and made a concrete plan. This is A+ work. If more folks asked each other out like that the world would be a much easier place.
posted by phunniemee at 6:45 AM on December 12, 2015 [6 favorites]

This is awesome and you did everything right, including listening to the excellent advice here, so please do update everyone on how it goes!

For the record, I'd be the same, I find it awkward to just pick up the phone to call someone without texting them before. I do actually like talking on the phone but only with people I'm already very familiar with and when there is already a habit of calling each other. For everyone else, text/messages/whatsapp.

So this thread is a great lesson in taking people at their word.

(And as a side note - no this wasn't really that "Snowflakes, First-world problems, and Over-analyzation"! not even in a half-joking/self-deprecating humour sense! No need to belittle your uncertainty there - it was an entirely appropriate uncertainty, as demonstrated. I wish we all (myself included, I do this too sometimes) stopped belittling situations of misunderstanding or miscommunication with people we're interested in, just because oh war and poverty and climate change and we're all doomed anyway etc. Life is indeed fragile and precious, and making a strong instant connection with a stranger in a random chance encounter like that is a precious and fragile and beautiful thing in itself - at best it can lead to something life-changing, at worst it will lead to an inoffensively pleasant second meeting with another human being, or hopefully anything in between. Best of luck!)
posted by bitteschoen at 8:48 AM on December 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

For the first date, we went to get hot chocolate on a cold winter night. It went well, ended up talking for about 2 hours, even held hands for a little bit across the table. We have another date for this Wednesday.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:13 PM on December 20, 2015 [9 favorites]

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