Online Dating: Navigating the First Phone Call

By eHarmony Advice Host Jack

Online Dating: Navigating the First Phone Call

Navigating the first phone call is one of the most nerve-wracking but potentially rewarding experiences you can have as you embark upon the dating journey. Here are a few guidelines and pointers as you pick up the telephone:

1. Let them know when to expect your call. Don’t cold call them. Prior to calling, give a little advance notice. This will help you avoid catching them in the middle of washing their dog, their hair, etc!

2. Show Enthusiasm. You’ve invested so much to get to this point; don’t be afraid to reveal that you’ve looked forward to speaking with them. Be confident and talk to them like you’d talk to one of your friends.

3. Have a checklist of things to talk about. Don’t get me wrong — it’s ok to have some silence here and there, but you really want to avoid extended periods of dead air. To avoid this pitfall, I’d suggest having a checklist which is especially easy to do since you’ve already communicated and there a ton of questions that you can ask them about their profile.

4. Keep the conversation light. Be prepared to talk about your life, friends and family, hobbies and recent accomplishments. You should definitely avoid talking about your exes, politics, recently deceased relatives or pets or anything that makes you feel less than happy. Also, avoid any graphic conversation — it’s not cool.

5. Ask open-ended questions. Asking questions of this type helps to foster your conversation and allow them to get a better feel for you as a match.

6. Be yourself. This is the most important piece of advice I cannot reiterate enough. Even though eHarmony does a very good job of matching you, I’ve seen and read a lot of profiles where users have taken some liberty with what they’ve written and embellished to varying degrees. I understand that it’s important to play up your strong points, but it’s also important to be an authentic match for the person that you are about to communicate with.

7. Ask them out. If you’re going to do it, it should be near the end of the call. You want to take as much pressure off of them as possible. Integrate your request into your conversation. Instead of saying, “Hey, do you want to go out this Saturday for coffee?” You might want to say, “I was going to go out hiking/biking (something public) on Saturday. You should come along. It’ll be a LOT of fun.” This idea works well, because you’re not really asking them out, you’re proposing an idea that sounds like a lot of fun and without so much pressure. If they say no, then oh well — their loss.

These are my tips to help you navigate the first phone. With a little preparation, you’ll soon realize that that this was an easy call that you didn’t have to spend too much thought on. It’s better to be prepared for all of the potential possibilities, so that you’ll be able to move on to the next step with your match.

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