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Who Makes the First Call?

by Eharmony Editorial Team - August 21, 2007

It's time for the first phone call with a new match, and maybe you're both playing "First Phone Call Chicken." Each waiting, debating and hoping the other makes the first move. Who should make the first call, and why should they make it?

It’s a big step. You’ve read the “About Me” page. You’ve exchanged emails and questions. You’ve decided that you and this person have something interesting, something worth further investigation. Now, it’s time for your first phone call. What is the etiquette? Is your mom’s advice still valid? What about that book The Rules from a few years back? Should women always wait to be pursued? Do real men always make the first call?

Let’s begin by mentioning an eHarmony feature that can make the entire process easier and less daunting. It’s called Secure Call and it’s an online system that allows both people to talk on the phone without revealing their phone numbers, which eliminates some of the unease that can come with placing a call. Playing “First-Phone-Call Chicken”So now that we’ve taken care of how you make the call, you may be asking who should make the first call? In their early dating years, many women were told and now believe that “women don’t call men.” Two reasons usually drive this advice: 1. Belief that men are natural pursuers and won’t be interested in a woman who pursues.2. Belief that women who call will be labeled as desperate or overeager.In the real dating world this advice certainly has a few defenders, though it’s beginning to feel old-fashioned. In the online dating world, it’s not a policy that’s proven very effective, and here’s why.When two people are matched, chances are they have several matches in various stages of communication. The process of getting to know each one is, at best, imperfect. The nature of the situation means that individuals who reach out, stand up, speak up, smile and initiate get more attention and more consideration.

By waiting for the man to call, a woman may be reducing the chances that a particular connection will jump to the next level. In the online world, if you are interested in a particular match, ACTION is almost always the best policy.Men are often trained that they should initiate. They are told it’s the role they play. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Just remember, online dating is a whole new world, and the old rules of conduct may not apply. In fact, in surveys of eHarmony men, the vast majority are flattered by and receptive to a woman who takes the initiative and reaches out for contact.

It’s Just a Conversation!
It also helps to remember what this first call is and what it is not. It is a conversation. It’s hearing your match’s voice, his or her laugh. It’s being able to share and hear the immediate reaction. It’s an important indicator of personality. But it isn’t necessarily the request for a get-together. It’s isn’t a date request. That’s important to remember. When a woman calls her match she’s just initiating a conversation.

Who Makes the First Call?
The person who feels a connection first should make the call – regardless of their gender. With most relationships, one person senses the possibilities first. One person sees the spark before the other. Maybe it’s just a hint of curiosity, a comment in an email, a charming photograph, a hobby listed on the “About Me” page. When that feeling touches you, it’s time to reach out. If you want the security of anonymous calling, use it. And by all means keep your first call short and appropriate. But don’t shy away from making that contact just because of old rules designed for a different situation or because of fear.