Monday, April 16, 2007

Cell phone... friend or foe?

I have a problem. I have a hard time turning men down and setting limits. If I get in a conversation with a man, and there is any kind of even remote spark I tend to give him my number and agree to meet for coffee or something. You may think that it sounds normal, why not give a number if there is a spark?

The real issue begins sometime shortly after the first date (and in some cases even before the first date is over, but that's another blog entirely!). It doesn't matter if the date was spectacular or lukewarm, there is generally the issue of the follow-up phone call. I've had men call me immediatley after we part ways, and those who wait a few days. It usually depends on the spark and the man to determine appropriateness and whether the guy is seen as clingy, classy, hard to get, or other.

I have a basic rule of not calling men unless I'm returning a phone call that I missed, or that I told him I have to call back. I refuse to be the clingy girl who calls and needs constant reassurance. It may be seen as cold and standoffish but I believe its the man's job to call as old fashioned as it may sound.

I have recently run across a crop of men that seem to believe it is absolutely necessary to be in communication at all points of the day. Don't get me wrong, it can be fun to get a text message in the middle of the day to know that a man is thinking of you. But I'm talking about sending a text in the morning, spending an hour on the phone at lunch, calling again on the drive home, and then wanting to talk at night. In the alternative I've also experienced the guy who calls three times within a few hours just to confirm that we were in deed still meeting, and that I would not back out of the date.

I've actually had a date who called me two days after our first date which is acceptable in my opinion, but I missed his call. He left me a five minute voicemail telling me how much fun he had, how he hoped to see me the next weekend, telling me which days he was available, and remembering that I said I was really busy with projects that weekend. I was surprised at the length of the voicemail and didn't have a chance to call back and tell him that we would have to find another time when I found another five minute voicemail on my cell. This time trying to convince me to come out that Friday even though I had a family function. I was put off by having two such long messages in such a short time span, and since it was late I decided to sent him a short text apologizing for missing his calls, saying I was really busy that weekend, and the only chance I could see him was Sunday for a quick lunch.

Now don't get me wrong, I had no intention of blowing him off. He seemed like a nice enough guy and I thought we could have fun hanging out, but his behavior started sending red flags to my brain. My unease was confirmed quickly the next day, I had my phone turned off and by the time I turned it on I had several texts and voicemails asking me to meet him Friday or Saturday. Even for an hour. Even for a coffee. To just take a break from working. Even for an hour. (You get the point). I started to get annoyed, I told this guy I had something going on that was work related and he wasn't respecting it and pushing my boundaries. I called him and left him a voicemail telling him I couldn't do anything that weekend after all, hoping that a cooling off period would let him calm down, and letting him know that I would call him as soon as my work lightened up next week.

He kept calling, finally leaving me a voicemail telling me that he doesn't understand what happened how can I be so busy and that I should still meet him. But that he understands if I believe work comes first and he would "stop harrassing me" and that he would wait for me to call to make the next move. I was relieved and thought that I would leave it that way, and try to call next week. Well he kept calling, this time without leaving voicemail. Two weeks later I was at a mutual friends party and I saw him calling so I figured he was there and watching me so I answered the phone but couldn't hear anything. He wound up leaving me a voicemail that night accusing me of having a boyfriend and playing with him to boost my ego. Telling me that he was a nice guy and that I ran so cold so quickly after saying I'd had a great time with him. THEN, and here is my favorite part, he starts bitching me out for the actions of my friend who apparently slept with him (without my knowing) while she had a boyfriend.

This experience really taught me to watch who I give my number to and to trust my instincts more. But I still wonder, since when is it ok for a man to leave back-to-back voicemails? And to keep calling, even if he's not getting called back? Did I overreact? Should I have confronted him?

I think the purpose of a phone is to make plans, you don't need to talk five times a day. The anticipation of seeing each other and bursting to talk to each other is half the fun of the new relationship. If you talk all day long it takes the edge off the date butterflies, and while it may seem like a good idea - the butterflies are the point!

No comments: