Asking a Potential Date for a Number

Asking a Potential Date for a Number (<i>cont'd</i>)

You're not sure if you want to get in touch, but you want to keep your options open

Hmm. There's no spark, but you don't want to limit your dating options. In a perfect world, you could actually say, "I'm not sure I want to call you, but, what the heck, give me your number just in case." Of course, a line like that isn't exactly flattering. You're probably better served by expressing an interest but giving yourself an out by saying something like this:

"Look, I'd really love to call you, but I'm ... (pick one)

  • really busy at work
  • traveling a lot
  • getting out of a relationship
  • covered with herpes
  • feeling poorly (not poor, which means you're in the midst of pecuniary strangulation)
  • scheduled for surgery
  • about to be drafted

... so if it's okay, I'd like to take your number and call you in a month or so." (Of course, if you use the herpes line, don't expect them to be too enthusiastic.)

When you do this, you're not misleading anyone or setting them up to hang by the phone waiting for you to call. You're simply keeping your options open without doing so at someone else's expense.

If you're feeling really ambivalent about asking for a phone number, you can always offer yours, saying, "Why not take my number?" Then if the other person calls, you can go out on his or her nickel and enthusiasm. After all, all of us like to be courted.

You have no interest in the other person, but you feel it's expected of you to ask for a number

Thinking of asking for contact info just to be polite? Don't do it. If you're not interested, don't ask for the number. If you ask for a number, the assumption is that you intend to use it. Don't spread misery like peanut butter. If you have no intention of calling, just don't ask.

Men especially feel that not asking for a phone number is really rude, but not calling is even worse. If you can just confine yourself to "See you around" or "Nice seeing you again," you'll spare yourself and the other person some wear and tear.

Excerpted from Dating For Dummies™, published by Wiley Publishing Inc.

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