Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

To Call or Not to Call?

The elusive phone call: relic, or rare but appreciated? Gigi discusses whether or not phone calls are the way to go…or a no-go.

Q. Do women like phone calls? I matched with a girl on a dating app and called her, but it went to voicemail. I left a message and she texted me back. This has happened a few times, where the girl never picks up her phone. Am I not supposed to call?

Greg, 29, Los Angeles, CA

A: Ah, the elusive phone call. It’s a fairytale that was once so intrinsic to dating, and now is but a hapless dream we fondly remember from the early 2000s. TBH, I kind of miss talking on the phone. I definitely chat on the phone regularly with my partner… but we’ve been together for 3 years. This is a very different situation.

Listen up.

There are many glaring reasons why women (or anyone) don’t want you to call them on the phone. Phone calls make a lot of us millennials anxious AF. I would be extremely against a person I did not know giving me a ring. It’s not like the old days; people hate talking on the phone.

It’s a new age where we’re texting obsessed and our burgeoning anxieties around speaking on the phone have burrowed their way into our collective psyche.

Don’t call a girl without asking if it’s OK beforehand. I know I’m supposed to say, “F the rules!” and “Follow your rainbow!” But I’m trying to actually help you find love instead of being #foreveralone.

People do not like random phone calls. We’ve evolved past this level of comfort… or regressed, depending on how you look at it.

And there is more. We have all got a million things to do, man. I don’t mean to be trite, but she’s busy. We’re all busy. We have got projects to complete and money to make. If it’s the middle of the day, she’s at work. Texting is fine. No one is going to care if she’s on her phone here and there.

There is a 58 percent better chance of obtaining a phone number on Hinge when you suggest “texting” vs. “calling.”*

Getting on the phone to do a “get to know you” call with a random guy from a dating app is a whole other story. If it’s nighttime, she’s probably making dinner or watching her shows. She doesn’t want to get on the phone with someone and waste an hour of her time after a long day kissing her boss’s ass.

If she gave you her number and you’d like to hope on the phone, ask her.

Go further than, “Can I call you?” if you want her to get on board with this vintage “phone thing.”

People are weird about the phone. They will avoid it. We spend all day typing and messaging each other. We even forget what our own voices sound like sometimes.

Believe me, I know it’s tragic, but that doesn’t make it untrue. Put her nervousness as ease by going deeper.

Try to give a legit reason why you like speaking on the phone. You want to humanize yourself. Remember, you are but a profile picture and an accompanying iPhone number right now.

Tell her that you want to hear her voice and enjoy the human connection of speaking rather than just texting. Might I suggest a joke, “I’d love to make sure you’re not an axe murdering, middle aged man from Boise.”

Haha. See?

She probably hates the phone and isn’t going to do it. At least, for now. If she’s not feeling it, don’t push her. Texting is easier and takes far less effort than getting on the phone.

Phone calls are like the new “pre-date” no one asked for. She may even see you calling her as less of an old school gesture and more of a red flag. People are accustomed to what they know.

She may not be a phone call kind of a girl. Go with texting. It makes things simpler for everyone. Once you’ve been on a few dates and actually know each other, I’m sure it will be easier to convince her to take voice calls.

In short: No, a random girl you match with on dating apps don’t want you to call her. If she did, she would have answered the phone.

*May 2017 Hinge survey results

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Gigi Engle, aka Ask Auntie Gigi, is a sex writer and educator living in NYC. Her work has appeared on Elle,  Teen Vogue, Bustle, Glamour, Allure, and Men’s Journal, Elite Daily and Thrillist. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @GigiEngle. Send questions to Gigi at


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