Many of my dating coaching clients have questions about what to ask during the first phone call. They want to know how to quickly weed men out. Understandably, most busy midlife women say they don’t have time to waste on the wrong men.
What I have found over the past 10 years as a dating coach, and from my own journey to find my own husband, this can be trickier than you think. If you mess up the phone call, you could end up with few first dates and keep yourself single. Here are five tips to help you have a great first phone call and hopefully get a first date too!
1. Make a good impression – the first phone call is a two way street
Many women forget the first phone call is a two way street. It’s not just about what YOU want to know about him. While you have your detective work in mind, remember you also have to make a good first impression. The man you are speaking to is trying to decide if he’d like to date you.
That means you have to be friendly, warm AND pleasant. Your job is to create the desire within him to meet you by sharing your best self. Be enjoyable – someone the guy would have fun spending time with. If you only focus on getting through your list of questions, you won’t connect or be much fun. That could result fewer first dates.
2. Be realistic – you can’t learn everything in the first phone call
Dating is a process and it’s purpose is to “gather data “. This often takes time. If you try to rush this, you risk turning men off. So, be realistic – there is only so much you can learn in a first phone call. To really know if a man is right for you, most of the time you have to meet him. You need to discover if you connect, have chemistry and the most important hurdle – if he asks you out.
My two matchmaker friends, Nicole of Compatibles and John of Tri-State Dating Service explain that phone interviews squash more potential matches than anything else. They both want me to tell you not to “phone date” which keeps too many people from ever meeting.
3. Keep your questions light – this is a conversation, not an inquisition
Men do not like to be “grilled”. (Neither do women right?) If you handle the first phone call like an interview and fire a series of tough personal questions at a man, he will get turned off. This is an unpleasant interaction that will not serve you in any dating situation.
Questions like, “Why did you get divorced?” or “Why are you still single?” will only put him on the spot and make him uncomfortable. You aren’t likely to get the real answer any way early on. Why? Because people need to build trust and earn the right to share such personal details. The same is true for you.
What can you ask? Questions about vacations, favorite foods, movies, music and hobbies are all excellent ways to discover a man’s passion and get him talking. Then you can find out how he spends his free time to see if there’s a spot for you.
4. Listen to his voice, use your powers of observation and trust your intuition
If you can’t get every question answered, what can you hope to discover about the guy at the other end of the phone? Listen to his voice. Does it appeal to you or make you feel nervous? Trust your intuition here and in all dating activities. You are listening for red flags to keep yourself safe. In my 10 years of dating coaching, I have only had a couple of women tell me about a man who made them nervous. It doesn’t happen often, but do keep your ears open.
To determine if a man is worth dating, listen for his energy level and interest in you. As you listen to him talk, you’ll learn about his language skills, intelligence and disposition. This is all valuable information to determine if a man could be a good match without drilling deep into why his wife left.
5. Leave him wanting more with a short first phone call
Let’s say the call is going well and you feel like you could talk to this man all night. Don’t do it! You want to have something to talk about next time. Plus, you want to leave him thinking about you and curious to know more.
In addition, there is a tremendous risk to a marathon phone call which can work against you – over sharing! Women often get lulled into a sense of connection and then start sharing their problems which rings all his warning bells! Instead, end the call after 20-minutes. Simply say, “I enjoyed talking with you but I have to get going.” Let him take the lead about deciding to meet or calling you again.
Photo credit: Cod Gabriel