Etiquette on Calling People Back When Dating

Waiting for your date to call can be frustrating.Waiting for your date to call can be frustrating.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to etiquette on calling a person back when dating. Traditionally, it was considered a man's responsibility to pursue a woman by telephone after a date. Today, it is common for both parties to share responsibility in maintaining good telephone communications when dating.


Dating telephone etiquette can be, but need not be, a minefield. If you have been dating someone for some time, it is likely you have already established a satisfactory telephone routine. Confusion over telephone etiquette is usually most pronounced between those who have just started dating each other, who may fret over when and how often to call a new partner. With the arrival of technology such as cell phones, voice mail and texting, relationship protocol has been blurred further, according to Matt Griffin, an AskMen relationship correspondent. While new technologies like texting are useful, Griffin advises you not use them to plan a second date.

Calling After a First Date

It has customarily been considered the man's prerogative to call within a few days after a first date, even just to say thank you for the previous date and not to instigate another date. However, increasingly women are taking control and making the first call--something that can be a blessing for shy men. Yet Terry Hernon MacDonald, author of "How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams," advises a woman to leave it up to the man to call after a first date if she wants to maintain her attractiveness and self-respect.

Returning Missed Calls and Calling Back

If you're unavailable when your date calls, it is generally considered polite to return the call, even if you are not interested in pursuing the relationship, according to Leah Ingram's "The Everything Etiquette Book." Don't wait around for your date to call a second time or leave days before returning a call. This could be taken as a sign that you are not interested or are downright rude. If your relationship is already fairly solid, returning your partner's phone call may not be a priority, but waiting more than 24 hours could cause trouble between you.

When Your Date Never Calls

If several days go by with no contact, you may become impatient waiting for your date to call or call back and decide to make the call yourself. This could send your partner the wrong signal: if you are too quick to call, your date may think you're prematurely serious about the relationship, says Ingram. By not calling, you may stand a better chance of waking your date from a case of telephone lethargy and triggering further curiosity and interest in you.

When Not to Call

AskMen relationship correspondent Andrea Madison says never to call your date during working hours. Additionally, she suggests keeping phone conversations brief---just long enough to spark attraction and interest. If your date stops calling you altogether or does not call you back, you can assume she doesn't want to continue dating you. According to Sue Fox, author of "Etiquette for Dummies," this is the time to stop calling and withdraw with dignity.

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