Don’t Call Him – 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pick Up the Phone

Should you call him? If you are struggling with picking up the phone – don’t call him! Find out why you lose when you cave first.

Don’t Call Him – How Women Over 40 Push Men Away

Don't Call Him

Don’t Call Him

Do you feel compelled to call a man you have just started to date to tell him what a great time you had? Or maybe to see why he hasn’t called you? Or maybe to tell him something or say hello because you’re thinking about him? You may have these impulses, but I advise my dating coaching clients not to call.

As a dating coach for women over 40, I’ve noticed a trend emerging in the last 10 years. Women are bolder about communicating with men. With the workplace equality we enjoy today and so many women in power jobs, there is a new belief that the communication style that works in business is appropriate for dating as well.

Too bad that’s not true. Let me explain.

You see in business, being direct is often the best policy. Just say what needs to be said to be very clear and get things done. This approach is completely appropriate for business, but sorry to say, not for dating. Not if you want to keep your man interested.

As you move into the relationship phase, the situation will change again and more direct communication is possible. But, during the initial dating phase, the first 4 to 10 dates, being direct is a wrong turn that can cause your man to lose interest and worse – withdraw!

Don’t Call Him – To call him is to enter his world uninvited

I’ve spoken to lots of men about calling. When you contact a man by calling, emailing or texting, you are entering his private world. You may think you’re being nice or showing interest and a small percentage of guys might not mind. However, the majority of men say they don’t like it. Most men prefer to call and pursue you.

Here’s why it’s better to leave initiating communication in his hands:

1. Don’t call him because you no longer know when he would have called you. This is crucial information because it lets you know about his interest level. One to two days – very interested; 7 days – not so interested. But when you call him, you now have no idea what he would have done on his own – and that’s the only thing that really matters.

2. Don’t call him because you minimize your mystery. You want a man to wonder about you – what you might be doing. How you spend your time. When you start communicating with him, you let him know you aren’t busy. What’s not readily available is always more attractive – this is the plain and simple truth about attraction.

3. Don’t call him because he might misinterpret this as desperation. Any hint of desperation works against you. A woman worth her salt is busy and occupied. Men like the chase and when you have a rich, full life and leave the calling to him, your appeal goes up.

4. Don’t call him because he might see you as invading his privacy. The man cave is a private space and you shouldn’t approach him there until invited into his world. Even emailing and texting can be problematic. Some women insist on a text the next day to say thank you. I’ll give you this one, although I don’t think it’s necessary. But too much back and forth makes you appear to be an over communicator! Not an attractive trait by any means.

Sometimes there are men who like a texting relationship. This can be a tip off  – he might be controlling, very needy, or seeking a fantasy relationship. Just because he contacts you often doesn’t mean you have to respond right away or with the same frequency. A little resistance helps pique his interest if he’s a frequent texter.

The best thing you can do is not call him. Early on, leave all the initiating up to the man. The calling, the emailing, the asking out, etc. The most power you have is to not be available – that makes him want you more. Don’t squander this precious source of magnetism.

I hope I have convinced you not to call him, but if not, read Rhonda Findling’s book Don’t Call That Man. It’s excellent and focuses also on not calling a man after a breakup.

Want more insightful dating advice? Download my free book 7 Dire Dating Mistakes Women Make that Keep You Single and get my newsletter too. Or find out if coaching is for you with a free Dating Discovery Session by phone or Skype


34 responses on “Don’t Call Him – 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pick Up the Phone

  1. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Maureen, Not taking his calls after a year? That’s not a good strategy – that’s for people who are just dating. You need to ask him directly if he sees a future with you and when you might marry if he does. If he avoids that discussion or won’t answer, that means he doesn’t want to settle down. maybe not with you or maybe not with anyone. So you will have to make a decision. How long might I wait around for this guy or should I move on to find a man who wants to marry? If he avoids having the conversation or won’t give you a straight answer, you are going to have to break up and find a new boyfriend. Or you risk wasting years of your life on a non-committal man

  2. Maureen

    I have been dating my boyfriend for the past one year and six months and the relationship has been great. I will be 34 next month and talked to him about us been married but seems he is slow about taking this decision..He never talks about us settling down or our future together.Though since dating him ,he has been showing some maturity and responsibility. Even he got a new house furnished it and always want me to come around. I want to stop picking his calls to make him see how serious I am about settling down. Not picking his calls, is it a right decision to take?
    Kindly help. Thanks

  3. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi J,This man like talking on the phone with you and maybe some texting. But clearly, he didn’t want to actually meet you since that didn’t happen and he didn’t explain himself. He never will because he doesn’t want to tell you that he doesn’t look like his photo. Or that he’s married and was enjoying a fantasy with you without actually cheating. Or that he’s not capable of anything more than talking by phone and has deep intimacy issues. I”m sure there are other reason like this. And let’s face it – he’s a bit of a coward and rude to boot because he could have given you an excuse and cancelled rather than ghost and say nothing.

    So the good news is that he disappeared now vs wasting more of your time and you are free to date again. Please read this post on why he asked me out but cancelled and this one on why LDRs don’t work and you’ll get the full picture of why you should look for love locally instead.

  4. J

    I met a guy that stays out of town we constantly talk on the phone. Well we decided to meet for a weekend in a mutual town. On the date we were suppose to arrive I called him and received no answer. I called several more times and nothing. I finally called the next day and I get a text. No not explaining something happened or anything just a text saying he will call me later. We exchanged several texts after that but I still haven’t gotten a phone call or heard from him since that next day. What happened?

  5. Dawne

    sorry to leave one more comment… but I forgot to mention that this man is 48 years old (I’m 47) so this is not a millennial or one who hasn’t experience in dating. He’s also confident and successful in his career.

    Much love, Dawne

  6. Dawne

    PS. I also don’t know if it’s a good idea to send a text saying “not sure whether to call you back or not”, since that feels like handing him so much power AND if I do that, it only sends the message I’m okay with only texting (when I’m not). … yet I don’t know what to do with the ambiguity. Lol
    Is there such a thing as a guy just likes to just spend his time calling a woman, maybe she’ll pick up, maybe she won’t… either is fine and just happy to leave a message? It just seems strange to me, as I would say “no” so why doesn’t he make sure I’m available to either answer his call, or simply ask me to call him back??

    Thanks again. I hope you’ll see this.

  7. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Nik, A man who dates only once a week and hasn’t pushed for sex is taking things slow for a reason. He might not be completely ready. Perhaps having you meet his friends freaked him out even though he initiated it. So he might have pulled away because he’s nervous. So, its not something you did – do not blame yourself. All you can do about him is wait to hear. You could send one text saying something funny – not asking anything like “are you OK?” Don’t probe. Truthfully, although your instincts might tell you differently, the best thing you can do is meet other men and find someone else to date. You deserve love and waiting around for some guy to come out of his cave is not productive. If he comes back to you, you can decide what you want to do about it then. My advice is to let him be and know it’s not about you – its all about him.

  8. Nik

    I have been dating this man for two months. We have gone out on a date weekly, for a total of five dates, up until about 2 to 2.5 weeks ago. He texts me everyday usually a good morning or a conversation starter or sometime throughout the day. I occasionally initiate texts but usually let him. The last date I met a group of friends -one saying she screens his dates. I joked about him not telling me I’d be meeting the judge and jury and he laughed. He said she told him she liked me. I got along with them laughing and joking. We’ve had some makeout sessions but no sex yet. He is hard of hearing (since a toddler) and made a comment in the beginning about having a hard time hearing on the phone so I believe that’s why he texts. We seem to get along well and joke a lot. He sends me detailed text not one liners. Why he isn’t asking me out the past 2.5 weeks when he was asking me out every week? Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

  9. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hello Mae – You are not dating this man – you are in a relationship. So it’s great that you have your rhythm and let him initiated. For women who want more than you do from a relationship, this would never work. But, I’m so glad to know you are happy with your freedom and your relationship. Enjoy!

  10. Maewest

    I have been seeing a man for 40 years! We are now 61 and 64. We like our space, live in separate places and see each other once every 2 months and sometimes HE texts or we talk in-between. He is busy with his job and has weird hours. I let him take the lead. That’s how it works. We don’t use social media. I never had kids so I was able to have great careers, do whatever I wanted and he admired me for that. I’m semi-retired now and stay busy. He’s my soul mate. What we have is very special and I would never do anything to ruin it. He has two daughters and some Grandkids that I have never met. Never demanded that I meet his family. I saw pictures of them so Im fine ! We never spend Holidays together he sends me a card, ha-ha. I’m not a Holiday person so I stay home or travel somewhere by myself. We catch up and I always get pretty flowers and he may not buy me gifts but he will do expensive repairs around my home for me that saves a lot of money. I like being the lone wolf and I don’t want a man around 24/7. Hes been like a sexy boyfriend for 40 years why ruin it !!

  11. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Chie,
    When a man drifts off like that, the only thing you can do to keep your dignity is to walk away. So you already did the best thing you could do. You’ll never know why he lost interest but it happens all the time. I recommend not wasting your precious time trying to figure it out because you sadly, never will. Just accept that it ran it’s course and move on to meet a better man who wants to stick around and cherishes you.

  12. Chie


    I have a relationship with this man for almost 4 months now, it used to be so good.. He called and chat me everyday
    He was very sweet and romantic
    Then all of a sudden he was changed
    I am the one who initiate a conversation
    He is busy with something.. Sometimes it takes 16 hours before I can reach him… the last time we talked.. I said
    I don’t understand why he changed
    And I hang up the phone because I’m soo upset… And I never contact him again
    I don’t know what to do

  13. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Lori Jean,
    In your mind, try to separate his interest in conversation from interest in a relationship with you, In one way it was nice that you acknowledged seeing him. But maybe seeing him opened up a longing that would have been better left alone. Remember he knows how to get in touch, so try your hardest NOT to contact him again. If he wants to revisit your relationship – he will do it on his own and so much better than you chasing him which can leave you feeling even worse. I encourage you to let go of any expectations to guard your heart.

  14. Lori Jean

    Last week I ran into my ex who broke up with me seven years ago during a really tough phase of my life. Both of us walked away quickly when we saw each other but later I sent him a message telling him that I wished I had said hi we chatted for a couple of hours the next evening we chatted for a little while then he came over to visit I haven’t heard from him since I’m lost it what to do

  15. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi J,
    I understand why you are stressing but there maybe nothing to worry about. This is why it’s best to let the man lead for the first 6-10 dates. You made yourself feel vulnerable by calling him. Instead, you could have suggested he call you later while you were texting – that would have been better than calling him. The best thing you can do while getting to know a man is keep yourself busy so you don’t over think (or over watch his moves on FB). Another is to date other men until you have an exclusive relationship. This is a great way to prevent yourself from becoming attached too quickly or freaking out. When dating, you have to let things unfold as they will or you risk pushing the man away by being too enthusiastic or over anxious because both make you seem desperate. So stop calling him or asking to call him. His phone has a dial – let him call you. But for now, I doubt there’s any harm done.

  16. J

    I really enjoy this man’s company. We’ve been talking for 2 months and just 2 weeks ago we met. We have hung out for 4 times in 2 weeks. Yesterday, he finally asked me out on a date; and it was wonderful. We talked/laughed/shared life stories. We sat in the restaurant for 2.5 hours, then parked and continued to talk and kiss. I wish I had read this article first. I have never called him first until tonight. We do text everyday, but only speak on the phone when I call him at 10:30 at night; but I ask him first lol. Today, he texted me first and asked me what I was doing today.He said, he was just wondering so I asked what he was doing. He said, spending the day with my children and then probably nothing later. So I called him at 8:45 tonight! Grrr so mad at myself. I could see on facebook he hadn’t been on in 2 hours; so I thought I would call and left a cute message. But now, I feel insecure like he is out with someone else. Even though, he told me he isn’t talking to or interested in anyone else. We even have a trip planned in 2 weeks. So what does this all mean, am I freaking out over nothing? I tend to do this and I don’t want to ruin a good thing thus far!

  17. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Anna – the no conversation rule definitely applies here! Do NOT call him! Time to learn to live without this guy. If it feels too hard, get a copy of Rhonda Findling’s book Don’t CALL That Man! from Amazon – its super helpful. If you call, you will look NEEDY and CLINGY – neither are attract looks.If you don’t trust him, trust that! You don’t need a man in your life who isn’t trustworthy.

  18. Anna

    Me and my ex broke up due to trust issues in our relationship, the bad thing is he lives 500 ft down the street from me so he is always on my mind; it sucks. We haven’t talked in a whole week and we used to text everyday; he also recently viewed my snapchat just this morning. We were really close and we left on a note of him saying “Life is long doesn’t mean we won’t talk again”
    And I said “So we won’t talk for awhile?”
    He said, “Idk”
    And I said “Well its up to you, I can’t ask shit”
    That was it, I had the last word–I’m so lost on what to do with him because I don’t want to seem needy but at the same time I do MISS HIM so much because I really really really liked/even LOVED him, he’s a very rare dude and a good guy…We broke up on 3/14 and just two days prior we had a 2 hr long convo on the phone; I really do want him back but I don’t know if the no contact rule would apply in this situation. We both haven’t called or texted eachother in 6 days…

  19. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hey Emily, The post is clear – I recommend not calling men or reaching out. However, the one exception is if you can stick to contacting him once. One text or card is not a problem – its the multiple points of contact when a man doesn’t respond that needs to be avoided

  20. Emily j

    Sounds like Ronnie rides both sides of the fence. Take a stand and stop being confusing. Call him or not? Holiday card or not? You cant be an advice column and agree with everyone.

  21. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jennifer –
    Rules are meant to be broken. I am providing structure for women who don’t understanding how dating works. Many women who follow their own instincts mess up every opportunity from a lack of knowledge about men and dating.

    I agree with you, if a woman asks a man out or contacts him once, that’s OK. But many women don’t realize if the guy doesn’t respond, they should stop. And if he doesn’t turn around and contact her or ask her out next, he’s not interested. So they keep texting, calling or pursuing and then struggle to understand what went wrong. That is what the “rules” are for. You know this which is wonderful, but many women don’t.

    Lastly, the only way to know if a man is genuinely interested, is by his actions. If you never give him space to reach out first, you’ll never know how motivated he is to date you. Pursuing men cuts off your ability to observe what he’ll do. This is essential because if he is only responding to your texts or date requests, he might be going along for the ride. I’ve seen this happen over and over again.

    So call once or ask once? If you feel you must, it’s not so bad. More than once and you are likely chasing heartbreak.

  22. Jennifer

    I don’t know why dating has to have so many rules. I say, if a woman wants to contact a man, then she should without second guessing or worrying if she made the right decision. If he doesn’t like it or shows lack of response, then he is not the right person for you and you should move on. In my opinion, if you truly like someone and enjoy their company, it shouldn’t matter who contacts who first.

  23. Ronnie Post author

    Hi Marie,

    There’s really no harm in a holiday card – however, its good to be aware that if this man wanted to be in touch with you – he would be. Some dating experts say that men need encouragement today. I’m not sure I agree with that. But at least a card its fairly harmless and so much better than a phone call!

    The last thing a woman every wants to be is pushy so good for you for moving on. I hope you find a better man who is more interested in the New Year!

  24. Marie

    Glad I found this just in time. Met someone while temping for my old company. This was not the first time I filled in there but this time it was too obvious he was chasing me around the office in the hope I’d notice him. We did get to chat a few times but my time ended too quick. I was going to leave him my number/email but decided if he didn’t ask not to push. Chasing guys never works. Between the internet and my line of work I’m not exactly hard to find. With the holidays I was thinking what harm would an ecard do but get that it would seem like chasing/desperate/needy/pushy…all the things guys don’t like. I was still thinking of sending though and so glad I found your article. Who knows in the few interactions he had with me, he may have decided I’m not his cup of tea after all. So be it. Or the ecard could be the end to any interest he may have had. In any case thanks much for your wise words. Happy Holidays!

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