Understand Men: When a Man Gives Me His Card, Should I Call Him?

Need to better understand men? Here’s why you should never call a guy who gives you his card when you meet and what it actually means. [Updated December 2021]

He Gave Me His Card – What Should I Do?

what to do when he gives you his cardHow do you respond when a man hands you his card and says, “Give me a call.”

Whatever you say, I sure hope you don’t call him!

During my dating journey, I had several men offer their card to me. Usually I was smart and just smiled. But one fateful time, I got taken in by a very handsome guy who had moved here from Italy. Seriously hot and sexy with the accent and style you can just imagine.  Ooooh baby.

Good sense escaped me as I bravely decided to call him. The number he gave me was to his social club and when the bartender answered, I asked if Joe was there.

What a great moment this must have been for him, each time a woman called him in this public place. The bartender announced, “Joe, another woman for you!”

Arggghhh! I felt so incredibly stupid. But I did smarten up and never called another guy at the start of dating. I did learn how to understand men the hard way of course.

3 Reasons Why He’d Hand You His Card

1) He’s Lazy

Yup, giving you his card is the easy way out for this lazy guy. He’d rather have you do the work. He finds you attractive and if you want to do initiate, he’ll go along for the ride. But he is leaving it up to you. Like I said, he’s lazy.

2) He’s Got No Game

He doesn’t understand dating roles today and is confused. How could he not know it’s his job to get a woman’s number and ask her out. This means he is lacking confidence and the typically innate male drive to conquer.

As my shy husband says, “Any man worth his salt knows it’s the man’s job to ask a woman out and pay for the first few dates.”

Yet, we live in confusing times and there are a growing number of men who now feel timid about being the pursuer. I wrote this blog nearly 10 years ago (in 2013), and since then things have changed.

Today, more and more men have been wounded by women and cast aside through divorce, relationship, or dating. This is often behind men who are inconsistent and send mixed signals.

For these men, they want reassurance first from you before taking the lead. They fear harsh rejection, so they hang back waiting to see if a woman will show signs that she’s interested.

Maybe he could still be a good guy even if you have to take charge. To really understand men, you have to understand these nuances. I’ll share how to best handle this kind of man in a minute.

3) He’s a Player

understand men - is he a player This guy is not serious about you or any woman and is not looking for a relationship. He hands out cards like candy just to see who will call. To him, it’s a great game.

And if you don’t call, some other woman will. It doesn’t really matter to him.

As you understand men better, you can see that the first and third examples are not men are worthy of your time.

While I don’t buy the “he’s shy” excuse, I will say that some men are skittish and want a little reassurance from you first.

So, how should you handle a man who asks you to call? The dating advice I give my love coaching clients is a simple script. “Oh thanks, I’m old fashioned and don’t call men. But I’d love it if you called me.”

This flirty, feminine response let’s that skittish guy know you are into him. After that if he doesn’t ask for your number, forget him because he never will.

The lazy guy probably won’t call and the player who’s game is to hand out cards won’t likely either. This is how you separate the good prospects from time-wasting men and how you can best understand men.

You might now know which of the three types a guy is who offers you his card. But this approach will still work with any of them.

Understand Men – What Your Request Means to Him

1) It sets a boundary and let’s a man know what he has to do to pursue you. If he is truly interested, he will ask for your number and call.

2) It tells him that you know you are the prize and if he wants you, he’ll have to invest his energy into winning you over.

A little resistance does wonders for your desirability. It’s called sexual tension. This is so important rather than being too eager, available, or in other words, handing yourself over on a silver platter.

Some of my clients insist they should call. Maybe she is really into the guy or she doesn’t want to let a “good one” get away. If you absolutely must, then call him ONE TIME.

However, do not ask him out or suggest getting together because once again, you end up in the driver’s seat, which is NOT the seat you want to be in when starting to date a new man.

When you initiate you have no leverage and you learn nothing about his true level of interest in you.

Understand Men – Don’t Initiate!

understand men - leave the ball in his courtWhether you like it or not, dating is a game and you need to know how to play if you want to win.

To explain this a bit more, think of ballroom dancing. There’s only one leader per team when you do ballroom dancing, so as the woman, you have to follow the man’s lead.

This is also like the basketball reference to leave the ball in his court. Let him decide to pick up the ball and run with it to get your number, call, and ask you out.

When you understand men, you know it’s best to let the man initiate and  pay too for at least the first and second date. This is the ONLY WAY you will know how much a man is into you – by what he does to pursue and win you over.

When you don’t lift a finger, you’ll see how motivated he is to be with you. On the other hand, if you do initiate, you’ll end up wondering how much he is into you, freaking out why he’s not calling, or asking you out.

Honestly, it’s up to you.

Want to learn more about men and their mixed signals? Get my Free book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing


Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

7 thoughts on “Understand Men: When a Man Gives Me His Card, Should I Call Him?”

  1. Hi Ronnie, I was scouring the internet looking for good information on this topic. I am so thankful to come across your blog. This is wonderful! I get super bummed when a man ruins a good thing and gives me his number. It happens so often I have forgotten what it was like to be asked for my number. So Guy#1 is lazy and will never pursue. Guy#2 is confused and unaware, but also lacks confidence to do anything and Guy#3 is a player.

    Even if a woman says, “I never take a guy’s number. I prefer to have a man call or text me first,” you’re still saying this to Guy # 1, 2, or 3, so how will anything good come out it? The way I see it is, these cats will sadly never invest much energy into anyone due to ego or fear or both. Even if he does respond saying, “well shucks can I have your number then?” What possible good could come afterward? I laugh so hard when your colleagues say, “You might be letting a good one go” LOL! What good one? He just demonstrated he’s not a high-quality man. My mentor said when a person shows you who they are BELIEVE THEM. My advice would be to throw him in the bin. Thanks again for your very profound insight. It has helped me immensely.

    • Hi Deja, Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you found my advice helpful. I will say this – I wrote this a while ago and things have changed to some degree. More men today are nervous about initiating with a woman they are unsure will respond positively. Surprisingly, with a little encouragement, some of these guys will take over pursuit, feeling like they won’t be shut down. They are wounded from divorce and rejection in today’s world, but with a tiny bit of encouragement, they do initiate. While this won’t be the right man for you understandably, for some women this could work out.

      That’s why it’s worth saying that you don’t call men. However, now I recommend adding a bit of feminine charm to make it more playful, because you just never know. For women willing to try say, “I don’t call men, but I’d be happy to talk if you were to call me.” This adds that bit of encouragement for Guy#2 who is risk adverse, but willing to pursue a woman who shows interest.

  2. I am “that guy” who just gave an intelligent and beautifully unique woman my business card. I’m shy. I was nervous. I look back and realize she was holding her phone the whole time I could have easily asked for her number. Yet I somehow mustered the courage to step outside my confusion to start a conversation with an intimidatingly attractive woman, even getting far enough to give her my business card.

    People like your husband (bullies) have preached at me my entire life. They say I’m lazy, lame, just some loser and I don’t have what it takes to be a real man. All this completely ignorant assessment based only on my brain working differently than his; referencing a fear of asking a woman for her number.

    A real man is someone who builds others up. I am not traditional. I feel the dating traditions our society has put in place are entirely based on insecurity and fear of change. A man worth his weight in salt listens and is courageous enough to be vulnerable despite knowing his own setbacks. Overcoming insecurity to pursue as best he can.

    • Hey Nicholi, All I’m saying is, biologically and historically, the man pursues the woman whether he is super confident or shy. So you are different – good for you. There are exceptions to every rule. Yet, you assume my husband is a bully – if you knew him you’d be laughing. He is the sweetest guy so you’re impression is all wrong. He is also shy but had no problem asking me for a second date on our first. Maybe it’s time to work on building your confidence and move on from being the guy who cannot overcome insecurities. You certainly had no problem expressing yourself here so I know you can do it! Stop resisting and learn to ask for her number.

  3. Hey Ronnie, this is good advice!!! I too am VERY leery of the “call me” card-carrying guys. :-/ I always find it better if the guy calls ME first, or at least likes me enough to want to ask for MY number. When you just get his, there is always a chance that you may NOT call. And I find that if a man is willing to take the chance that you may NOT call him, then he’s “just not that into me”. Usually people want the telephone number of someone they are really trying to reach, whether it is business-related, shopping, friends, need to ask for advice, etc. You don’t want to chance it that the person won’t get in touch w/you! So yeah…. I’ll be VERY cautious of a guy who asks me to call him or gives me his number w/out getting mine.

    WITH THAT SAID HOWEVER, I will say that one of my good friends met a guy through mutual friends, and he gave her his number and asked her to give him a call (for some silly reason I forget now), and they started dating, and are now MARRIED! See the thing is, he actually really WAS interested in my friend! He was just very shy. When she called him a week later after he gave her his number, he made it pretty clear from the first phone call that he was interested in her, so there definitely wasn’t eany guessing game going on. So, I just wanted to add that in because some men really are kind of shy. He had been hurt badly before from his previous fiance due to a failed engagement (she cheated on him), and so he was treading pretty lightly. I think he felt like my friend was too popular and too good for him, so I guess he was trying to save his ego. So in HER case he actually was genuinely interested.

    But I think she is the exception, not the rule lol. Usually in MOST cases, the guy isn’t just “shy”. Typically though, you can sometimes tell the difference. If a guy seems very charming and smooth, and he gives you his card, run the hillls! Usually a guy who is THAT charming will have enough guts to ask you out directly, or at the very least, ask for YOUR number. 🙂


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