{November 14, 2011}   Phone Numbers, Politeness & Manipulation

Should I say yes or say no now?

Should I say yes or say no now?

If I say no there’ll be trouble!

If I say yes there’ll be double.

So come on! And let me know…

(guitar: dur dee dur du-du-du-du-duh)


Well, if someone quite nice and nervous who has the courage to come up and introduce himself and say that I’m beautiful and ask about me and ask for my telephone number, should I say yes? It’s so easy now to think “If you’re not interested, just say no”, but in the moment, it’s more than rude – it’s treason. But you can’t just give out contact details on the basis of pity! Gaar! It was pretty weird that he noticed me when I overtook him while walking through the shopping arcade, followed me into the café, ordered a bottle of water, then came over and started talking & excused himself after he got my number. I’m not a fan of stalker-types. Nor manipulative-types. I doubt that he means to be… There’s 2 kinds of manipulative: scary psycho-types who actively manipulate you, and dependent-types who can’t believe they’re with you and will write you bad sonnets and cry for days when you run away… and make you give them your number when you aren’t interested.


One big problem is motive. From a quick google and common sense I know that guys hate being on the receiving end of this – getting a number but the girl never picking up… ‘Why? She was so “into me” when we were talking… why give me her number if she isn’t interested?’ Because we’re polite. Because it’s automatic. Because that’s what we all do. Because we enjoy the conversation but just aren’t “into him”. Or because for some stupid reason, when it comes to phone number requests, we stop being straight-forward and do the rejecting when we can’t see your disappointed reaction. Likewise, we don’t know what the guy’s motive is. They may say that they’re not interested in dating, but it’s good odds if you want to bet that actually means they’d like to meet up with you again as friends, hoping it’ll turn into something more. But I don’t know for sure. So if a guy tells me he’s not interested in a romantic relationship and then asks for my number… If I say no, he’ll press further, and I’ll have to implicitly call him a liar by saying I’m not interested in him that way. If I say yes, I’ll just be rejecting him later & it bothers me enough to write a 730 word blog on it.


I think now… maybe I should make it some absolute thing, like with alcohol. I don’t drink it. I only occasionally have a taste if I’m offered by a friend and in the mood to try, but even that is very rare. I probably get more alcohol through food than drink. Anyway, maybe I should attach the same rule to phone numbers? Have a policy of never giving them out unless they’ve become a friend (and without stalking) and I feel like I want to. People tend not to question so much when you have absolute statements like ‘I don’t drink’. They get may curious and ask why (or more recently “What’s wrong with you?!”), but they tend not to push any further. Maybe it’ll be the same with this. I should at least have some answer to the “why?” though.



What really bothered me about it all was that I went to the café to relax and mull over my ideas around perfectionism (which I cured in just 1 day last week, will explain next blog). I was thinking about the lovely revelation that part of beating perfectionism is simply accepting love, affection, respect and so on, when the guy approaches my table. Then, in the café that only ever plays interesting music that I haven’t heard before, about 3 contemporary love songs that I know come on. Then right back to the typical stuff.




I don’t like the way the world is conspiring around me at the moment. I’m happy now that I’m free from perfectionism, and I love my friends and my free time. I don’t even think I want a love-interest, let alone a stalker with my phone number.

At least I can finally really believe it when someone says I’m beautiful. Thanks stalker-boy (#rejected X-men).



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