DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm a guy in my late 20s who's had little experience, but am quite physically attractive. I've always been extremely anxious asking women out. I have a big problem with getting phone number response. The last three women have smilingly given me their phone numbers, but then failed to either answer or return a single phone call. I know from the answering machines that it is not a fake number (which I'd almost prefer), and they either text or get someone else to say that they are really "busy." Why give someone your phone number in the first place if you don't want to talk to them? I get so nervous calling, I'd rather not bother with that whole song and dance. Am I the only guy this happens to all the time? -- Phone Problem
Dear Phone Problem: Many guys get this reaction, particularly if they ask nervously, so stop playing the phone game altogether. Here's why it doesn't feel good to women: They meet a new guy, have a short chat or a few dances, and then the guy wants her number. It's harder to say no than yes, and it's easier to give the real number than to lie. So, a woman on the spot will often give out her number before she feels close enough or safe enough. Then she gets time to cool off before you call. If you are attracted, and the woman seems to like you back, ask her out with a one-week expandable time frame, like, "Want to get together some time this week for dinner?" If she makes excuses, then she doesn't want the date. Take it as a firm no, and don't waste any more time. Another method: Pass her your name and phone number, and let her know if you're on Facebook. Tell her to contact you if she'd like to go out for dinner or a movie. Then basically forget about it. If she calls, it's a pleasant surprise.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I showed the letter from "In Love" (with the young teacher) to my own 17-year-old daughter. Her reaction was, In Love is just showing how naive she is by writing for advice. There isn't any way she's going to get the answer she wants. She should accept it's impossible, eat a carton of ice cream, have a good cry, and get on with her life. My reaction as a mom: If her teacher has even two brain cells to rub together, he's well aware several of his students are crushing on him. If he hasn't said or done anything, it's because he's too smart to encourage them, and too gentlemanly to hurt their feelings. The last thing In Love or any of her classmates should do is put their teacher in the position of having to say a humiliating, "Thanks, but no thanks." And for your benefit: My daughter and I agree there's probably some kind of covert contest going on between the girls in this teacher's class to see which one of them will "get" him; and In Love was looking for some experienced adult advice to give her the inside track. We think you fell for her ploy by telling her there's even the tiniest chance for her after she graduates. -- Out of the Mouths of Babes
Dear Out: One has to wonder why you're conjuring up this contest idea with your daughter, and signing it Out of the Mouths of Babes as if you're both high school girls. The letter from In Love was a little sad, if anything. Lots of girls in Grade 12 -- that barren year when the older guys they liked have gone off to college -- have had crushes on young male teachers. And, nature being what it is, some of the young teachers have had secret crushes on older students, but dared not show it. As a former high school teacher, I remember these scenarios and know of a couple of pairs who did get together a few years after high school was over.
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