Social Question

jca's avatar

Hypothetical: You meet a guy, hang out, have a good time and he takes your number and doesn't call. Do you find his number (internet?) and call him up?

Asked by jca (35974points) September 25th, 2012

I have a sort of debate on another thread with another Jelly. A girl asked about a guy who she thought she had a good time with. The guy took her number and did not call her. The other Jelly suggested she look him up (White Pages, internet, whatever) and call him up.

I don’t agree. I think that’s hunting him down and his not calling would deter me from seeking him out.

What do you think?

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85 Answers

Seek's avatar

Ew. Stalking is not an attractive trait. No.

Message him on Facebook. Maybe.

chyna's avatar

No way. That is just asking for a restraining order.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Nope, I wouldn’t do that. He’s the fool that missed an opportunity.

serenade's avatar

If she’s interested in a short-term thing, then why not, but she should a anticipate the relationship tanking over the long term.

If he was really interested he would call.

jsc3791's avatar

Think of it this way: if the guy had given her his number and she hadn’t called, how would she feel about him looking her up online and calling? Seems a bit pushy and, like @Seek_Kolinahr said, like stalking.

If he hasn’t called, there is probably a good reason. (i.e. He’s just not that into her.)

Trillian's avatar

Not being a stalker; no, I don’t.

wundayatta's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir The hypothetical forgot to say that you really like the guy. You still going to sit there like a wallflower, waiting? Waiting? Waiting on a guy?

Because if you’re still going to wait, then I give up. Feminism never happened. Women aren’t empowered and they deserve the fruits of being the ones who wait.

How come men get to go after what they want, but women have to wait? If men go after it, it’s considered being a man. If women go after it, it’s stalking? So there’s a double standard. What else is new? But for staunch feminists like @Simone_De_Beauvoir to buy into the double standard—wow! I am totally flummoxed.

Honestly. I’m really shocked. I guess the rules are different for women. They do buy into their second class citizenship, and probably don’t even see it that way. Someone please explain to me how this is not women putting themselves in a subordinate position by right?

mangeons's avatar

No way. He has your number, if he’s really interested in talking to you then he’ll call. I don’t think stalking him and finding his number on the internet is going to make him think, “Wow, what a great girl! I should talk to her.”

YARNLADY's avatar

No, the correct time to get his number is when you give him yours. Exchanging numbers is socially acceptable, stalking him is not.

marinelife's avatar

If he was interested, he would call.

downtide's avatar

No way. If he hasn’t called it’s time to stop waiting and look for new opportunities.

DrBill's avatar

I would say yes. it might be something innocent on his part, like he lost the number. But only call once.

Seek's avatar

I disagree on one point, @wundayatta

The date (or whatever) ended with ME giving my number to HIM. I willingly put myself in a place to say “I’m into you. Call me if you feel the same”.

So he doesn’t call back. It’s now my job to hunt the man down and beg for attention? Fuck that. His loss.

wundayatta's avatar

What if he lost the number? What if he didn’t think you were that interested? Lots of women give numbers even if they aren’t that desirous of being called.

Do women ever ask for men’s numbers? How often? Isn’t it the case that mostly it’s supposed to be the man who does that job? Don’t you ever get tired of waiting? Or does it make you happy knowing he might or might not call. Do you consider that when you’ve given the number, you are saying that you want him to call?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta Wow, that was some kind of double bending over backwards to both denounce me and all that feminism has accomplished. Yeah, you’re right, that’s me, a wallflower, and because I answered it as such, feminism shouldn’t have happened. Whew, cool, no more worries. I can just be sexually free and un-pc and so postmodern, huh? Please, go bother someone else – it hurt my brain to read that. It is clear that you are no ‘staunch feminist’ and, as you well know, us feminists really hate men like you, didn’t you remember?

mangeons's avatar

@wundayatta It’s one thing for a woman to ask for a man’s number, it’s another thing entirely to take it upon yourself to look up their number on the internet…

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Man, this happened to me once. I met this really beautiful, interesting woman and got her number. Told her I would call her. Then lost the number and prayed that she would somehow find me and it never happened. I still think of her, as you can see. It was a helluva first impression.

I don’t think it’s stalking if you call only once and you will know right away if they’re not interested. It costs nothing to try once.

chyna's avatar

So would someone explain to me if this guy lost her number and she never had his number, how is it that she can find him on the internet and he can’t find her? I just don’t believe the whole he might have lost her number theory.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wellllll….when I met my future next husband at a mower shop, where I’d taken my mower in to be repaired, we seemed to REALLY click. I made sure I gave him a check that happened to have my number on it. He didn’t call.
The ticket for the mower had my Mom’s number on it. He called her to tell her it was fixed, and could he have my number to let me know. She kept saying, “Oh, I’ll pay for it!!!”
But he was insistent that he needed to talk to me.
She finally gave it to him.
Later I said, “HEY! I gave you a CHECK that had my NUMBER on it!”
He said he knew, and meant to hold it back..but forgot to and it just got deposited with all the others (warning sign there! Sometimes spacy!!) So he had to bug my mom forever to get it.

bkcunningham's avatar

I would be hard pressed to care enough to look up his number in the phone book or white pages online to call him and ask why he hadn’t called me.

Buttonstc's avatar

Thats way too desperate. If he lost it or whatever and he REALLY wanted to call, he’d figure out a way. Thats how guys are.

Invest a few bucks and buy the book ” Hes Just Not That Into You” The author does a very good job of explaining the male mindset for the clueless. He is being brutally honest and some women could save themselves a lot of unnecessary angst by digesting and applying his info.

Ignore the movie. Hollywood totally ruined it. The book is solid.

Shippy's avatar

It’s all in the approach, she could get his number then ponder her next move. I am on the fence with this one. Since it was not my special moment, I don’t know just how special it was? Would a guy do that? Look her up? Yes he might, so therefore she can too. Personally I wouldn’t, I am just always “playing” to hard to get!

Pandora's avatar

Depends on the guy. If he seems shy than why not look him up and friend him on face book. If he doesn’t reply than he is not into you.
Now it the guy isn’t shy at all, than forget about it. Its not about being aggressive or anything but if they guy was really into you than he would look you up. By making you chase him than he will think you want him more than he wants you and become the fill in girl. You know the girl he calls when he has an itch in his pants (and lets hope its not medical) or nothing to do on a certain night and just needs someone to drive him home after he drank too much.

augustlan's avatar

I might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt (maybe he lost the number) and send him a quick message on Facebook. There is no way in hell I would track down his phone number and call him, though. I’d be fairly freaked out if someone did that to me, so why would I do that to anyone?

I don’t think this has anything to do with male vs female, or feminism, or any such thing. It has to do with not overstepping boundaries.

rooeytoo's avatar

The facebook idea is good if you are friends or can find him on facebook.

It does seem as if there is a note of sexism here. If the man were the one who was so intrigued that he hunted until he found her and called, would that be too much or would it indicate a real interest?

I think if it is that easy to find his number online, I would call him one time and see how the conversation goes and feels. If he says let’s get together, then great, if he is disinterested and vague, then forget it.

That is the same thing I would say to a man or a woman, one phone call is fine, after that forget it!

Seek's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus and @wundayatta

If the guy lost the number, why can’t he go on the goddamn fact-finding mission? I’m sorry you lost the number, @Espiritus_Corvus but how should she have found you in any way that you wouldn’t have been able to find her? When you two parted, she knew that you had a way to find her if you wanted to. At that point, ball’s in your court.

And @wundayatta – sure, I’ll ask for a number. Why not? However, the question posits that I have already left my number, thus leaving the ball in the other person’s court. I don’t care if the person in question has male or female-type anatomy. If they drop the ball, too bad for them. Now I’m supposed to read their minds to determine whether they lost the number or just chose not to call? No thanks.

Paradox25's avatar

Relationships need to be a 2-way street, not 1-way, including during the initiation process. No, I wouldn’t bother him anymore here since he’s obviously either blowing you off or playing hard to get. I would have given you the same advice if you were the guy.

wundayatta's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Well, I was a little stuck on the issue @jca and I had been talking about on the other question which was different from this in that the woman was really interested in the man.

This is really interesting. It shows me that things really haven’t changed much for the vast majority of women since the time I was a teen. Women still expect to be pursued.

When I was growing up, of course, there was no internet. We looked up phone numbers all the time in the phone book. No one thought of it as stalking. It was normal. Nowadays, it seems like investigating anyone at all is stalking. I wonder how many of you google your prospective dates. Is that stalking? Or is just finding out a phone number?

Times have changed, all right. Good think I’m not dating. If you did try to find me on facebook, you’d never find me. My name is John Smith. Do you know how many John Smiths there are out there? And I don’t put my photo up. And even if you did manage to find me, I don’t use facebook except maybe once a month.

I find this all very sad, though. I think the current notion of feminism has given up a lot of what was won a generation ago. Maybe young women take it for granted. Maybe there is more to genes and behavior than we thought, and theory can’t overcome natural tendencies.

On a personal level, I have to wonder how many potentially good relationships are lost just because women don’t take the initiative. I mean, I know all about being fearful to take the initiative. You might think guys are all full of aggressivenes when it comes to women, but I don’t think that is so true. Guys are much shyer than you know. We read tea leaves, too. Wrongly. So we think you’re not that into us, and don’t call, because the signals you give that you think are so obvious are like ripples in a rainstorm to us.

Only the most aggressive of men reach out. The rest waffle. Maybe you only want the aggressive ones, but I suspect there is plenty to like in the ones who are afraid of rejection. But men are the ones who must risk rejection and women get to be the ones who decide to reject or not.

That has consequences that ripple out across the surface of the pond of relationships. Men, who are responsible for pushing things, are more likely to get angry if rejected. I’ll bet that in a very small minority of men, that results in true stalking behavior.

Women, knowing that men take the risk of asking, also feel pressure to accept an invitation they don’t want because they know how hard it is to be rejected. Pity dates. How many of you have done one of those? Even one is too many, in my opinion.

If things were more equal; if we didn’t have these social expectation about who asks and who selects, then I think our society would be healthier. I think that this notion that looking up a phone number is equivalent to stalking is absurd. It is a sign of the imbalance in today’s society. People have gone over some edge on this.

You are almost all very clear that looking up a phone number is unacceptable behavior, so I agree that this is where society is at these days. But I think it’s a very unhealthy point of view. Perhaps it is a response to the Facebookization of life. We voluntarily give up so much privacy, so perhaps this is a symbolic way of taking… or giving some back.

Although when did the phone number become the symbol of privacy? Somehow, the internet is not reaching into a person’s home, even though it includes all kinds of photos and whatnot in a way that a phone number is? That is very interesting. I wonder if people’s visits to each other’s homes have declined significantly in the age of the internet.

Well, thank you all for your information about all this. It’s opened my eyes to something I had no idea was there. I’m shocked. But it makes me wonder if people are studying this. It’s an important trend, I think.

Seek's avatar

^ Speed read it, because I don’t see much that you haven’t said before.

You haven’t explained exactly how giving him the phone number in the first place isn’t showing initiative.

Frankly, if the guy’s too frakking lazy to a. keep the phone number he’s given or b. make an effort to find it again, why would I want to bother with him?

This is not an issue of feminism or a woman expecting to be pursued. Turn it around! If I asked for your number, then failed to call for whatever reason, would you try to find my number again? What if I didn’t answer? Would you assume that I just didn’t get the voice mail and try again? Would you hit me up on Facebook? Would you ask the bartender if I go there often so maybe you could find me there again? track down where I work and call there? Send a letter?

I grant that I’m reducing it to the absurd at that point, but frankly, so are you.

If a person gets a phone number and doesn’t use it, then it’s fair to assume that they are not interested in using it. I don’t care if the person who doesn’t use the number is male, female, Vulcan, Time Lord, or Jedi.

You’re trying so damn hard to make this a feminism issue, and it’s simply not.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: Like @Seek_Kolinahr said, it has nothing to do with man/woman. To me, if the shoes were on the other foot and it was a man who gave his number to the woman, and she didn’t call, I would think he would not seek her out. Whether from finding her number on a site or pm’ing on FB, it’s pursuing, IMHO, after he’s already shown he is not (or “she is not”) interested.

In the way I worded this question, yes, @wundayatta is correct in that I did not specify that she liked the guy, because I thought that the thought of her considering seeking him out shows she liked him, and the fact that she felt they had a good time showed she did not dislike him. If I have good times with people, usually a good part of that is that I like them (regardless of their status: friend, lover, etc.). I also purposely linked to the other question so that everything she said could be read in my attempt to be transparent.

@wundayatta: You wrote that when you were growing up, there was no internet and the way to find someone was via phone book. When I grew up, it was not much later than when you grew up, and that’s how we found someone, too. However, in this case, that step was already passed in that the phone number was already provided to the person and he chose not to call it. Regardless of looking him up on internet or whatever method she chooses, she is pursuing something that is not interested in her, in other words, looking desperate. Just my opinion.

wundayatta's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I feel like many of you have a blind spot. Of course, you probably think I do, too. But you do understand that this is a one way street? Men almost always do the asking. Like a huge proportion of the time. You can say if the shoe were on the other foot, but the fact of the matter is that it almost never is. It is the man asking the vast majority of the time. Women are so used to this that they have come to expect it, and they simply do not ask.

What position does this leave the woman in? Forced to take it that the man isn’t interested if he doesn’t call? You’ve given up your power in the situation, and if you can’t see that, I don’t know what to say. This was axiomatic in women’s consciousness raising when I was a youth.

You all keep saying that you believe a lack of a phone call means the guy is not interested. Granted, I’ve never been a woman, and I don’t know what response you get if you do reach out. Well, I do know that if you reach out and berate him for not calling you, you will get a bad response.

What I also know is that, at least in my case, not calling does not mean I am not interested. It means I don’t want to be rejected. I’m sure I’m not the only guy who behaved this way. So I know for a fact that you are wrong about your thinking about why you wouldn’t want to call. Of course, with some guys you might be right, but with some you will be wrong. By having a hard and fast rule, though, you absolve yourselves of having to take a risk, and put that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the guy.

And if you can’t see how that is related to feminism and equality… well, I was going to say I fear for the future of humankind, but I think that train done left the station already. The seventies were a special time, but perhaps they were an aberration. Makes me wish some of my college friends were on Fluther. This was so obvious to them. I don’t understand why it isn’t obvious now.

Seek's avatar

* facepalm *


Did you hear me that time?

Trillian's avatar

I really wanted to leave this alone, but dangit;
“The hypothetical forgot to say that you really like the guy. You still going to sit there like a wallflower, waiting? Waiting? Waiting on a guy?”
Who says she’s waiting, pining away? I imagine she’s dropped it and moved on.
The assumptions you keep making to build your arguments are ridiculous. Leave gender out of this, it is NOT anything to do with the issue.
The person has done enough; giving the number is indicating interest. The other person did NOT give their number, which is also an indicator. No gender issues here.

wundayatta's avatar

* facepalm *

“It would be the same if the man had given the woman the number…” Not that I would ever do that.

Sorry. You can say it would be the same, but that’s easy to say and meaningless to say since women, for the most part, don’t do that.

Words are cheap. Action counts.

Really, I understand your thinking here. To me, they sound like rationalizations. But they make sense.

Still, it also makes sense that if you really want someone, you go after them. Men, of course, do this much more than women do, as a general rule. I’m just surprised that women can rationalize this so well. Don’t you see the difference in behavior? Doesn’t that mean something, regardless of the excuses you find for it?

Ok. I’ve said what I had to say. Hopefully I won’t feel like I have to say anything else.

Seek's avatar

No, I don’t see a difference. But of course I live in the 21st century, where I know many, many men who have never made the first move and plenty of women who have no qualms about using a cheesy pickup line.

So your “general rules” are neither general nor rule-like in my observation.

Dutchess_III's avatar

why you guys keep hitting your face with your palm? Doesn’t it hurt?

wundayatta's avatar

LOL. First time I ever did it. Just copying @Seek_Kolinahr. Not going to do it again.

Seek's avatar

If it got any worse it was going to escalate to the double facepalm, and beyond that, the epic facepalm

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Damn girl! You’re going to bruise your face! Be careful!

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Kinda hangs in the balance. He might have lost the number. You never know. Or he might really have just thrown it in the bin. Either which way, I think that would be borderline pscyhostalker behaviour. Ugly stuff.
As for @Seek_Kolinahr‘s statement about women being prone to using the cheesy line to pick up a guy…....I guess I must have been hit by every friggin ugly stick on the way down the hell no tree. usually they just plant me a good ‘un. Right between the eyes. With their handbags. Lol.

rooeytoo's avatar

I am continually surprised at the number of people who think ONE phonecall constitutes stalking. I personally, if I were really intrigued by the person, would make the ONE phonecall. If there were no response after that, drop it. But one phonecall is not stalking! And I don’t care which person is making the call (since this appears to be a heterosexual pair), the female or the male.

By the way, what did this person decide to do?

augustlan's avatar

@rooeytoo To me, it’s not the phone call per se that is stalker-ish. It’s the matter of going beyond the boundary the person has set, in looking up their number when they didn’t freely give it to you. If they’d wanted you to have their number, you would have it. Making a call in that case wouldn’t seem stalker-like at all.

rooeytoo's avatar

@augustlan – I still can’t see it, if that were the case then there should be no telephone book! Do you really consider one action to be stalking? We aren’t talking about sitting in your car with 24 hour surveillance on their house, we’re talking about one phone call. I must have stalker tendencies, I wouldn’t have hesitated to make ONE phone call to just about anyone. But obviously I am the odd one out here, your opinion seems to be that of the majority. Heheheh, no surprises there, I am almost always the odd one out in fluther!

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

First of all the guy was given the number, and unless I’ve missed something in this thread because there is now a substantial amount of reading material to find such information, I’m under the impression he did not return the favor.
Second of all, in the old days (e.g. pre widely used internet), if you wanted a number you would look for it in a phonebook. People who didn’t want others to know their number had it made ex-directory so it no longer present in the pages of said book. These days, you can look in a phonebook, but the internet is a place of either little or no privacy. If you can’t find an ex-directory number for someone in a phone book, it’s most likely on an online database somewhere.
This is why looking for his number, in the assumption it was not freely given, is almost of stalker grade behavior. If you don’t have the number, don’t push your luck. If you had it but lost it, and wanted to find it again, then that would be a very different story.

augustlan's avatar

@rooeytoo I think it may be generational. When I was a teenager, it wasn’t uncommon at all to look up someone’s phone number and give them a call. That is no longer the case, though. In today’s world, it would cross a boundary. I wouldn’t say one phone call makes someone an actual stalker, of course. Just saying that digging for information one did not freely give is stalker-like behavior.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan If what you say is true, then the world is getting more ridiculous than I thought.

A stalker is someone who is dangerous. Looking up a phone number does not make you dangerous. It is scary that people think it does. I hope this is just a silly fad.

jca's avatar

@wundayatta: I think the term as used in this case is not intended to be a synonym for a criminal stalker. Like @augustlan explained in the post above yours, it’s “stalker-like.”

rooeytoo's avatar

I’m with @wundayatta – I think it is ridiculous to even compare a phone call to stalking.

The definition is

stalking – noun
1. the act or an instance of stalking, or harassing another in an aggressive, often threatening and illegal manner: Stalking is now a crime in many states.

And if it is indeed generational, did that generation ever consider just answering the phone and saying thank you for your attention but I’m not interested?

augustlan's avatar

My kids, aged 14 to 18, literally never call anyone (except parents and each other), unless they absolutely have to. This is apparently perfectly normal among kids today. All communication is either face-to-face or via text, email, or Facebook. I really do think it’s a shame, but that’s the way it is.

And, no, I don’t mean a phone call makes a person a literal stalker (I really thought I’d made that clear). Or dangerous. Just that it’s out of bounds in today’s world. Mildly creepy.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

It’s the actual obtaining of a phone number that a person was not given that is the issue, not the phone call itself. @rooeytoo

A person who stealthily hunts or pursues an animal or another person. <———
A person who harasses or persecutes someone with unwanted and obsessive attention.

Whilst the second pointer here may not be the issue, the first is of interest.

Straight off Google.

jca's avatar

Here’s a hypothetical that the OP on the other question (the question I referred to in this question) did not specify about, but is possible:

She said the guy took her number. Whether she pushed the number on him or he asked for it, is not clear. However, what if she looks him up, calls his home and he’s married? Now what?

wundayatta's avatar

He’s responsible for his own messes.

He could accuse the caller of stalking if he wanted a way to explain it to the missus. Given how things are, I’m sure it would be believable. Unless, of course, she found her phone number in her hubby’s wallet.

rooeytoo's avatar

If my husband were out tomcatting and taking numbers, I would want to know about it so I could line up the best divorce lawyer in town.

@lightsourcetrickster – I don’t think looking up a phone number is stealthily hunting or pursuing.
As I said sitting in your car with a 24 hour watch on his house is stalking, finding out someone’s phone number is not. And if this is a generational thing, it’s pretty interesting, sexting and sending selfies (naked photos so they tell me) are socially acceptable but calling someone who didn’t call you is a bad thing. Makes me think this generation is not wrapped too tightly???

lightsourcetrickster's avatar


I can see we’re going to have a lengthy debate about this until either the cows come home or you win a million bucks to travel the world – at which point you’d probably take a laptop with you. Either way….

I put it to you that looking for a phone number that you were not given is still ‘stealthy’ in manner seeing as the soon-to-be-phoned recipient of that (unexpected) phone call is unaware that their phone number is being sought out in the first place…hence…stealthy, and I don’t think you and I are using the same definition of pursue here either.

Also forgive my seeming ignorance of linguistics but…..“not wrapped too tightly”?

I can imagine there being reasons for not obtaining the gentleman’s number in the first place, and there could be questions to ask about that – but it would digress from the topic at hand.

wundayatta's avatar

@rooeytoo I’m glad we agree about this. I seriously doubt we will be able to get other people to see it our way. Which, of course, is a highly reasonable way to see things. Alas, as you said, perhaps the current generation thinks in a somewhat looser way about what stalking consists of.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

At this point I wouldn’t bother with facepalms, I’d use a mallet. Maybe it would help me get to sleep at 0502 in the morning!

rooeytoo's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster – do you need any help with the mallet??? ;-)

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Oh no..don’t get me wrong.


I was thinking of smacking you over the head with it.


Seek's avatar


20, 25 years ago, if you wanted someone’s number you looked in the phone book. Everyone had a phone book, and everyone knew everyone had a phone book. Everyone knew the appropriate steps to take to ensure their number did not appear in said phone book if they so desired. So it was reasonable to assume that if someone’s number was in the book, they probably wouldn’t mind being phoned up (at least until the second or third message wasn’t returned).

Today, in my city at least, they don’t even print personal numbers in the phone book. You can check yellowpages-dot-com, but that’s generally outdated, and doesn’t include cell phones, which is how the vast majority of people talk these days. I don’t even know anyone who has a landline, except my husband’s grandmother.

At that point, it’s no longer reasonable to assume that someone wants their phone number found. If you look a their social networking sites (the details don’t mention you were specifically asked to “hit me up on LinkedIn”) and were gigglingly pleased to find it not set to “private”, and you phoned their home, mobile, or place of business, I would call that inappropriate. Some people don’t know how to set things to private, or don’t know how to opt-out of Yellowpages-dot-com (if they even know it exists). To be honest, with all the changes Facebook has made lately, I don’t even know what my own privacy settings are anymore.

rooeytoo's avatar

Like I said, you can find naked pics of just about everybody on the internet plus private details about bowel habits, etc. and that is just fine and dandy. But…..... calling someone on the phone is stepping over the line. I find that to be bizarre.

Seek's avatar

I assure you, you will find no nude photographs of me on the internet. However, I have no way of telling you who may have sold my phone number to whom, or on which databases it may show up. And if you call me, and I don’t recognize the number, I will not answer. I also don’t check voice mail.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Of course I’ve said none, absolutely none of the stuff or even made the slightest remote hints at the things you’ve said between you.
I have been talking to a brick wall it seems :/

Seek's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster I’ve lurved almost all your answers. But you can have the space on the wall next to mine. Mine’s the spot with the bloody dent flecked with brainmatter.

jca's avatar

To add on to what @Seek_Kolinahr said, when people do have a land-line phone, rarely do they even give it out, especially to strangers. Friends and relatives maybe, but strangers and businesses usually are given cell numbers.

rooeytoo's avatar

see, if you just called the dude and got it over with you wouldn’t have to be banging your heads against the wall. Is that another generational thing? I nor none of my aged friends seem to do that either?

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But really, if we keep beating the dead donkey, it’s just gonna be a pile of bones before too long. That last sentence, was that supposed to be a question, or a statement?

Seek's avatar

I’m banging my head against the wall because I can’t seem to get it through that it is inappropriate to violate someone’s privacy. Honestly, I thought that was basic courtesy!

If you were planning on calling if Joe HotDude didn’t call, all you had to do was say “Here’s my number. Can I have yours?” And this entire discussion would never have had to happen. But you didn’t. (the “you” of course being the hypothetical person in the story) You gave your number and took the chance that he wouldn’t call back.

That’s the price you pay for not putting yourself out to be rejected face to face (by asking for his number in return).

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Y’know @Seek_Kolinahr, if you didn’t keep banging your head against the wall, there would be no bloody dent flecked with brain matter. I’m safe, my spot has pillows.

But just so you know, we’re totally on the same wavelength here. I’m with you. I’m just not smashing my head against a wall.

Given the length of this debate, OP you just got GQ’d.

Seek's avatar

Fortunately, it’s only metaphorical brainmatter on a metaphorical wall. Doesn’t hurt at all. In fact, I find it rather cathartic.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I was aware of that!

rooeytoo's avatar

Since we are beating dead horses, I will take one more opportunity to state my position. Let’s say I meet an attractive, interesting man, he gives me his number and says give me a call sometime. I forget, get busy with other things, just don’t get around to it, choose your scenario. This man likes my look and wonders why I haven’t called so he takes the time and energy to find my number and gives me a call. I would be pleased and flattered and more than happy to hear from him. It shows that he enjoyed my company and wants to see me again. I don’t consider him a stalker or a psychopath or anything else.

If I didn’t like him at all and never wanted to see him again and that is the reason why I didn’t call, then I would give a plausible non hurtful excuse that prevents me from seeing him again. I might lie but hey I would rather tell a white lie than be rude. I would still be flattered though that he called. If some generation other than mine considers that inappropriate or lacking in propriety, I would suggest counseling for some sort of personality disorder.

Now if he continued to call me again after that, then I would think he is stepping over the line. But first call, nope, no stalking, nothing untoward.

This works for both sexes or interested parties of the same gender.

So if you again choose to make a childish remark indicating that my response is so ridiculous that it causes you to beat your head against the wall or something similar, I will probably take the bait and reply again even though I think you are borderline trolling or attacking. Because I really don’t think my answers are such that it should cause you consternation and frustration sufficient to want to harm yourself. Or maybe you’re being metaphorically insulting and not really banging your head against a wall. Still insulting in either case because you see I am simply expressing a difference of opinion. I believe even the younger generation still allows that??? (that is a rhetorical question)

wundayatta's avatar

@rooeytoo Nice try. Very convincing. But I think that @Seek_Kolinahr has a very particular notion of privacy. Odd, since if I did look her up and call her, she wouldn’t answer, and if I left a message, she wouldn’t listen to it. So it seems like she has a double layer of privacy protection.

Now I consider myself a private person, but I don’t treat phone numbers in this sacred way. ANd when I do, it is the opposite of how @jca handles it. I’ll give my land line number to anyone. Why? Because they can get it anyway. It’s published all over the place.

But I will only give my cell phone number to people I want to have calling me, and calling me alone. I don’t answer phone calls on my cell that I don’t know, unless I’m expecting a doctor or someone like that to call. Of course, strangers calling me on the cell aren’t such a big deal any more, since I have a play with plenty of minutes. I didn’t used to do that.

So it seems to me that this is a matter of custom, and not a matter where there are generally agreed on rules.

bkcunningham's avatar

Today, I was playing shuffleboard with friends. A man who had just moved into the community from New York state was playing on the other team. He was very friendly, funny, nice and told me and a couple of other player, point blank, that he had just bought a house and was lonely and interested in meeting women and getting together for fun. I introduced him to my husband, several others there and to my friend who is a widow.

My friend and I whispered like little school girls about the newcomer. We invited him to join us on our evening swims and told him about other activities where he would be able to meet women and make new friends. When we explained where our pool is located, he seemed interested, but wasn’t familiar with our particular community.

I told him to ask my friend for her number or to give her his number and if he had trouble finding the pool he could give us a call. Well, the gentleman is recovering from a severe stroke and it took quiet some effort for him to maneuver and to find my friend. I watched as he stood in the heat waiting on her to finish a conversation about the shuffleboard stats and he finally walked away without her number.

We will most likely see him again, but I don’t want to take a chance on my friend missing out on the potential of having some fun with this handsome, funny and very interesting new resident. I am determined to help her find his phone number so she can call and invite him to the pool or to my house for a night of cards or Mexican Train. Are we stalkers? Maybe. But I figure life is short and I want her to go for this.

wundayatta's avatar

Great story, @bkcunningham. I wish you luck. I love your attitude on this!

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@rooeytoo I’ll risk going off topic here albeit momentarily, let me apologize for anything I posted that you may have considered insulting, although I can assure you that if anything it was merely lighthearted banter on all fronts I’m 100% certain of that. I will say that in no part was I directly assaulting you/attacking you (I don’t know you from Adam or Eve, so the point to such an exercise would be nonexistent) with any comments I have made in this thread.
Granted you are making your opinion/s known, which is great because otherwise this place would be dull if people didn’t (also making the existence of this delightful corner of cyberspace pretty void of all reason), so by all means, carry on, but don’t be fooled into thinking that we’re really having a dig at you over it. And take it easy on the younger generation. Some of them do have mental health issues believe it or not – I speak from experience ;)

Dare I say “once more unto the breach”?

Just for clarity and because the question is now waaaaay up there up top…let’s just ctrl+v this lot

“I have a sort of debate on another thread with another Jelly. A girl asked about a guy who she thought she had a good time with. The guy took her number and did not call her. The other Jelly suggested she look him up (White Pages, internet, whatever) and call him up.
I don’t agree. I think that’s hunting him down and his not calling would deter me from seeking him out.”

I think, and this is just my opinion here, that if you don’t get a number given, then you shouldn’t really call it. I think it’s also a game of risk (not the board game obviously). The option is, after all, right there for the taking. This is not a takeaway we’re talking here though, this is someone’s number, who doesn’t do pizza, and probably might suck at cooking Indian cuisine and packing it in a box, and certainly won’t give you a discount because he didn’t get the takeaway delivered to you within half an hour (and no curry on God’s green is going to take half an hour to get cooked and delivered – it it ever does, you’ve been conned – a proper one takes at least two to three hours – feel free to disagree). A person who has his own rights to privacy. So let’s just say that whether or not such a move is advised is based on the actual practice and execution of finding said number and calling it, would then allow the woman in question to determine from the guy’s reaction as to whether or not she made the right choice.
At this point, I’m pretty much inclined to believe that this is a debate to a question that simply has no right or wrong answer – because (do a mini fanfare here if you wish) nobody knows! I also think it’s safe to say that so far, it’s pretty split up between those of us who agree with finding a number that we haven’t already got to call someone seems to be a reasonable thing to do. That being should one person be interested in another who – despite having obtained their number – has not made initial contact via the telephone – then why the hell not, and those who think it’s a bit of a no-no. Why for? You never know without taking the risk as to whether or not anything of gain will come from it. There are plenty of examples we could probably muster up between us that proves that if you don’t take risks at times you don’t get rewards. Why against? Because we don’t know that guy’s take on his privacy. How do we know for sure that he may not appreciate getting a random call (since when is a call not random :-s) from someone he had obtained a number from. Also, how do we know he’s not already otherwise engaged with another acquaintance of the female persuasion? Would that call at that point be a welcome one? Only if his current company really stank, or he was in the middle of a really boring business meeting, or some such.
The fact is, I don’t think any of us can clearly determine what move she should make because we’re all human, and we all have (what a surprise) an opinion as to what privacy is. We make the rules that determine for us what our privacy is. We can say it’s not okay for someone to call us, when we’ve not given a number to someone despite them giving us their number. We can say it’s okay for our significant others to go through our personal diaries or cell phones (which is really where I’d draw the line actually :-/), the list is endless. Privacy is open to interpretation not merely by dictionary definitions but by our own personal boundaries and what we expect in terms of what goes on around us and how others interact with us within a certain environment or by means of communication (cell/phone, e-mail perhaps, IM, Facebook, blah blah).

Sorry about the essay.

rooeytoo's avatar

@wundayatta – I think you’re right, I am giving up now. But hey call me anytime you like, I will not think you a stalker, it would be nice to chat.

@jca – I am completely with you. Hope they get together with all your crew and everyone has wonderful adventures even when we are all in our mobility scooters!

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta It’s clearly not just @Seek_Kolinahr who disagrees. Obviously, we have different ideas of appropriateness, and that’s fine. It doesn’t mean we’re off our rockers.

wundayatta's avatar

@augustlan and it doesn’t mean I’m off my rocker, either. I mean, obviously I am off my rocker, but not for that opinion.

augustlan's avatar

@wundayatta I meant that none of us are off our rockers, you guys included. Well, as you say, not for these opinions, anyway! ;)

jca's avatar

OP here: I want to jump in and say that I have been following this and love how day after day I open this up and see a bunch of new answers. I never expected to start such a debate, and I follow the various opinions with curiosity and interest. There are no “right and wrong” answers, and as stated, privacy is obviously in the eye of the beholder!

Aethelwine's avatar

I just found this question and I must say that some of the answers have surprised me. I grew up without internet (I’m 41) and I would never think it would be inappropriate to try to find the phone number of a person I would want to talk to. Just one call is harmless imo. If the person wasn’t interested then I would leave them alone. I do agree more with the answers that @wundayatta and @rooeytoo have given. The rest of you have given me a lot to think about, especially since I have an 8 year old daughter who is now growing up with instant access to everything and everyone on the internet. phones are bad, m’kay, but go ahead and find a person and their 500 friends on Facebook. (I’m joking. kind of) ;).

rooeytoo's avatar

@jonsblond – I believe that is called irony (or perhaps paranoia) that someone would consider it safe and sensible to have 500 to a couple of thousand close friends on facebook with whom you share your every mood and movement but not safe or acceptable to have someone call you on the phone. But hey, we seem to be in the minority and our obtuseness is causing the younger generation to self mutilate so I am giving up. If you would like to chat further though, give me a call, heheheh!

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

I have you sussed @rooeytoo.

The absence of the phone number was the thing I had some issue with, not making the phone call.

Making the phone call is not the problem… how the number is obtained was something I had issue with.

Again I’ll rephrase…..One more time, not because anyone is actually just being “Duh, George, I still don’t get it.”, but because I can rephrase.

Making the phone call is fine, but how you obtain a number may or may not be fine.
Getting the number may be okay, but how you go about getting it may not be okay.
I mean do you actually physically look up an ex-directory phone number to make a phone call to someone you really don’t know all that well as some kind of party trick? Don’t you think there’s going to be reasons for that number not being widely available regardless of whoever else may already have the number?

I doubt this has made any clearer the whole point of anything I’ve put here, but bleh…whatever.

Ela's avatar

Addressing the original question… Hypothetical: You meet a guy, hang out, have a good time and he takes your number and doesn’t call. Do you find his number (internet?) and call him up?

If there was something spectacular about him I found absolutely irresistible… I would find his number and send 2 texts as opposed to calling. Both texts would say the exact same thing and I would send 2 because people always say that sometimes texts get lost or go to the wrong person or whatever blah, blah, blah bs they say (which btw I don’t believe).
If he accussed me of stalking him, I’d tell him to get over himself, delete him and go on with my happy life. But that’s just me : )
I think if he thinks I am stalker after taking my personal time and effort to find his number and send 2 texts it says a lot more about him than it does me.

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