I Got Her Number: Now What? – The Joy of Text

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If there’s one thing that guys obsess upon, it’s the “getting the girl’s number”. Let’s say that you’ve impressed the girl at the party/bookstore/gym/mall/what-have-you with your looks, charm, wit or Audi R8. Now you’re walking back to your friends holding up that napkin with the most coveted of prizes: her digits! Score! Mission accomplished! She totally digs you! It’s all smooth sailing from here, right?


One of my jobs here at Paging Dr. NerdLove is – sadly – to vigorously stomp on some of your most fondly held dreams when those dreams and delusions are holding you back. And so, allow me to apply the hobnailed boot of reality upside your head. Just getting her number means absolutely nothing. She may like you and wants to hear back from you. Or she may have given you a number just to make you go away. Hell, it may even really be her number… but she’s never going to actually take your call.

In the days of cellphones, voice mail and caller ID, a phone number is an absolutely meaningless trophy when it comes to meeting women. Just because she didn’t give you the number for the local cement processing factory doesn’t mean that you’re ever going to hear back from her. If you want to make sure that getting her number leads to an actual date in the future, you have to understand phone game.

Getting Her Number

Obviously, before any of this comes in to play, you have to get her number in the first place… and be assured that she’s actually going to respond.  A general rule of thumb is that the longer you’re talking to a girl, the better the odds are that it’s a solid number; if she gives you her number within the first five to ten minutes it’s likely that either she gives her number out to a lot of people or that she’s giving you the brush-off without having to be direct. If it’s within twenty to thirty minutes, it’s probably far more likely to actually respond when you try to get ahold of her. Similarly, if she’s willing to move around with you – to another section of the book store, back to the bar to grab a drink, to a quieter section of the party where you can talk – it’s a strong indicator that not only is she interested, but that she trusts you… and therefor she’s more likely to pick up when you call after getting her number.

"No, it's Brad. Braaaad. You know, we met at Pure on Friday night, you spilled your Appletini on me and I told you that... hello?"

Time and social context makes a difference here too; the rules of meeting women during the day versus at night and on weekends are different. During the day, there are usually legitimate time constraints that will keep girls from hanging out with you for a half-hour; you may get the number sooner and she’ll still respond, but it may well take longer to get her to actually meet with you in person.

The best way to get her number isn’t to just ask for it, nor is it to say “Hey, we should hang out some time” or “I want to continue this conversation later”. The best way is to make specific plans for a date. Besides creating a context where she will be expecting to hear from you, you will also be weeding out potential flakes; any girl who says “Well, I dunno…” or “Call me the day of,” or indicates that the day may not be the best for her without suggesting another day is someone who’s likely going to flake on you and you will be well rid of them.

The Intimacy Ladder

When it comes to women and dating, you have to understand that there are levels of intimacy when it comes to communication. From most intimate to least, it goes:

  • In Person
  • Phone
  • Text
  • E-mail
  • Instant Message
  • Facebook1

Obviously you want to be moving up the intimacy ladder as quickly as possible. Dropping down a level – she only responds to your voice mails with texts, for example – is generally a sign that you’ve screwed up somewhere along the way. If this is a regular pattern, it’s an indication that you’re now in damage control mode and the odds are good that you’re not actually going to see this girl any time in the near future. Similarly if the two of you have been texting back and forth and she starts to call you instead, it’s a very good sign.

So remember to keep aware of where your interactions are on the intimacy ladder and keep trying to move upwards… after all, the sex doesn’t happen until you’re actually meeting up in person.

The Power Of The Text Message

The text message is a surprisingly versatile and powerful tool in the arsenal of any man who’s looking for dates. It’s one of the best ways to establish communication with girls you’ve just met – as well as confirming that you have a working, valid number. You can use it to build comfort or intrigue in order to help get her excited and eager to meet with you face-to-face. You can use it to maintain a connection with a girl you’ve been seeing or one you’re trying to see but circumstances are getting in the way. You can use it to re-establish communication with a girl when things have suddenly gone quiet, even after weeks or months of inactivity. And it can be used to bypass women’s inhibitions and build momentum towards sex.

You see, text messages provide a layer of distance between you and the person you’re talking to. This level of detachment allows for people to step outside of their public roles or personas and adopt ones that they would never cop to in public. You’re mutually agreeing, in effect, that these texts are not “real” and therefore anything goes. Once you’ve gotten more used to talking to girls and mastering phone game and texting, you’ll be amazed at just how easy it can be to go from basic teasing and flirting to surprisingly intense sexual topics and role-play. I have set up dates and hook-ups with girls I had met while out solely via text, just by escalating the sexual nature of our texts back and forth.

Man, I had no idea you could do that with a Zima bottle!

But before you ever worry about that, you need to know the basics of text and text game.

Establishing Contact

The first thing you need to do after getting a girl’s number is to send out a ping. You want to establish that yes, this is her number and that she’s actually going to respond to you when you try to contact her. Text is invaluable here not only because it’s low-investment on both your parts, but also because you can use it to make yourself stand out from the other guys she’s met and given her number out to. I’ve mentioned before that I encourage giving girls teasing nicknames as a part of flirting; using that nickname here helps re-establish not only who you are and how you met but also works well as call-back humor.

There are a lot of so-called “rules” out there about when you should call after getting the number – see the classic scene in Swingers – whether to wait one day, three days, a week. Ignore all of those. I will usually send a text ping within a couple of hours of getting the number. Why so soon? Well to start with, you don’t want to lose the emotional momentum you’ve built up. You also want to establish contact while you’re still fresh in her memory instead of playing the classic “Hey, it’s Jake, we met two nights ago at The Library, I was wearing the Dr. Who shirt…. no, Jake. Jay-ay-kay-ee.” conversation.

The text ping doesn’t have to be terribly complex or crazy – just a little reminder of who you are. One of the most reliable out there is the classic “Hey $NICKNAME, do you speak text?  🙂 $YOURNAME”. If I met her while out at a bar or party, I may send something along the lines of “Hey $NICKNAME, it’s $YOURNAME, I’m texting you now before I forget who you are when tomorrow’s hangover kick’s in, so WRITE ME BACK, WOMAN!” or “So I have a couple hours before the consequences of my actions kick in $NICKNAME so I wanted to say ‘hey!'”

You want to bait girls into writing back; this is why you don’t want to say “Hey, it was great meeting you last night!”. A little humor and/or intrigue works best as does a challenge. “Hey $NICKNAME, this question will forever decide whether we can be friends: favorite Bond Girl?” Make or break questions, especially any involving a binary choice, will get good responses; cake or pie, beach or skiing, Los Angeles or Miami, New York or San Francisco, New Orleans or Austin, Game of Thrones or True Blood. Regardless of the answer, a teasing response “What, are you serious? Oh God, I can’t take you seriously…” can keep the conversation going.

Text Message Etiquette, Responses and Timing

A number of people – especially would-be PUAs will make a point of using response time as a power-play in order to manipulate the girls they’re talking to; the idea is that the anticipation and expectation of a return message will keep girls interested. If she takes a day to respond, they will take a day to respond… or longer.

This, frankly, is absurd. People who play these sorts of head games are people you do not want to date or emulate. Passive-aggressive behavior and manipulation really has no place when it comes to dating. This sort of behavior is the emotional equivalent of a brightly-colored reptile: it’s how nature tells us not to touch it.  The last thing you want to do is punish someone for responding to you in a friendly manner.

Now at the same time, you don’t necessarily want to respond right away; you don’t want to give the impression that you’re waiting with sandwiches by the phone after all. So if it isn’t with someone whom you’re close with – good friends, family members, an actual girlfriend – wait around 15 minutes from when you receive the text to respond. Occasionally you will want to vary it up; sometimes you will respond immediately, other times you will take a little longer… being a little unpredictable is good. Holding a response hostage for hours or even days – assuming you aren’t legitimately busy and can’t respond – isn’t appropriate behavior, nor is it as attractive as others would have you think.

Similarly, some people will advocate sticking to a specific number of texts per day… period. At that point either you call or you don’t respond until the next day. Again: this is ridiculous. If the two of you are vibing and having a good time chatting via text, there’s no reason not to keep chatting that way. I have had text conversations that went on for hours and ended up being literally hundreds of back-and-forths… a very good reason to get unlimited texting if you can possibly afford it.

He's not going to be nearly as happy when his next phone bill comes in.

The Power of Intrigue

Never underestimate the power of intrigue to get responses, establish role-plays or even to set up an open loop to bait a conversation. This is can be an incredibly powerful tool; when used properly, you can even prompt responses from numbers that have been unresponsive for days or weeks. These can be used to help keep her interest and maintain a spicy and flirty conversation – helping to build the momentum towards an in-person meeting and/or sex. Again, these texts are short and simple; you’re just giving them a quick poke, not writing War and Peace.
Hey, I think I just met your twin.”
“You just popped into my head, so I wanted to say ‘Hey’. Oh, and stay out of my head.”
“I had a really weird dream about you last night.”
“Hey, I just saw something awesome and it made me think of you. Text me back.”

One that I’ve had some success with on numbers that had gone silent is: “Sure, come on over. Key’s in the usual place.” As soon as I get the inevitable “What??” response, I reply “Oh shit, replied to the wrong text. Sorry about that.” It’s a risky move and one I only use rarely; as often as this baits a girl into talking again, it also will occasionally end in silence… or someone calling me out on it being a blatant bait into a conversation. So use it with caution.

Flirting Made Simple

The distancing effect of text messages can be an advantage when it comes to flirting. Because you feel a certain level of remove, you will feel more comfortable in making more sexual or coquettish replies that you might not feel as comfortable making in person. It works best as a push-pull; you’re pulling in a little by expressing interest before pushing her away. It’s a playful way of injecting sex into the conversation without coming off as crude or creepy.

“You just gave me a really inappropriate thought just now, and I really don’t know you well enough for that yet.”
“OK, stop that. You’re turning me on and that’s just really not appropriate right now.”
“Oh man, what am I going to do with you? I mean I have some ideas, but they’re really not ok yet.”
“Hold on, you just gave me a really interesting mental image… OK, I’m back.”

These work as an open loop to bait a response as well as establishing the frame that she is the one who’s pursuing you sexually; if she doesn’t directly contradict you, she’s passively accepting the frame and the interaction has changed. It also works as an open but unspoken invitation: you’re willing to go sexual, but you’re also not going to be weird or force the matter on her.

Check back next week for Part Two of “I Got Her Number, Now What”, when I cover the actual phone calls, how to not be intimidated when you make that first call and handling the dreaded voice mail. And if you like this article, please remember to Like it, share it on Facebook, Google Plus, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg and in your blogs and forums!

  1. This, incidently, is part of why it’s a bad idea to try to pick girls up via Facebook. A LOT of girls – especially younger ones – will friend anyone. And because you can set up lists and filters, just being Facebook friends doesn’t mean she will ever actually see your status updates or messages []

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  • It's funny, because although I had known the power of flirtatious texting (not to get haughty, but I think it's a lot of fun) and how that sort of game works, a female friend really rammed the point home for me not long ago.

    After a few initial days of friendly texting, she mentioned out of the blue that her casual sex partner had been unable to meet her for about two months, and that she was frustrated. Making the small assumption that she was not simply looking for unpaid therapy sessions with a psychology student, I took the bait and simply sent back "Is that a proposition? >.>" and the rest is history.

  • Emmy

    I am a "nerdy girl" and often more accepting of social faux pas than many ladies but I've got to say your suggestion texts are awful. While your emotional advice is very true, such as don't mess with girls who seem to be playing head games. You're off on these "uncreepy" check ins. NEVER write or strongly imply a girl needs to text you back. "write me back now woman" makes you come off as clingy and agressive, so does "text me back." If you have a close relationship these statements are fine but early on they send the wrong message, the girl should be meeting you halfway anyway, and hopefully wants to text you back. And all of the "oh its not appropriate" text suggestions… yeah that all comes off poorly. Telling a girl you want to text her so you don't forget her after your hangover is a really douchy. Yeah.

    • chad

      Well said Emmy. I was thinking the same thing when I read that part over. I never had any luck communicating with woman being that aggressive. So many other factors go into though it such as age, maturity, personality, culture, hell even geographical location, that it would be hard to give a point-by-point verbatim of how to attract woman via SMS text message.

    • pimp master flex

      the real problem is over-analyzing the pimp game, it either comes naturally or you end up sounding like an unexperienced idiot. i've had almost all of my success with telling girls absurd unbelievable lies that come off as funny. like "hey you girls wanna come party with us on my yacht" or "hey we're having an after party at my mansion.. looking for models.. you girls wanna join" they LOVE it. and when you get a number never text as much jibber jabber as this creepy lame-o is suggesting. keep it short, simple, and funny. pay more attention to the AMOUNT of words being exchanged you never want to say more then the woman at first. that reeks of desperation. you have to be funny, non aggressive and interesting and able to intuitively understand how to respond to chicks or you'll never be a certified pimp

      • pimp master flex

        anddd i also need to stress that you should most certainly NOT "cop a role or persona you wouldn't have in public" that is the dumbest advice ever what happens when you do actually hang out?? umm uhhh derrr.. i know i sounded like rico swavey on text and now i sound like steve erkle butt im sorry. i'd have to guess the author of this crap rarely ever gets laid especially sending out creep messages like "i left the door open, keys on the table" is this guy from planet earth? follow his advice if you enjoy jerking off. otherwise never be someone your not because it will blow up in your face like porn star waiting for a money shot

  • Joe

    Yea this article contradicts what most other people are saying, I do agree that what hes saying is literally all in this guys head.

  • Alice

    I just wanted to say that I've recieved countless of messages from nerd-boys that I've dated. I'm quite the introvert and prefer textual communication over chit chat any time. In person, I only enjoy the deep talk.
    I just want to mention that it's really important that you DON'T MAKE ANY SEXUAL ADVANCES YOU WOULDN'T MAKE IN REAL LIFE!

    I can't stress this enough. It has ruined so many good relationships to be. It makes everything SO awkward if you. Unless you are a social pro, the DON'T!

    All the other tips are really great though, I love being texted like that.

  • Syed

    Nothing works if the girl who you are texting isn't interested in you. I had some how got this girls number at my office and i just texted saying,"have the reports been updated, should i mail them now," (I was just playing safe here, didn't want to say anything unprofessional because she might excelate the issue). Her Reaction was: She called up immediately to check who it was, once i explained the situations where we had bumped into each other (Casually) She just hung up the phone and requested not to call or message her on that number ever 🙁

    • eselle28

      I don't think that's quite the same thing as what's being discussed in the article. What happened in your story is that you texted someone who didn't remember giving you her number and didn't know who you were, and that you tried to talk about work on someone's personal phone. Both of those things are going to throw off an interaction, especially the second one, which comes across more as trying to push work into someone's personal life than a romantic overture.

  • Ken

    Although some of the advice is good the most part it seems like you just want to get laid. You mention sex as the end game to your awkward texting as if that's all that matters.

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  • levis

    hey !! i met a girl one year back till sm days we were in watsapp chatting with each other, i work in a bookstore, and yes i have done a creepy thing that i directly conveyed my feelings to her sayin "i like u " she got lill scared with me and wen i askd for her no. she gave me at the same time, we talk with each other in chatting bt she never answer my calls and even nvr accepts wen i offer her any time for goin to coffe shops and meetings.

    bt still i feel shes my CRUSH n i nvr wanna leave heer …. what can i do ?

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  • John

    Nice article. I completely agree with you concept of PUA mental masturbation when it comes to most of the psychological jargon they pump out.

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  • La femme

    Alright, I'll go ahead and throw you a bone. AS A WOMAN,

    1. do not text me if I gave you my phone number. Call and ask me to dinner. Speaking from a real woman's perspective, anything else will be ignored.
    2. If I gave you my number in the first 10 or 20 minutes, it does not mean I give it out to many men. It means, you passed my requirements. How fast you do it is up to you. 10 or 20 minutes means I consider you a great guy. Why you would take it to some other level of thought about my habits is beyond.
    3. If you are ever in doubt, just ask yourself what you'd want as a real woman. Hopefully you're not calling that drunk chick from Pure nightclub and expecting her to remember who she met (or slept with) last Saturday. shoot a little higher.

  • "do not text me if I gave you my phone number. Call and ask me to dinner. Speaking from a real woman's perspective, anything else will be ignored."
    Too high-minded, snobbish, and idealistic for me. [[=

  • wrong all wrong

  • reciprocitwhat

    Nice airticle. Dont apply this to your personal life. She DID give you her number, and I can assure you, that it was not to give you a slap on the wrist. You are going to be wanting all that, but not yet. Right? "Ask and you shall receive" and so on. You got her number, what do you give in return? Yeees, the golden rule applies. You felt good getting her number allright? Give away a few compliments, it will NOT diminish you. Just dont diminish HER; ever. After all, what creature bites the hand that feeds?

  • N3rdyGirl83

    As a woman, I'd like to point out that asking me to text you back is a pretty good way to not get a text back.

    If you text me, I'm probably going to text you back (unless it's just 'hello' or something offensive), so ending your text with '… text me.' is just going to make me pause and think 'is this guy really needy? did I make a mistake giving him my number?'.

    Additionally, If I'm actually interested enough to give a guy a number, I ask him to text right away that way 'I have your number too'. This proves that my number is real right away, and I have his number, so I know who is texting me if he waits 3 days to actually contact me again. Also, by saying 'I have your number too' it indicates that I'm actually interested in him and actually hoping to hear from him.

    If I'm not interested, or not sure if I'm interested, I'll get him to send me a friend request on Facebook. This isn't actually a rejection: I've given him my real name and an opportunity to get to know me online. If he's creepy or weird (or doesn't bother interacting with me), I can simply block him and don't have to worry about having to change my phone number.

    My advice: Don't freak out about getting the number. It's not the prize it used to be. If the girl gives you any way to contact her, take it as a (possibly) good sign. (She could also be blowing you off, but you'll know for sure if she never responds to you.)