Friday, February 5, 2010

No, You Can't Get My Phone Number

When a guy asks for your number, you're either happy or you feel incredibly awkward. If it's a guy you are really interested in getting to know, you might be eager to talk to him again.

But here is a word of caution: Once a guy has your number, you can't take it back--and you might want to.

Trust me, I know because stalkers/crazy people seem to like me.

But is there ever an easy way to convince a dude that you like him but not enough for him to get your digits? ("Can I have your number instead?") I honestly don't have the answer. I guess you could set up a voicemail number or get a second cellphone number just for the purpose of giving it to guys you're not so sure about. But then you also have to be sure you don't call the guy from your "real" number until you're ready for him to have it. And that can be tricky, to say the least.

I learned this lesson the hard way a while back. I met a guy who seemed cool--We'll call him Certifiable Loser (CL). CL is not the cutest guy around but he seemed nice, had a decent job, didn't seem crazy (at least not at first). So we exchanged numbers. Then came warning sign No. 1: He called and insisted on talking with me my entire drive home. I guess some women might see that as attentive and cute, but I'd just spent 20 minutes talking with him in person and I thought it was a bit over eager.

Still, I gave CL a couple more phone conversations before I decided I wasn't interested, and I slowly stopped returning his phone calls. (We never even went on a date.) Then I started getting calls from blocked numbers. At first the calls came during the day. Then they happened sometimes in the middle of the night. If I answered, the person wouldn't say anything--he'd just listen to me breathe.

Along the way, CL somehow found me on MySpace--back when people still actually used MySpace. And he started messaging me there. I ignored him.

Next, the blocked calls to my cellphone became more frequent. This went on for months, I tell you, MONTHS. Ugh.

And soon, the person started putting in "187" as the number to page me.

Yes, I said 187. Remember that? As in "187, with my gat in your mouth, fool"--the police code for murder. So now the dude was not only stalking me by phone, but he was threatening to kill me?! WTF.

I called my cellphone company. They said I had to go to the police in order to have them subpoena my phone records to hopefully figure out the source of the unblocked calls and 187 pages.

That's when I found out that whoever did this--and my money is on CL--was spoofing their number so that even when the police traced the blocked calls, it only traced back to a fake number that couldn't be further tracked. My only option to stop getting harassed was to change my number.

So I did just that and gave it to everyone except for CL.

And whaddoyaknow, the calls mysteriously stopped. CL had no choice except to leave me alone. He didn't know anything else about me except for my phone number and what I looked like. Problem solved. Thank goodness.

The female cop handling my case said I should never give my number to new dudes I meet. But even after this wacky experience with CL, I still give my number out occasionally, depending on (A) how long I've gotten to talk to the dude in person to assess his potential level of crazy/stalkerness, and (B) if I feel comfortable enough to give him the digits.

That said, it's not an exact science. Hell, I'm still dodging calls and texts from Blast From Past. (In fact, BFP just texted me to tell me he noticed I just became a fan of a company on Facebook and he has a meeting with that company next week...Me [thinking, as I delete him as a fb friend]: Um, dude, I've been ignoring you for days. Why are you fb stalking me?! SMH.) Sigh.

TALK BACK: Do you feel comfortable giving your phone number out to new guys you meet? Why or why not?

1 comment:

  1. Get a Google Voice number. It gives you control. You can call out from that number and text from that number so the other party never has your real phone number. If you don't want to talk to them anymore, you can block them, let them always go straight to voicemail, or let the phone ring endlessly. Then on top of all that greatness, it's free!! I've always had this type of option with other companies like Vumber, etc, but Google is free and offers texting so it's the best option by far. This is a must have for any single woman dating these days. I've met a ton of people and have known some for over a year and none of them have my real phone number.