Take Me Out To The Ball Game (But Learn The Rules First)

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One thing I get a lot of, being the brilliant sex and dating columnist I am, is people contacting me for advice. A very good, very beautiful, smart and funny friend of mine recently emailed me a dilemma, and speaking about it with other girlfriends, I realized that what we have on our hands is a serious situation that needs to be addressed immediately.

The problem is this: You meet Guy. You like Guy. Guy seems to like you. You would definitely say yes if Guy asked you for a drink, but you don't want to be the one to ask (viva le chivalry!). You drop a hint instead of asking outright-hit the ball into his court, so to speak. You find a neutral medium (email, Facebook etc.) and casually drop your number into a message.

And here is where the whole system breaks down. My dear friend says that the message should be relatively clear: "Thus essentially giving, I think, the sign that YES I might say YES if you ask me out, but definitely giving the sign that YES you should use this number for fun banter/flirting."

However, using this method, she's never had the desired outcome, "EVERY TIME the guy has just sent me their number back. Via the medium I sent mine. WTF?! USE THE NUMBER. Ugh. So then I am back to square one?!"

Guy, what up with that? That number isn't just a ball in your court-there are balls flying at you from all directions, and I know it must be confusing and a little bit overwhelming, but even if you flail your arms about wildly, you're sure to hit one back over the net, right? As another gorgeous friend hilariously put it, "it's not even like they hit the ball back into your court. You hit the ball and they picked it up, like they don't know this ball game at all, and they walked it around the net to give it back to you."

Is it not enough that we've wacked a ball over to you? Do we also need to place the racquet in your hand? While we're at it, should we show you how to swing? And we know the answer to this problem isn't, "he's just not that into you." Believe it or not, girls have a pretty good spider sense for when guys are into them, and it's incredibly rare that we're wrong.

So why no figurative backhand? We're not looking for a Federer style swing-we don't expect you to immediately ask us out upon receiving our number; that's pretty scary and we understand. What we do expect is a text that kicks off some sort of dialogue. Yes, we're modern women and we are taught to take what we want, but we can only lead you to the water-it's you that must drink.

Because aren't you flattered, Guy, that we want you to have our number? Why not flatter us back by getting in contact instead of pitching straight back in a completely cowardly way that makes us think you're squealing like a little bitch and freaking out in front of your phone? Help us out-we'll take a little of the responsibility in the contemporary dating game (we'll even do it happily!) but you've got to do some work too. Rome wasn't built by one woman and some canny flirting tactics now, was it?

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