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I’ve got this friend who’s a little bit of a player (I swear, it’s not me!).He goes on a lot of dates and while he generally manages to have fun, 99% of the time, he talks about the women like they’re expiring milk: temporary commodities with a week-long half-life “She’s really cute, but doesn’t have much to say”, “She’s cool, but there’s no chemistry”. “She’s really into me, but I’m not sure how I feel.” That kinda stuff. Imagine my surprise when he told me that he was blown away by a recent date, who went back to his apartment after a few rounds of drinks. “She’s so much fun. Totally eccentric and interesting and very sexy. I can’t wait to see her again.” And he did what guys do when they’re into women: he called her the next day to tell her he had a good time. But when she didn’t call back that night, he wasn’t just shocked, but genuinely hurt. “Guess this is how it feels to go out with one of us,” he opined. Amen, brother…

It’s not hard to get past games. Confident people do it all the time. Too bad more people aren’t genuinely confident. Insecure people who play games are like insecure people who lie in their profiles; they don’t feel confident enough in the truth to allow it to surface. So men wait three days to call after a date. Or women wait two days to return his call in return. And so on and so forth, ad nauseum. Emphasis on the nauseum.

I can’t think of many situations in the universe where it’s considered a good idea to make things more complex than they already are, but somehow the theory still goes that you should play hard to get. Bullshit.

If Jeff goes out with Kim and they both have an amazing time, it’s absolutely, positively, 100% encouraged and understood that he should call her the next day. And after he calls, she’ll comment to her friends how sweet and thoughtful he was for calling the next day.

If Jeff goes out with Kim and she doesn’t have fun, but he still calls her the next day, that same sweet and thoughtful phone call turns into something vaguely needy, insidious or stalker-like. In other words, if Kim doesn’t like Jeff, nothing he does will affect how she feels. If she does like him, then being forthcoming will only go to further her goodwill towards him.

I’m not denying that you can exert a measure of power by resisting your impulse to be too available or too much of an open book. Telling someone you knew for three hours that you love her is a pretty poor idea, as is calling him four consecutive times the next day to thank him. But the best relationships aren’t built on power plays and they’re not built on women “catching” men by being elusive. If we can all agree that honesty and trust are the foundation of any couple, why withhold it when it matters most – at the beginning, when you’re making a first impression? I assure you that if you like him and he likes you, calling when you feel like it can only make things better. If it makes things worse, it wasn’t right for a whole bunch of other reasons.