Would You Rather Spend 20 Minutes on the Phone Discovering Your Date’s a Loser?

attractive lady spending long minutes on the phone

Would you rather spend 20 minutes on the phone discovering your date’s a loser?

Or spend 2 hours live to reach the same conclusion?

Share some of your stories with us about how you found out your date was a loser.

And if it was on the first date, are you wishing you had spent more time on the phone getting to know him/her better to save yourself the misery?

Click here for tips on how to weed out the losers more quickly.

Join our conversation (39 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 1

    The phone, obviously.

    It normally takes me even less than 20 minutes to realize someone is not interesting to me.

    Don’t have the energy or the time for stories right now (and a few I must have mentioned on these boards earlier), but I can add here that one other thing that’s potentially a serious turnoff for me (aside from voice, accent [I am referring to the various regional accents of my native language, although in English, Southern would have about the same effect on me, I just didn’t personally encounter any potential dates with it], vocabulary, manner of speech) is lack of energy. If I start feeling like talking to this man is hard work for me, I just say I have to go and never call back.

  2. 2

    Let’s see, showed up for a date half-drunk and needed me to explain the menu to him (don’t think it had anything to do with the liquor–he was just stupid–I mean, what’s so hard to understand about stuffed mushroom caps?)…

    Lied about his first name, refused to talk about his upbringing (just trying to make small talk about how interesting it would be to grow up in India), and asked if I liked to make out on first dates…

    Spent three hours regaling me with the history of his family tree, including all the divorces, remarriages, and his cousins’ bar mitzvah dates…

    Tried to order dinner for me and became angry when I wanted to order my own food…

    Took me for a wonderful dinner, ordered the perfect wine to complement the meal, kept up interesting and topical conversation, walked with me for miles under the stars after dinner, held my hand while we walked and talked, and gave me a good night kiss that made my knees buckle–then never called me again…

    In every case, these first dates were preceded by long phone conversations. My point? Even the phone isn’t a guaranteed screening tool for jerks.

    You’re probably wondering, “Man, if these were the guys she screened, who were the guys she DIDN’T agree to go out with?!” LOL

  3. 3

    The problem with the phone and profiles is that while they can tell you that someone is a loser, they cannot tell you if they are not. Someone can seem cool in a profile, but in real life they are not. Someone can be interesting and nice on the phone, but you meet them in real life and they are 5’7″ or have bad teeth. You can spend time screening all you like, but until you meet in real life you honestly have no idea.

    To make it more bearable, I used to play a game with myself when going to meet guys from online. I knew that most of them I would not be interested in dating but I made it my mission to learn one new thing when I went out. No matter how uninteresting or unattractive a guy is, he has to have some sort of knowledge of something you do not, so it made it seem like less of a waste of time. I went on a coffee date with a shorter unattractive guy, but at least he taught me how my stock options worked!

  4. 4

    I agree. A phone conversation doesn’t always give you the information you need to judge whether someone is a loser or not.

    One guy I met recently is a perfect example of this. The phone conversation was great. In person, he was a little bit of a dud though conversation flowed okay. He was just a little dull. The kicker came when he gave me a good night kiss. It was horrid and not something I’d have ever learned on the phone. He also reminded me of my daughter’s ex b/f…his smile, the crinkles around his eyes, his mannerisms. It was a bit creepy and also not something I’d have figured out on the phone.

  5. 5

    This is one of my favorite quotes: “Love is two good people resigned to their own poor characters.” We are all losers in some sense because none of us are perfect. None of us are perfect but some of us are perfect for each other. I really wish people would stop quantifying each other and simply search for happiness and the person who will make them want to be better people themselves.

  6. 6

    The phone. I won’t go out with someone I’ve not spoken to on the phone first- whether i’ve met them in ‘real life’ or online. In fact, I think it’s better to talk on the phone more quickly in the beginning than do a lot of emailing back and forth; it can save you the awkwardness of having in-depth personal email chats and then realizing you have no chemistry on the phone.
    @xpuff- I like that game, i think I’ll try it myself.

  7. 7

    Yikes. I wouldn’t even think of kissing someone on the first date: still a stranger. Because, yeah, you *don’t* know if you’ll ever see him again. Meanwhile you now have his cooties (sorry but strep and mono go around on occasion in this college town.) I like to know a little more about a man and really want that kiss. It’s for when you *know* you like each other.

    Having said that…I don’t, “do phone,” but rather meet up front first, as a “pre-date” to see what I’ve got on my hands. I tend to be chatty and since I work full time and am in school I really don’t want to get into a long phone conversation, or several of them, or get attached to someone I have not yet met in person, wonder if they’ll call or start any of that dynamic. So, I cut to the chase and say, “let’s e a few, then meet.”


  8. 8

    I think talking on the phone is a good start. It gives you a bit of an idea.I have also gone on dates where I did not speak to the guy on the phone at all. It turned out to be a very pleasant lunch. After that he called the same evening, then proceeded to call me everyday as well as texting me and talking to me like I was already dating him seriously. For me it was just way too much and I had to put a stop to it. he almost fellt like a stalker to me. There have been guys that I have not called guys back, there were guys that did not call me back. I have been on dates where we both knew there was no point and a second date would not be happening. I just don’t have any fixed rules.

  9. 9

    I want to talk on the phone first. It ups the odds of a meeting not being a waste of time. If someone is not very articulate, I sure don’t want to sit across a table from him for 2 hours.

  10. 10

    I’d say by far in most cases when things didn’t work out with a guy after intelligent and interesting phone conversations, it was only because I didn’t find them physically attractive. Obviously not something I could have seen over the phone (and photos are sometimes misrepresentative), but still, I definitely wouldn’t call those people “losers”.

    There was one case in my experience, however, in which we spoke for hours several times before meeting (he lived two hours away) with not a glitch, and in person the communication was so painful we couldn’t even last three hours.

    That was the only time in my life, I think, that I couldn’t find anything to talk about with an intellectual person.

    Oh, sometimes, I discovered (and even surprised myself with the discovery, as I tend to be quite critical in general), I give people too much of a benefit of a doubt. I remember three cases in my life (one of them was a friend of a friend, not someone I met online) when I attributed their weird voice or manner of talking to being humorous (the friend in question spoke very much like Beavis & Butthead, for instance), but it turned out they were just like that for real. Nothing humorous about that.

  11. 11

    With few exceptions my screening system has worked pretty well. I can usually tell between a guy’s profile and e-mails whether or not the guy and I will do well on a date. Sometimes we’ll talk on the phone beforehand, but frequently not. I’ve found that my pre-date phone conversations tend to last 1hr plus, which is at least three times the amount that Evan thinks is possible/advisable. In an hour with an in-person date, I can find out so much more than I can via the telephone. I’m not averse to phone conversations, but I certainly don’t require them.

  12. 12


    I couldn’t agree with you more!

  13. 13

    Oh My! I see that I am good company here. Thought I was the only one with these dating issues!!

    Thought I had met a pretty wonderful guy, great conversation, called all the time. He even sent me roses every week. This went on for three months. When we finally met, I knew why he did not want to rush to go out on a date. When I got out of the car and walked towards him – he became shorter and shorter. I could barely see him! He lied about his height! He was so tiny! I towered over him! I was totally shocked. Could not even speak properly or about 10 minutes. Yes, I was really upset upon meeting this very small man. He sounded so wonderful on the telephone. His feet could not even touch the floor when he sat down! We provided much entertainment for the people in the restaurant we ate at. I was mortified to say the least!!

    You really cannot judge a person by talking to him or her on the telephone. Now I don’t spend so much time talking on the telephone to potential dates.

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments. Especially the humorous ones! (:


  14. 14

    It is obviously telephone call. I will never repeat my mistake again. Even in 5 min. on a phone you can find out what is the person like.

  15. 15

    Its always better to talk to someone on phone before meeting him. Because talking to people does tell us something about them. Its true it does not totally guarantee you are going to like the guy when you meet him but then thats obvious!! I guess we all know that!

    But talking on phone at least leaves out people who i didnt get along with at all. At least that way i have less bad dates!!!! So far i have had only 3 dates that i can call bad!! The first two were because i didn’t like how the guys looked (their face or dressing style) compares to me. And the third time the fact that he was not confident at all! Most of the times when i went on a date that went wrong. Except the times i didn’t find them physically attractive i found it was actually my fault to give them a chance and meet them even when my instinct told me i shouldn’t!

    I have had other dates too that were not good really but I they don’t upset me! People are are different! I cant expect to like everyone and be liked by everyone!

  16. 16

    @ nightrider
    My experience is that you have to be very suspicouis with smoothtalkers and gift-gavers who are not likely to rush to go out on a date. Once I fell in love over the phone. Hours and hours and hours, every day for two weeks. A beautifull voice, a very smart and educated man. He sent me a very unclear picture of himself with his beautiful ex-gf. He had a very high EQ. I was addicted to talk with him. In one week he became my lifecoach. And when we met the first time I nearly passed out. I can not describe the disappointment. He was not attractive at all, at least 60 pounds to heavy. but I was so attached with this man, it took me nearly 8 months to break up with him (he made me even a promise to go on a diet. A promise which he appearly was not able to keep). I loved to talk with him over the phone and at the same time I was not able to enjoy his company. It was so weird.

  17. 17

    From reading these responses it seems that talking on the phone can not weed out the BAD mismatches.

    Talking on the phone can only weed out the WORST mismatches.

    Still, I think that make a phone conversation worth it, especially with the knowledge that it is not 100% effective in preventing an awkward date.

  18. 18

    @JuJu, post #10.

    I had such an experience once. I had gotten to know a woman on an online forum. She was VERY educated, very intelligent. She had an aggressive but [b]interesting[/b] style of conversation. I wasn’t looking for a date, but when she moved to my area I invited her to meet me because I enjoyed conversing with so much online.

    This “internet bruiser” turned out to be painfully shy. I felt like a dentist pulling teeth in my efforts to keep her talking. She felt so uncomfortable and awkward that it made me feel uncomfortable.

  19. 19
    Karl R

    I have never gone on a date with a loser.

    I have gone on several dates with women who ended up being wildly incompatible with me … but that didn’t make them losers.

    However, the question does remind me of one woman I dated. She initially contacted me. Her e-mail contained a few errors, but nothing outrageous. When I checked her profile, it was reasonably well written, but only marginally stood out from the crowd. (She liked science fiction movies.) When we spoke on the phone, I was even less impressed than I was with her e-mails. But she looked pretty in her pictures, and she described herself as “somewhat geeky”, so I decided to take a chance.

    Then we met for dinner … which ended up lasting 4 1/2 hours. She was a wonderful conversationalist in person (bright and funny). Furthermore, she looked even better than her pictures.

    We ended up pursuing other relationships (which became exclusive), but I would certainly be willing to date her again, should our paths cross.

  20. 20

    @ ANISA

    Thanks much for the insight. Your story sounds almost like mine. Such a shame that these things just don’t work out. However, I shall take your advice. I never thought it would be so hard to find just the right person to enjoy life with! I shall not give up yet! You also should not give up. Thanks Much!


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