Why You Should Ditch Tinder and Give Out Your Number Instead

photo via flickr

We’re normally pretty skeptical of the click-baity headlines in Men’s Health magazine. 4 Week Fat Shredder! 12 Scientific Ways to Look Smarter! How Listening to Your Mom Can Make You Fat! But we really loved the recent article by David Amsden, called “Give Her Your Number.” (Amsden is the author of the novel Important Things That Don’t Matter, which we also liked.) The article feels real, and it’s missing all that “negging” bullshit propagated by self-titled “pickup artists.”

Here’s the idea in a nutshell: The author was failing miserably at modern dating techniques like Tinder. Despite this, he had become completely reliant on such technology. This is his first thought upon seeing a beautiful woman walk into the bar:

Straight-up hitting on women seems uncouth to me. Thanks to the ultimate wingman (my smartphone), I prefer a lazier, no-risk way to reach out. I’ll scroll through Tinder, hoping that now that we’ve seen each other, we might also right-swipe to bypass some small talk. Or take a little trip through Instagram to see if she geo-tagged a selfie that I could comment on. (Think that’s weird? Go tweet about it, pal.)

So he decides to go cold turkey from all the seduction technology and adopt an old-school approach instead:

Pulling a pen and notepad out of my back pocket, I jot down my number and head on over.

“Hey, I’m David,” I say as I hand her the slip of paper. “You’re compelling. Call me.”

… I made a pact with myself: Whenever I noticed an attractive woman, I would simply stop and give her my number. Then I’d be standing in front of her and could make another game-time decision: Head for the exit, or see if she wants me to stick around.

To Amsden’s complete and utter surprise, this actually works. Like, really well. Even some women who initially balk at his bold approach often end up texting him a day or two later. In fact, more than half call or text eventually. And here’s why: with Tinder, Match, OKCupid, et al, there’s very little opportunity for face-to-face rejection. You’re not putting yourself out there for potential humiliation. So when someone is bold enough to put themselves in this position — and to do so in a casual, no-pressure way, without any negging — it’s both endearing, and, yes, attractive.

Note that he hands out his number, by the way — he never asks for hers. The ball’s in her court. He’s not collecting digits to make himself feel more manly, he’s simply putting himself out there. It means he’ll be the one sitting there waiting for the phone to ring.

Here’s another reason why it work: It takes a lot of balls (or labes) to do something like this, and as everyone knows, people like balls (or labes). Even if you’re faking this confidence so hard that your asshole actually aches (from all the stress-induced clenching), the person you’re approaching will respond to it.

Remember, though, that those online sites — not to mention skeevy pickup artists — get one thing very right about dating: it’s a numbers game. And we’re not talking about phone numbers. We mean the number of people you approach or scroll past or even go on a first date with. So if you’re going to pull an Amsden, you can’t just do it once. Do it like your sex life depends on it, and maybe you’ll get lucky, too.



  1. Yikes, man. That’s a lot to ask of your friends. I don’t know if I could tell my buddy, “she’s a 7, and you’re really more of a 4.”

  2. Johnny, it looks like you’ve provided a roadmap to potential success in online dating. If say, the top 1/8th in terms of attractiveness are getting almost all of the messages(like flies to honey), then I guess the strategy should be as follows: try to find people who are average-looking, but have something about them that is attractive to YOU, and message them. Alternative: show your favorites to your group of friends, and have them pare it down to people in your “league”. I haven’t jumped in with both feet on OKCupid, but I also do a lot of “no, no, no, no, no, no, YUP” because if you don’t, your fav list will be 10 miles long. I hope the ones I bookmark are realistic.

  3. Yup. Online dating is a losing game for most guys. It was fun back in the day. In like 2001, it wasn’t socially normal yet and that gave it an adventurous, forbidden appeal. Then it became socially normal, and it was all over. Basically you’ve got every guy for 50 miles all messaging the same few women. I’ve sat next to girls as they went through, literally, hundreds of messages going, “no no no no no no no, YUP, no no no no no…” just based on picture. The odds of getting your profile read at all are slim unless you’re in the upper percentiles looks-wise.

    Also, for the most part, women fucking hate online dating despite the easy attention. I’ve rarely heard a woman go, “oh boy, an internet date!” Internet dating is something women resort to because they very rarely get competently hit on in real life; and it’s something guys resort to because they don’t know how to competently hit on a woman in real life.

    Competently hitting on women in real life is where it’s at. It’s worth practicing till you get good at it (skeeviness be damned). It’s VERY effective. Women LIKE it.

    The give-your-number-and-walk-away move is a good place to start. It takes two seconds, costs no money, and doesn’t hurt anyone. It spares you and her the awkwardness of a rejection – she can just not call if she isn’t feeling it.

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