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I’ve noticed girls are giving out their phone numbers to guys more frequently than they used to do. They don’t even think twice about it now. Guy asks for number after a 30 second conversation; girl gives it to him. I’ve seen girls give their number to three different guys in one night at the same bar, only to go home with a fourth guy at last call.

What is going on here? Are these girls really interested in all these guys? No. Most of those guys will call once and get voicemail, never to hear from her again. Are they stroking their egos? Maybe, but they can do that without handing over their number. Attention whores survive on instantaneous highs, not the delayed gratification of waiting for a guy to call.

Has the phone number exchange become an easy way to get rid of a guy hitting on her? Girls used to dismiss guys with the standard “I have a boyfriend” line. That was the way things were done, and it was pretty effective. Plus, that tactic had the added benefit of preventing possible weirdos from voicemail-stalking her. Fake numbers also were standard operating procedure for the savvy club girl, but you don’t see that much anymore either.

I suspect the reason for this tactical change on the part of women has to do with the new game guys are bringing to the field. The lessons of the past ten years are beginning to filter down to the masses, and what you see are guys getting more aggressive during the initial pickup, but weaker on the phone tag follow-up. Men are calling their bluff when the girls toss out blowoff lines — “You have a boyfriend? That’s great, so does my girlfriend!” — but are quicker to NEXT the girls when they get voicemail on the follow-up call. The response by girls has been to revert to “number closing” to get a guy off their back knowing that the likelihood he will pester her with multiple voicemail messages is very low.

Women are giving out their numbers more readily because they are no longer concerned guys will stalk them.

My suggestion for guys to defend against this latest counterinsurgency tactic is to make women pay a price for handing their phone numbers over too cavalierly when they have no intention of answering your call. It is time to return to the days of harassing them over the phone. Call three times a week and supplement with rambling text messages. Be persistent, just like in the movies. Except in real life, she won’t find your persistence endearing and eventually succumb to your stubborn charms. But in the future she will think twice about blowing off guys with her phone number.

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