1. A phone call is real-time.
With texting, we tend to play this ridiculous game that revolves around who has the power in the conversation. The person who has yet to respond leaves the other person on tenterhooks, wondering if that was a dumb thing to say, if they were just scared off, if they’re really on a date with someone much more interesting right now — any number of possibilities, really. We’re so caught up in the fear of looking “too eager,” when every party involved knows that your phone is industrially glued to your hands at all times, and you at least know that text was received.
If you like someone, have a conversation with them — and if you’re having a conversation with someone you like, you should reply. Replying immediately to what somebody says isn’t too eager, it’s how we talk. After all, you’d look really silly if you took a 10 minute pause in a phone call just to look in demand and busy.
2. You’re each getting each other, unfiltered and honest.
Ums, uhs, endearingly weird little laughs, the excessive use of “like” and all. There’s no first drafts, no consulting friends for what you should say, no debating over which emoji perfectly resonates with the point you’re trying to make. Sure, there’s no way to optimize all of your best jokes before you say them, but at the same time, if they can’t accept you at your subpar witticisms, then do they really deserve you at your most flawless zingers?
3. It’s clear that you’re giving them your time.
You could, in theory, have the other person on speaker as you’re multitasking with a volley of other people’s texts, the television on mute, and cooking dinner, but you’re still on the phone with only them. And they’re going to be able to tell if your voice drops off from distraction — and I would sincerely hope that somebody would be able to tell if you disappeared to answer another phone call in the middle of your conversation.
4. It’s clear that you value their time.
Not only are they worth all of those rollover minutes you’ve accrued, but again, you’re not frittering away 20 minutes of their time just so you can seem Busy and Important. We’re all busy, we all have things to do, and spending time wondering why somebody hasn’t texted you back is a pretty poor use of that time. If you’re really worried that you’re interrupting something, text the other person first to see if they’re even available to talk on the phone. A guy who’d asked for my number at the grocery store did this to me once — it made all the difference in the world and set a pretty nice tone for the rest of our relationship.
5. Hearing someone’s voice is always that much more special.
There have been countless studies on all of the hormones and nerves that fire in our brains when we hear the voices of people we care about (I mean, this heartwarming baby is proof enough). Think about all the times your high school crush said your name in class and your heart basically leapt into your throat. You can play Instagram-tag all you want and like as many selfies as your little digital heart desires, but nothing’s going to replace hearing somebody else’s voice — and especially when that voice is saying something expressly for you to hear.
6. There’s something wonderfully old-school about it.
We live in a world where you can order anything you could ever think of from apps and websites — taking the time to pick up the phone and call someone is special. I doubt that you have a phone cord to get wrapped up in or that you’re stuck sitting in the kitchen, tethered to the wall, but there’s still that sense of butterflies when you see somebody’s name pop up on your phone. Sure, it might seem cheesy to curl up in bed with your phone clamped to your ear, talking to someone you like – but why is being cheesy sometimes such a bad thing? It’s only viewed as overwrought because we’re so hellbent on seeming like we don’t care, and that self-preservation won’t get us anywhere in terms of relationships.
7. There’s no way you can misunderstand someone.
All of that text sub — wait for it — text doesn’t exist in a phone call. What did they mean by ‘ha’? Did you use the wrong emoji? (Why are all the existential crises over emoji?) Did you say something that could be construed as offensive to somebody who was sensitive about it? Even if you do overstep the line, at least on a phone call, you’re more apt to hash it out right then and there, rather than stashing your feelings down and letting it fester until it blows out of proportion somewhere else.
8. This conversation is just between you two.
You can’t screenshot the conversation to send to friends for instant textual analysis, and neither can they. Sure, you can call up your best friend afterward and dissect ever last pause and vocal inflection, but you really don’t have to. Conversations are just what they are sometimes. And if you can’t keep a few quality flirting sessions as private things between you and this other person, are you going to be able to do this when it comes time to having a real relationship?