When you’re dating, you spend a lot of time giving your phone number to people. You write it down on a piece of paper or you hand out a business card.

Then, you wait. You wait for the person to call.

The, at some point, the phone rings. You look at the number but you don’t recognize it.

So what do so many of us do? We don’t answer it.

We don’t answer calls from unknown numbers nowadays because we’re paranoid. “Oh my God, an unknown phone number. Unknown calls are bad. How can I pick up an unknown call. They’re scary.”

Let’s think about this. You’ve been waiting for this unknown call for the last day and a half. You’re attracted to this person. You want this person to call you, in fact you can’t wait for this person to call you. Then when they finally do call, you don’t pick it up because it is an unknown number.

What is going on here? Are we all scared of bill collectors, or is there just an overall paranoia?

Have you neglected to make your car payment the last couple months? Is there something awful you’re anticipating hearing about on the phone? Are you waiting for news from the lab on that blood work you just had?

I mean, what is it about these unknown numbers that strikes such fear into us? What is it really?

You know what’s really funny about these unknown number calls when it is the person from whom you were waiting to hear, is that they seem to never leave a message. I love that. They don’t leave a message, and just try calling two or three more times to see if they can get you in person.

Then if they don’t get that person on the phone, they will think “Ah, this person must not want to hang out with me.” What?! It was you who didn’t leave a message! You didn’t even give that person a chance to call you back.

So if you are the unknown caller in this scenario, you need to be sure to leave a message. It’s crazy if you don’t. Please leave messages so people can call you back when we don’t have your unknown number or know that your number belongs to you.

I love how some people will get a call from an unknown number, and then will call that number back and say “Who is this? You just called me.”

I also love when I accidentally dial the wrong number and I get that call. I dialed the wrong number. There was really nothing more sinister to it than that.

When I get that call informing me that I just called that wrong number, I want to say, “Yeah, I know I just called you. It was a wrong number. I decided not to call you back and tell you that so that I wouldn’t bother you twice, and I really didn’t want to waste any more time on a wrong number by leaving you a voicemail and explaining this. You’re clearly paranoid, and I’m so sorry that me dialing the wrong number made you even more paranoid.”

There are some lessons to be learned from all this. Smart people when they meet break out the cell phones when it’s time to exchange numbers, and put names and numbers directly in each other’s phones. That way when that call you’re waiting for does come in, you’ll know it because it will say their name.

Of course, there is always the option of just answering the phone when it rings regardless of whether you know who’s calling. I remember the good old days when I used to answer the phone without ever knowing who was calling.

There was no Caller ID. There was no Call Waiting. Every call was unknown. It was so cool. It was so much fun. So really when it comes to knowing who’s calling me, I don’t want to know!