Dating Offline: Is phone the better alternative?

I have a few students who don’t like online dating and find it challenging to meet someone in real life. And so when the team at LiveLinks got in touch, I was intrigued. Is the phone a better way to meet people? When I first started dating, the only way I could get hold of friends and dates was through my landline. When I couldn’t go out past curfew, I’d stay up all night chatting with my boyfriends. There were no text messages then – just pagers and a landline (I’m showing my age!). It was so simple then!

Maybe it’s time to bring back phone calls as a dating channel…

I was hesitant about live chats at first but this q&a helped me think otherwise. I thought they were all dodgy but with a little perspective, they could be used in productive ways. Read to the end to find out.

In an age where everyone is signed into a dating app – why have you made Livelinks a phone-based service?

There are a lot of downsides to dating apps. I mean, is swiping right or left based on someone’s picture really a good way to set up a date? Online dating may be “in” at the moment, but if anything, it’s made dating more complicated. Forget scrolling through endless online profiles, trying to decipher tone from texts, and exchanging lengthy emails over days and weeks to see if you even want to meet up. Just pick up the phone instead! Start by hearing someone’s voice and having a genuine interaction.  You still get the instant gratification of being able to connect at any time, but you also get the real gratification of having an actual conversation. You’ll know right away whether you have a shot at a relationship by how the conversation goes. 

Note: I always recommend to have a phone conversation before going on a date – it’s a great pre-screener especially for those online dating.

What kind of singles can one expect to meet?

All kinds! We have a lot of female callers and male callers. Maybe a few more men than women. The type of people on there? It really depends on what you’re looking for. One thing we encourage all callers to do is be direct in their greetings (the message they record that other callers can listen to and decide whether to talk to them) and tell people exactly what they are looking for. For example, I might say, “Hi, I’m Anna and I’m new to town and I’m just looking to make some friends.” That way the people who message Anna know she’s looking for friendship. There are actually a lot of people who just want to chat. There are also people looking for relationships or casual fun. Depending what you want to get out of it, you can expect to meet all sorts!

Note: If you decide to use a phone chat do put some effort into your voice message. Just like in an online dating profile, you’ll want to communicate exactly what you’re looking for.

What are the three best conversation starters over the phone?

  1. A great way to start a conversation is to ask a standard question but put a twist on it. For example, instead of asking, “Where are you from?”, you could ask, “What’s something unique about where you grew up?”
  2. If you’re willing to be a bit daring, you could try a creative topic like coming up with a movie pitch together. Personally, I like this one. It’s different, imaginative and a great way to see if the other person is open-minded and has a sense of humor.
  3. Another way to get the conversation flowing is to ask for the other person’s opinion on something. “I’ve been thinking about so and so a lot lately. What do you think?” People love to be asked for their  opinion. It makes them feel needed and valued. It’s also easy to strike up a conversation this way because everybody has opinions.

What are three things singles are looking for when they sign up?

Something different, something fun and something real. Something different because they are fed up with other forms of dating and just want to try something different. Something fun because there’s no pressure and it’s totally private, so they can feel free to explore a little, express another side of themselves. Something real because talking to someone is a real experience, and when you meet the right person on phone chat, you’ll be able to tell!

How you can use phone chat

  • It’s great practice for introverts who are shy
  • Learn how to set up a message that attracts what you’re looking for in a relationship
  • General practice for conversation skills

Livelinks: # 1-877-851-2206

Photo by Jon Ly on Unsplash


Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.