When and how does one give out one's business card in a way to best ensure future contact? I am a single gay man newly out of grad school and trying to be more social. I have been chatting with new people and giving out my business card at the end of our conversations. Every week in the the local rag there's increasing numbers of ads from people in a section called "Missed Connections." People lament that they were talking with somebody but didn't exchange their numbers, and I never want to be one of those people. I know that in general it is hard for many people to ever make follow-up calls and contact after an initial meeting. But to compound that, gay men are somewhat socially retarded with intimacy and self-esteem issues. A friend says that giving out my number without receiving theirs gives away my power, that the other person is totally in control. I say that actions speak louder than words and if a person wants to be in touch they will either give me their card in return or call or email after we meet. The only way that somebody might contact me is if they have my contact information.
At what point in a social engagement is it most appropriate to give out my business card and when I do what can I say which might guarantee that the recipient might feel more socially secure that I don't expect marriage and might result in them actually contacting me for future social interaction?
You may be surprised to hear Etiquetteer agreeing with your friend, but the fact is, once you give someone your number, there's nothing for you to do but sit by the phone. And what's powerful about that?
Allow Etiquetteer to suggest that you let actions speak louder than words in a different way, by asking the Object of Your Interest to supply his phone number (or e-mail address) with the question "May I phone you sometime?" That way you not only express Considered Interest in the other person, but also willingness to Act On It. This is supposed to be received as Flattery, and Etiquetteer hopes it is. If contact information is not forthcoming, however, please don't take it personally (difficult though that is). This simply means that the other person has a More Limited Vision.
Now, all that aside, Etiquetteer wishes that you and others would stop using business cards for dating. Some people just don't want to give out their work information to others they are meeting for the first time, which Etiquetteer completely respects. It's high time to bring back the visiting card of old, but with the addition of appropriate contact information. One's name is engraved in the center, with contact information in the lower right corner, such as:
Mr. Gervais Pauncey Friggidyboo
paunceyfoot@[Insert ISP Here]
After all, you are certainly not representing your workplace in the dating world! (And if you are, Etiquetteer has to wonder just what sort of Industry you're in.)
Etiquetteer will eagerly accept your queries on all sort of manners at queries_at_etiquetteer_dot_com.