Jamie Shupak is the Emmy-nominated traffic reporter for NY1, the Big Apple cable network that’s the end-all and be-all on all things Gotham for New Yorkers. She’s also a beautiful, single woman navigating New York’s treacherous (and hilarious!) dating scene. In her weekly column she shares her war stories and offers her advice and admonitions.
We’ve all been there: lying in bed, waiting for that last call.
It can be gut-wrenching.
You're half waiting up, half trying to sleep while your mind races with thoughts of all the things your woman is doing instead of calling you. Though most of the time none of these nightmarish thoughts are the reality, you stir anyway.
Is she talking to another guy? Is she cheating? Maybe she fell asleep. But why wouldn’t she just text me first? Oh I know, maybe she dropped her phone in the toilet. That has to be it.
She said she’d call — she promised she would — so then why — why — has she not yet?
And it’s only getting later.
I could tell the moment we started emailing back and forth last week that my good guy friend was bleary-eyed, fresh off one of those nights.
He and his girlfriend had been out together with a group of friends, and instead of him taking her home, she insisted one of her girlfriends would instead. (Sure, that may be red flag number one, but let’s hear him out.)
“She was supposed to call when she got home. She always does,” he told me. I flagged his use of the phrase “supposed to,” explaining that when a girl think she’s supposed to do something, she might feel smothered. Not every girl, but some will crave more freedom when she feels her is being restricted.
He explained that their calling each other before bed wasn’t some ritual they’d agreed upon; it just sort of happened.
The insides of my stomach twisted around like a towel being wrung out as he started with the questions.
Wouldn’t you be mad? Would you not think something was up? What do I say to her when she calls? I don’t want to seem like a needy dude, but it just doesn’t seem right. If you say you’re going to call, then call.
To his last point: you should be able to replace the word "call" with any action and it should hold true with any person you like and trust (especially if it’s your girlfriend — my goodness!).
Back to the last call of the night, though: Except for extenuating circumstances — which do legitimately come up time to time — if someone isn’t calling when they said they would, they are not worth your time or energy.
You have to pick your battles though. The last thing a woman wants is to feel like she needs to call and tell you her plans changed, or that her friend’s cousin got sick, or that she started making food when she got home and passed out mid-microwave pizza.
Now, with that said, she should want to call and tell you.
But every girl is different. Some take the last call of the night more seriously than others. So, it’s best to figure out your audience while you’re still watching the previews.
If you’re walking the last call tightrope with your girl — you find yourself talking most nights before bed, or being each other’s last text — then the first time it doesn’t happen and it upsets you (as it did my friend last week), that's when you need to address it.
I urge you (as I did him) to be honest about your feelings. The worst thing you can do — to yourself and your relationship — is to pretend that something doesn’t bother you when it does.
Stay with the positive. Tell her you look forward to her call, that it makes your night, it helps you sleep soundly. Don’t come at her. If she hears, "Why didn’t you call?" or "You should have called" or "What was more important?" — anything in a nagging or father-like tone — you can forget it. You’ve lost her.
There is something really sweet about naturally falling into the pattern of being each other’s last call, as was the case with my friend and his girlfriend. Sometimes the most tender — and pivotal — moments in a relationship are those that happen with a sort of unspoken spontaneity.
If you’re looking to become your woman’s last call, it'd be best not to pressure it. Just answer the phone when she calls, promptly respond to her texts and emails, and take a deep breath. It will happen.
A last call of the night should be like last call at the bar. You talk to one more person — in the same fashion as you would drink one more tequila gimlet — then it’s off to bed. Try and talk to one more person or stay for one further drink, and just as you’d be kicked out of the bar, so shall you lose her trust.
If you’re wondering about my friend’s girlfriend, she never did call that night. She says it’s because she wound up going out to another bar and staying out much later than expected. By the time she got home, she didn’t want to wake him.
Guess what? He wasn’t sleeping anyway.
She should have called.
Next Week: The Tightrope of Chilvary