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Onyinye O: Excuse Me, Please Can I Have Your number?



“I really enjoyed this conversation. Do you mind if I got your number?” and in my head I’m thinking “not again!” What if I choose to reply by saying “yes I mind” or “nah, I don’t think it’s necessary, we’ll definitely see ourselves around”. Does that make me a rude lady? At the end of the day, it’s either of two things: he gets the number or the situation gets awkward.

Day in, day out, this happens to lots of ladies (including me). You’re at a place and somehow, between being busy, getting stuff done and simply relaxing, you start off a conversation with someone and it leads to another conversation and another and ends really well (or maybe not). Then on a parting note, the person begins to ask for your number and it just screws it all.

Actually, in certain instances, it feels really good when the guy asks her for her number. It’s probably all she wanted anyway. In her head, she’s smiling, laughing, jumping and screaming all at the same time. She’s quite excited that he just might want more- friendship or what not. At other times, it just gets really annoying. The question in her head in quite a number of such instances (especially when she isn’t feeling the guy) is “must you spoil this thing by asking for my number?” The person might have been interesting but does she even want to stay in touch?

Ok. Let’s say we’ll excuse such instances by saying- maybe the conversation was misleading and the guy took out an unintended message from it. However, a question that should probably be asked is was there really any unintended message and it just seemed convenient? Truth be told, most times, “continuing this” is usually not with the intention about being just friends. It’s usually with a sexual intention or let’s say “taking it to the next level” and although some people might argue otherwise, most follow up conversations, interactions and hangouts (if it ever gets to that) just proves this.

What’s amazing, and the ones which feels a bit extreme and probably aren’t really excusable, are situations when a person extends a random kind gesture and the other person takes that as a “green light” to ask for a phone number.

Take for example, I’m at an ATM and on the queue to withdraw money and there’s just one person behind me, but for some reason, he’s chilling under the tree close by, as per, the sun is too hot and he just needs shade. A guy walks up to me and says “you’re the last person right? I’m behind you and I say “no. I’m actually not. There’s someone else behind me just standing over there but when he comes, I’ll let him know you’re behind him”. The guy says thanks and walks off to get something from his car.

Minutes later, the Mr I’m-Preserving-My-Complexion leaves his shade and comes back to the line and murmurs something like, “e be like sey this line no dey move. Haba”. I don’t say much, I just nod in agreement and tell him, “ohh yeah, someone is behind you”. He says ok. 3 minutes later, the guy behind him walks back to the line and smartly figures out the situation and takes his place on the line. We have no major conversations either. Even when his pen happens to fall on the floor just a bit in front of me, I pick it up and give it to him and he says thank you.

After waiting for what usually feels like 2 hours (which really is about 15 minutes), I get to withdraw my money. I’m done and ask I walk off, I hear “excuse me, excuse me” and I can tell exactly what’s going on but I choose not to respond and I just kept walking. In a few seconds, I feel a tap on my shoulder and as I turn, i set eyes on Mr-I’m-Behind-You. Then he goes, “Hi. Just wanted to say thank you for helping me with the line issue and picking up my pen. You seem like a really nice person and I’ll like to know you more. I was wondering if I could get your number. I certainly would be wondering to myself “why now? For what?” and politely I just might say to him politely “errr, I’m not sure why I need to give you my number”.

Question now becomes is it now a crime to even be nice or courteous towards someone? I’m not saying every single guy out there asks for every lady’s number especially when they are just being “ladylike” but more often than not, it just happens that way.

Speaking of which, because of such instances, I know quite a number of ladies who now have multiple phone lines so when anyone who they aren’t “feeling” wants to get their number by all means, they give him the dormant line. On the other hand, when the guys that they are in sync with ask for their numbers, they give them the functional ones and are even quick to rush back to whatsapp to change their profile picture to that one which they think makes them look beautiful. Honest truth? There are times we ladies wish we could indulge in the “can I have your number” thing.

The major issue for women though is, usually, the guys set the pace or dictate the tunes. So a lady might find a guy interesting after having a conversation with him or maybe not sef. But then, it would feel really awkward if she said “ohhh, nice conversation. We could continue this over the phone. Can I have your number?” or walk up to him and say “hi, my name is Erica. I noticed you from afar and couldn’t help but come over. Can I have your number? Maybe we could be friends?”.

A lot of times, she just cannot dare to think of such talkless of carrying it out cause somehow it just feels inappropriate and she knows she’ll be instantly judged anyway. It’s either she’ll be looked at as too forward or weird or not recognising that’s not her role. Some other people would even tag her “cheap”.  How could she even ask for a guy’s number? How?

At the end of the day, the question really is, is a phone number gold? Does having someone’s phone number directly translate as an invasion of privacy? Can we just hit off conversations randomly and both parties involved go home after it without anyone really wanting a number to take home? Or even if one party wants the other’s number, is there ever a way to say no without coming off as being rude or arrogant?

Please share your thoughts below along side your “excuse me, can I have your number” story. Adios.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

Onyinye is a media junkie, beauty enthusiast, realist and aspiring team fitfam champion who glides through life believing that every experience is a learning curve. When she's not working, reading or sleeping, she's constantly typing away on her computer. Get interactive with her. Email: [email protected] Twitter : @theonyinye. Instagram: @beautifulonyinye_.


  1. Someone!

    December 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Sweet heart am trying hard to get d reason for this post! Guys asking girls for their numbers probably started before d invention of gsm! U said it urself tht there are tyms were d girl might actually want the guy to ask! So how dos d guy know if he dosnt try! Personally i dont think u are rude if u refuse to give me your number…for me its simple you might not just be into me the way i am into u (and u have d right to not like me or ike to be my friend…i cant even hate u for that) ! Just d same way i dont go about asking every girl fr their numbers (even d ones that might want me to)! On one funny occasion whn i was chasing one girl (who refused to give me her number anyway)…i got talking with another girl whoose number i collected…but i never even bothered to call! Its simple i wanted something else i tot collecting her number was goin to make up for my ‘lost’ but it didnt!
    And just the way i wanted something else i think d girl i like also has d right to not like me or like someone else! It might hurt a little, but i always prefer chicks who are blunt with how dey feel so u knw what ever investment u are making, u are doin so at ur own risk…and u can be blunt without being rude!

  2. Complex beings

    December 7, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    “Actually, in certain instances, it feels really good when the guy asks her for her number. It’s probably all she wanted anyway. In her head, she’s smiling, laughing, jumping and screaming all at the same time. She’s quite excited that he just might want more- friendship or what not. At other times, it just gets really annoying. The question in her head in quite a number of such instances (especially when she isn’t feeling the guy) is “must you spoil this thing by asking for my number?” The person might have been interesting but does she even want to stay in touch?”

    Sometimes you want it, other times, you don’t. You are complex. How do you want the guy to read your mind if you want it or not? If you don’t have interest in him, simply turn him down. . Guys should stop asking for your numbers. Girls should start asking for a guys number if they have interest in him.

    Do guys still bother themselves chasing girls all over these days? huh
    Guys. let them chase you jo- dem too plenty for one to be doing shakara

  3. deebaby

    December 7, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    will come back to know people thoughts. been on my mind. 🙂

  4. Blueberry

    December 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    This happens alot these days. If I do not want to give my number, I just “I am sorry, I don’t think it is a good idea.” Needless to try ti pribe furthe. At a certain age, you don’t just have time to waste explaining these things.
    Now when you spark a random conversation and it just seems to click with the person, there is no harm in saying “It was great talking with you. Maybe we should do this again sometime. I am organising xyz on Sunday. You should come. Let me have your number so I can send you the address by SMS.” There! You have your number. I do this with all genders, frim the moment you feel you have a reasonable and responsible person infront of you who will respect your “NO” should he/she misinterprete your friendliness or kindness later.

    • Blueberry

      December 7, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      Sorry for my typps up there
      …to probe further.*

  5. ENNY**

    December 7, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    My dear what exactly IS your question!

  6. Exotique

    December 7, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    No. I once gave a guy my business card and it was the worst decision ever. Three scenarios. I see you, I feel you and will like to hear from you. I give you my main number. 2. I see you, I don’t feel you but think you could be ‘useful’ now or in the near future. You get my office number. 3. I see you, I don’t feel you and I know I never will. I collect your number.
    No time.

    • Cynical

      December 7, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      @Exotique,chop knuckle. I think you have summarized my thoughts. By the time I’m saying give me your number,I’ll call you,that’s the end o. I’m just trying to lay you off easy. What really gets to me is why people feel asking for number must be the end to all conversations. I meet u(any gender o), we have a great conversation that was just in the moment, we are not planning to see each other again,so why do you feel the need to ask for my no????.just go Ur way,if we ever meet again,good and fine.

  7. KB

    December 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    There is nothing wrong in a guy asking for your number same way as there is nothing wrong in you telling him no. Ladies should just learn to not do so rudely. I remember back in London on a couple of occasions i asked chics for their numbers and they preferred to give me their Facebook names for me to add them on there.

    Not all ladies must follow this approach but i guess it just at-least gives you a chance to get to know the guy better via his Facebook account. Who knows, he might just end up being someone you don’t mind giving your number to.

    Don’t go and use unnecessary ego/forming to block the husband/helper God is trying to give you.

  8. Claire.

    December 7, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Runs to whatsapp to change picture… lmao. this is so me!

  9. Beegal

    December 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Im loving the dormant line idea. Just yesterday was at a church program. One brother in front of me on the buffet queue goes *you would make my dream come true if you give me your number*. I laughed and said sorry but I cant make your dream come true. Felt bad but it was funny and dont wanna know him. What about trying to even have a conversation first!

  10. paula

    December 7, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    do I have to want to talk with every girl that comes my way, wen am out there during the day am lost, na so I go wan collect every girl wey cross my path number lol the funniest part is that wen I get home in the evening wen my head don calm down n I have my real self with me na so I go scroll tru my contacts n delete all the numbers have collected that day. n the next time I meet one of these girls I will still want to collected her number again ” I feel so happy wen a girl tells me “no” i cant give u my number, I go b like thank u for my mind adafuen, hoping to meet my mrs right someday oh God abeg bring her my way AsAP

  11. lanre

    December 8, 2015 at 4:44 am

    Not trying to be rude..but do think ur post is pointless. U randomly meet someone u r into and u guys do u take it to the next level when u don’t make plans to meet again and commune. Jus saying***

  12. Nuna

    December 8, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Gosh why are you trying to complicate issues? Tomorrow now you people will come and say there are no eligible men trynna marry you/ where are all the guys in Lagos.
    I’m a lady but I tire for our matter seriously.

  13. larz

    December 8, 2015 at 9:41 am

    You mentioned a scenario when you met with someone and you guys really had a conversation that flowed really well and they decided to ruin things by asking for your number? How dare they? Why would they possibly want your number to continue this intellectually stimulating conversation? Switch it around a little, if that was a girl you spoke to and had a great conversation with and they asked for your number, would you think they had to “ruin” it by asking for your number. I dont know about you but as a girl, in similar situations I have asked for numbers of men and women alike if we had an interesting enough conversations. For me, it was the beginning of beautiful friendships and for others, it never got any better than that but at least I tried.

    You also said in some cases, you want guys to ask for your numbers but other times you don’t. I ask you though, what if you met a guy who wanted your number but didn’t ask because the last girl he asked was a bit like you and prbly told him off for trying to ruin a good thing.

    Giving someone your number is not a guarantee of relationship/ even friendship. Whilst I wont give my number to some random person that chased me down the street with no context. I will definitely wont mind giving someone my contact details after an interesting conversation. Worst case scenario, it fizzes out.

  14. Helena

    December 8, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    I met my hubby @ the ATM! simple if u arent attracted to the fella you wouldnt give out ur number…. ha but if u meet dream dude in traffic sef u wont write ur number on paper and throw it across the window……

    • om

      December 8, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      Several times I’ve wanted to do that but… I love doing extraordinary things

  15. Danca

    December 8, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Me, i like the article. There was one day one man was asking me for my number amd i was just irritated. Me, fine young girl, and him, old man. Do i look like person that follows sugar daddies? I blasted him and just boarded a taxi immediately after without even thinking of the price. He thinks becos he have range rover i will just run and be following him.
    I hate giving out my number. I wish people knew dat before even asjjng me so that they wont even bother disturbing me. Msheww.

    • T

      December 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Wow, grow up young lady.

  16. Timmy

    December 21, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    There is no rule on giving or accepting mobile number from a guy or gal. It depends on the situation, circumstance and the individual. Guys and girls should not feel bad when an opposite sex refuse to give his/her number. Just each other’s space and decision.

  17. Timmy

    December 21, 2015 at 10:39 pm


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