Is there anything more annoying than having a girl you put a lot of time and sweat into building rapport with flake on a date with you? You planned everything out perfectly, finally steeled yourself to ask her, set everything up, and then… the girl flakes.
She's a no-show.
It used to drive me crazy when girls flake, and I know for a fact it still drives plenty of other guys out there crazy too.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be a dating death sentence, because there are plenty of both preventative measures to avoid a girl flaking... and salves to smooth things over and recover from a flake if it's already happened.
Let's look at both.
When a Girl Flakes: It’s Not About You
At the end of 2010, I met a girl and set up a date with her. She called me prior to our date, telling me that her phone’s battery was almost out of charge, but we decided on where we’d meet and at what time. I arrived there about ten minutes late, and she hadn’t arrived. I waited for ten minutes.
I tried calling her but no dial tone; her battery must have died. I waited ten more minutes. At twenty minutes waited, she was now thirty minutes late for our date (since I’d been ten minutes late), so I sent her a text telling her I guess we’d gotten mixed up and that I’d tried calling her but her phone must be dead. Then, I turned around, got back on the subway, and headed back to my part of town. I got some food and went home.
A few hours later, the girl called and very apologetically told me she’d been an hour late because she got lost and couldn’t find the place and the parking had been horrible and she’d had to park far away and walk. She said she was very very sorry. I told her not to worry about it. She said she wanted to make it up to me; I told her she could cook me dinner some time this week. She said okay.
At the end of the week, she texted me to meet up. I told her to meet me at my subway station, which she did. I got into her car, and she handed me a box full of chocolates as an apology and asked me if I wanted to go to my place or drive around. I told her we could just go back to my place, so we did.
Within fifteen minutes of getting back to my apartment I had her clothes mostly off, and I bedded her several times that day. Later we went out for food, and she paid for my dinner, again as a way of apologizing for missing our original first date.
Had this all happened a few years ago, I probably would’ve been blinded by my anger at getting flaked on and never would’ve met up with this girl, or played games with her and made things difficult and caused things to cool off. Now though, when girls flake, I just stay cool and don’t make a big deal out of it, and it’s often a happy ending.
Rule #1 of successfully dealing with flakes? Don’t let it be a big deal. Stay cool when girls flake.
I think what happens with a lot of guys is they take it personal; if a girl flakes on him, a guy considers it a sign of disrespect. “Obviously she doesn’t respect me and she doesn’t respect my time,” he thinks.
You know what I realized? It’s not about you. Or at least, it’s very rarely about you. Most of the time when a girl flakes, it’s simply because something came up, or she misjudged how much time she had to allow to get there, or she started having doubts you were going to show up, or the date as arranged was inconvenient or difficult, or something along those lines. It’s almost never a judgment leveled at you.
So don’t take it so personal!
How do you discourage a girl from flaking? There are a few different means, and I recommend using all of them (I do):
- Be simple and direct in your run-up to the date. See “How to Text a Girl” for details on how I build basic rapport and arrange dates with women; I don’t even use phone calls these days. The reason I recommend you avoid getting overly mired in phone calls or long text conversations is that all this unproductive talk time makes things feel overblown; she might start feeling like the date is a big deal, that she really likes you, or that you really like her, and gets nervous and jittery and skittish. Far better for things to be simple and her feel like it’s very casual and easy to meet – she’s a lot more likely to show up.
- Pick a date that’s easy and convenient. One of the prime reasons you want to simplify your dates is that the easier it is for a girl, the more likely she is to agree. When you try to set up something complicated like going to this place or that place, or that involves a lot of work, like ice skating or rollerblading or laser tag or whatnot, you suddenly create a lot of potential mental resistance. That's when girls flake. Maybe it sounds fun at the moment, then your girl wakes up on the day of and thinks, “Man, I don’t have the energy for laser tag today. Maybe I just won’t go.” Pick dates that are easy and convenient to minimize the chances this happens.
- Give a girl a choice of times. One thing I’m big on these days is letting girls choose times. I’ll lay out a few days I’m available and suggest we do either a meal or grab a drink. That’s sufficiently flexible that she can suggest lunch or dinner or drinks or toss the ball back in my court. When you do it this way, she’ll let you know if it’s easier for her to do lunch or if she’d rather do drinks, or if any time all day is good for her and what day is better or best. Because you’re now choosing a time that’s convenient for her, instead of trying to force her into squeezing your date into a timeslot that doesn’t work as well for her, you make her far less likely to flake on you.
- Text beforehand. Text an hour or two before your date, something very casual and neutral regarding the meet itself. The texts I use most are, “Hey Casey, hope your morning has been great! When you get here I’ll meet you at Exit B. See you soon!” and, “Jana, running about twenty minutes late. Cool to meet at 1:30 PM instead of 1?”
This does two things for you: first, it puts the girl at ease by letting her know you remember the date and are still set on meeting her. Just like you may be feeling nervous and not sure if she’s going to show up and may even bail or flake on her if you start getting unsure, so may she be. By preemptively texting her, you set her mind at ease and remove this fear. Second, if she was planning on flaking on you, this prompts her to respond to you telling you she isn’t going to make it, thereby saving you your time and energy and allowing her to save face rather than simply not informing you, then feeling too embarrassed about that faux pas later to face you again.
These are going to be your primary tools for reducing flaking and getting girl flakes down to a minimum level in your dating life. Using all of these techniques – and I personally do use all of them, with every single girl I set a date up with – markedly reduces the likelihood that a date doesn’t show up.
Say you take all of your flake prevention measures and a girl still ends up flaking on a date, though. Either she’s a no-show, like the girl I had a date with at the end of December, or she calls or texts telling you she has to cancel. What do you do then?
Just a few simple guidelines in this case:
- Don’t panic, and treat it like it’s no big deal.
- Be understanding, and tell your girl it’s okay and there’s no need to explain if she tries to launch into a long explanation.
- Don’t try to reschedule then and there unless she’s adamant about so doing. Don’t even mention rescheduling. If she brings it up, tell her to just do her thing if she’s in a rush and you’ll worry about rescheduling later. You want to communicate basically that you’re confident you’ll see her again and, once more, that it’s no big deal.
- Do make excuses for girls where need be. Just like with that girl I had a date with, where I texted her that I guess we got mixed up and her phone must have run out of juice. You want to show her that you’re on her side, you understand, and give her a possible out – you want to avoid her feeling trapped and like she has to explain herself. Give her an explanation and she’s far more likely to feel at ease with you and feel comfortable talking to you and meeting you again later.
The basic gist is: it’s no big deal.
I’ve seen guys recommend you call girls out on this, and I’ve seen other guys recommend you don’t let them off the hook too easily, and still other guys recommend elaborate games to play to re-interest the girls in question and get them absorbed once more in you and in wanting to see you again. All of that, of course, is based on the assumption that the reason she isn’t going to see you is because she really isn’t all that into you. I’m willing to bet though that if she’s interested enough to agree to a date in the first place, her interest levels probably aren’t the issue.
More likely, it’s just that something came up, or she was running late, or she panicked, or she got nervous, or the date you set up was inconvenient for her, or something along those lines. Simply letting her call it off, then rescheduling with her a little later solves all this. No elaborate ruses, no games or techniques to spark her interest anew, no waiting periods to make her think you’re über hard-to-get and sought after. Just be chill and reschedule later. No big deal.
There’s one really cool thing about girls flaking and you handling it very well, too: as in the first date I had with the girl at the beginning of this year after she’d flaked on our original first date, girls you have dates with after adeptly handling a date they flaked on tend to be much more intrigued by you and often ready for very rapid intimacy. Why? Because most guys don’t know how to handle the situation and get testy or weak or needy or angry. But you, when you handle a sticky situation like this properly – it says more about your strength and confidence and power as a man than just about anything else you could say or do can. And that’s the kind of statement about yourself that makes girls want to jump in bed with you fast.