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How do I handle mixed signals and flaky plans?


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I matched with this girl on a dating app who's exactly my type. We agreed to a date only for her to cancel it on the day of our date because her social battery was supposedly drained. Fair enough. So we rescheduled for another day, only for her to cancel a second time because her best friend was going through a relationship crisis (on the day of the date again btw).

So on the third attempt, we're about to meet and she asks if we can meet closer to her place because she was tired. I oblige and we finally meet. The date actually turned out to be quite fun. We ended up back at her place and made out on her couch. Over the week, we occasionally text each other and I ask her out to play pool on Saturday evening. She agrees.

On the day, at 9:00 in the morning, I message her asking if she's ok to meet. I hear nothing for hours, so in the afternoon I ask her again to confirm. She replies verbaitim "Yesss, I just woke up, super hungover". We exchange a couple more messages about her night and then stopped talking for a bit. Half an hour before we're supposed to meet, I message her telling her I'm on my way and she says that she thought we cancelled. I explain that I thought her "Yesss" mean that she was still coming, but she said that she's still hungover.

This is exceptionally frustrating and I'm inclined to break things off with her, but is it also possible that I'm jumping to conclusions? I have no idea how to cope with these obstacles in dating.

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I was supposed to meet with a high school friend years later. We planned it for over a month given some geographical logistics. Day of she cancels - after multiple emails about how and when we’d meet because her best friend was going through a rough time and “emoting “.   Some time later we made another plan and I specifically found a good vegetarian restaurant where she could get what she liked and not too pricey. Day of or day becfoecshe again cancels because of an exterminator coming. And her cats wouldn’t be ok unless she was home. Ok. Fine. However in my mind twice is not ok especially since she didn’t offer a reschedule - and if she had - and it was convenient for me - maybe I would have. 
Also I’m not a fan of this woman’s hangover excuse. If you have a plan next day you don’t risk a hangover.  Being legit sick is different. I’d move on. And I’m sorry. It’s frustrating!

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I went out with this real estate broker that I also met through an online dating app, and we only went out twice. We had a great time and I was looking forward to seeing him again. This man literally canceled on me 5 times! One was when I was literally heading to where we were going to meet, and it was about 20 min before our actual date. I guess something came up with his son. Fine, children always come first in my book. But then he canceled again on me 4 times. There was always something with this guy. I finally just said clearly you need to work on issues with your life/career, and you give me a call when you're ready to date. And I moved on.

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4 minutes ago, graphicdesigner said:

I went out with this real estate broker that I also met through an online dating app, and we only went out twice. We had a great time and I was looking forward to seeing him again. This man literally canceled on me 5 times! One was when I was literally heading to where we were going to meet, and it was about 20 min before our actual date. I guess something came up with his son. Fine, children always come first in my book. But then he canceled again on me 4 times. There was always something with this guy. I finally just said clearly you need to work on issues with your life/career, and you give me a call when you're ready to date. And I moved on.

Good for you and hope maybe what you said gave him pause.

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1 minute ago, Batya33 said:

Good for you and hope maybe what you said gave him pause.

Who knows. Haven't really talked to him since. He was so flaky, too. It was ironic because on our first date, he was exchanging hilarious horror date stories with me. I had only been online dating for about a month, so I hadn't gone out on many dates yet. So it was interesting that he was talking about how these women were nightmares or flakes, when he himself turned out to be a big flake.

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Just now, graphicdesigner said:

Who knows. Haven't really talked to him since. He was so flaky, too. It was ironic because on our first date, he was exchanging hilarious horror date stories with me. I had only been online dating for about a month, so I hadn't gone out on many dates yet. So it was interesting that he was talking about how these women were nightmares or flakes, when he himself turned out to be a big flake.

Yes - everyone gets one pass -and maybe two if it's an emergency.  

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A person cancelling comes down to their reasons and attitude. I had someone cancel twice on our initial meetup. But both times she had a valid excuse. I wasn't going to hold that against her. And she made up for it by surprising me and freeing up time that she was suppose to have been busy for an impromptu meetup. If I had stopped trying I would have missed out on some great times with her.

So what was her attitude? Did she seem sorry about not being able to go out? Or did she not seem to care?

If she was hungover, it's possible she wasn't thinking straight and really didn't know what she was doing. I'd be more concerned why she drink that much and if she was okay.

If she was exactly your type you had that much fun together, why call things off so quickly? Since two of the cancellations seem valid, it's really only this third one that would seem to be bad.  Personally, knowing how rare it is to find exactly my type, I'd want to give it a bit more effort.

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@ShySoul I ended things because I found her attitude about planning a date highly disrespectful. She even admitted that she lost interest after the first date, but decided to keep that to herself until I explicitly ended things with her. So this was never really going anywhere from the beginning and I was just wasting my time.

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33 minutes ago, MrNobody1111 said:

I ended things because I found her attitude about planning a date highly disrespectful. She even admitted that she lost interest after the first date, but decided to keep that to herself until I explicitly ended things with her.

Good that you followed your instinct on this one. 

It wasn't going anywhere. 

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How do I handle mixed signals and flaky plans?

I don't handle it. I allow a person who flakes to step up and make new arrangements. If they don't, then nothing further happens with them, and I've moved on to deal with reliable people. 

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9 hours ago, ShySoul said:

If she was hungover, it's possible she wasn't thinking straight and really didn't know what she was doing. I'd be more concerned why she drink that much and if she was okay.

To me a person who has a date with a new person they want to impress and are interested in would forego getting drunk the night before just in case. I did similar things -I've never been drunk but I made sure I'd be at my best for a date and planned that way to the extent possible.  I don't think he needed to show concern that she chose to get drunk and obviously had these typical consequences.  She acted in a thoughtless way about his time.

There are people who have tons of free time and/or are flaky too so they want a free pass for their own rudeness - but a person trying to make an impression should presume that the other person values reliability and trustworthiness.  And act accordingly.  I juggle a lot and put in effort to make sure I am reliable and show up for a plan on time barring a true emergency.  I don't want to be close friends with let alone date anyone who doesn't share those values.  I would be missing out on no opportunities to give extra chances to someone who disrespects my time.

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Dude you only give them two chances. Sure some people will cancel last min for whatever reason, but if they start giving you excuses about how "unavailable" they are, ditch them. That's all you need to know. 

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43 minutes ago, smackie9 said:

Dude you only give them two chances. Sure some people will cancel last min for whatever reason, but if they start giving you excuses about how "unavailable" they are, ditch them. That's all you need to know. 

@smackie9 appreciate the advice and I agree. To be fair, the second cancellation appeared to be an unexpected emergency, so I made an exception and rescheduled the date. After the third cancellation (i.e. the cancellation of the second date), I ended things right there

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1 hour ago, MrNobody1111 said:

@smackie9 appreciate the advice and I agree. To be fair, the second cancellation appeared to be an unexpected emergency, so I made an exception and rescheduled the date. After the third cancellation (i.e. the cancellation of the second date), I ended things right there

Yeah, you don't really even need to 'end' anything with a flake. You can just say, "Okay, you can let me know when you're available to reschedule." If they're sincere and interested, you'll hear from them, and they'll make new arrangements and make it up to you. If they're not, then, no harm, no foul, no further contact, and you haven't burnt any social bridges if you cross paths with them at a party, in public or professionally someday.

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19 hours ago, MrNobody1111 said:

I ended things because I found her attitude about planning a date highly disrespectful. She even admitted that she lost interest after the first date, but decided to keep that to herself until I explicitly ended things with her. So this was never really going anywhere from the beginning and I was just wasting my time.

Sounds like she wasn't exactly your type then and the date wasn't as great as you initially thought. You made the right choice then. I tend to be more forgiving and understanding then most and like to try everything possible before moving on. It's worked for me as this worked for you. To each their own.

12 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I don't think he needed to show concern that she chose to get drunk and obviously had these typical consequences.  She acted in a thoughtless way about his time.

Yes, she did act thoughtless. No, he didn't need to show concern. But I would have just out of concern for her, because I would have wanted to. He made it sound like the first date was this amazing experience and they really connected. If it was someone that I was starting to feel strongly for, I'd be concerned about any signs of trouble not just for me, but for her as well. 

Having seen alcohol wreck lives of multple people I've loved and cared for, I'm probably more sensitive to it. My first thought was wondering why she feels the need to get drunk in the first place. If it had been me I wouldn't have continued with her either, as I see she doesn't match my values. But I would have said something. Drinking until your hungover the entire next day isn't normal or healthy. Her behavior could have far worse consequences then being rude to a potential romantic partner.

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10 hours ago, smackie9 said:

Dude you only give them two chances. Sure some people will cancel last min for whatever reason, but if they start giving you excuses about how "unavailable" they are, ditch them.

So three strikes and you're out? Curious, if the reason is valid, does that still count against them, even if it is something they couldn't control? Wouldn't that be more like a ball instead of a strike, to keep the baseball metaphor? 

I think it depends on the circumstances. What one person sees as an excuse, another person might not. They might think its a legitimate reason. And even if it is an excuse, I still wouldn't ditch them. Wouldn't that just be doing to them what they did to you? If it was so wrong for them, how would it not be wrong for you?

When it happened to me I didn't ditch her. I called her out on it. I talked it over with her and explained how hurtful it was. And she realized she was wrong, said she was sorry, and next time kept her word to me. Ditching her would have caused me to miss what was at the time one of the best weekend of my life. 

Yes, if it's a continued pattern then don't accept it. If the person gets an attitude and can't see whats wrong with the behavior, then don't stick around. But I really think talking things over can solve so many more problems that people are unwilling to even try to solve. 

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24 minutes ago, ShySoul said:
11 hours ago, smackie9 said:

Dude you only give them two chances. Sure some people will cancel last min for whatever reason, but if they start giving you excuses about how "unavailable" they are, ditch them.

So three strikes and you're out? Curious, if the reason is valid, does that still count against them, even if it is something they couldn't control? Wouldn't that be more like a ball instead of a strike, to keep the baseball metaphor? 

There really is no need to keep score when you're willing to 'allow' rather than trying to 'control' outcomes. 

Allowing takes no effort. No need to estimate validity or follow up or attempt to reschedule--or anything at all beyond kindly accepting the cancelation at face value and welcoming the person to let you know when they'd like to set a new time and place. Boom! Done. Off your plate.

Controlling is heavy and stressful. Measuring the validity of the excuse, deciding whether you're in or out, then acting accordingly with the expectation that the other will respond appropriately, which is even more stressful because that is outside your control. This stress imposes stress on the other, who might initially conform  under pressure on the spot, but then rebel with another delay--because what may have originally been a sincere interest gone awry on one occasion with a legitimate excuse has now become an obligation that they no longer wish to perform.

I vote to skip that. We can't force anyone to want what they don't want, but if they DO want to reschedule, just credit them with a willingness to reach out to do so. There is no right answer to making that happen, because the answer lies within THEM, not us.

So the only thing we don't allow when we try to control is the real answer to the question.

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8 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Controlling is heavy and stressful. Measuring the validity of the excuse, deciding whether you're in or out, then acting accordingly with the expectation that the other will respond appropriately, which is even more stressful because that is outside your control. This stress imposes stress on the other, who might initially conform  under pressure on the spot, but then rebel with another delay--because what may have originally been a sincere interest gone awry on one occasion with a legitimate excuse has now become an obligation that they no longer wish to perform.

I vote to skip that. We can't force anyone to want what they don't want, but if they DO want to reschedule, just credit them with a willingness to reach out to do so. There is no right answer to making that happen, because the answer lies within THEM, not us.

Same -also if I had to teach an adult basic manners or why it was disrespectful to cancel last minute/show up very late without an emergency -  that was a dealbreaker for dating with potential for a serious relationship and if it was someone I was getting to know as a friend I then had boundaries as far as not risking my sparse free time making plans again to meet in person - I'd limit it to a group situation, a situation where I had to be there anyway, etc.

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9 hours ago, ShySoul said:

Yes, she did act thoughtless. No, he didn't need to show concern. But I would have just out of concern for her, because I would have wanted to.

I wouldn't have for a hangover unless she told me someone forced her to drink/put  something in a drink.  I wouldn't have needed or wanted to show concern for someone who made a poor choice involving getting drunk especially knowing we had a plan. 

If she shared she was an alcoholic I would have showed concern and moved on from being involved in a dating context.  I once had a work deadline where my coworker- junior to me -had to come in on a Sunday as I did to put in a full days work. 

She didn't look well and I showed concern and asked if she needed anything.  She glibly told me she had a hangover,  I was done trusting that coworker to show up reliably ready to work -our work was very detail oriented and  time sensitive.  She obviously didn't care enough about her work, the project or being part of a team.  It's a lack of respect, it's thoughtlessness and -no -I'm not going to show concern for someone who deliberately harms themselves with alcohol in that situation even if we'd had a good time in the past or I saw potential for a friendship or dating situation.  

For sure some people prioritize  that initial chemistry or clicking over the person's values, respect for them, etc - and that might work out fine for a fling - then it's less of an issue because it's not for long term purposes.  

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13 hours ago, ShySoul said:

So three strikes and you're out? Curious, if the reason is valid, does that still count against them, even if it is something they couldn't control? Wouldn't that be more like a ball instead of a strike, to keep the baseball metaphor? 

I think it depends on the circumstances. What one person sees as an excuse, another person might not. They might think its a legitimate reason. And even if it is an excuse, I still wouldn't ditch them. Wouldn't that just be doing to them what they did to you? If it was so wrong for them, how would it not be wrong for you?

When it happened to me I didn't ditch her. I called her out on it. I talked it over with her and explained how hurtful it was. And she realized she was wrong, said she was sorry, and next time kept her word to me. Ditching her would have caused me to miss what was at the time one of the best weekend of my life. 

Yes, if it's a continued pattern then don't accept it. If the person gets an attitude and can't see whats wrong with the behavior, then don't stick around. But I really think talking things over can solve so many more problems that people are unwilling to even try to solve. 

Different and the most common circumstance for the OP. 

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