Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Vague Date

Sometimes you make plans with a guy that require a follow-up. Maybe he says, “Let’s get dinner Thursday,” but he doesn’t specify the time or the place.

Thursday rolls around and he still hasn’t contacted you to set the locale or tell you what time. And then it’s 6 p.m. and you still haven’t heard from him.

Now you’re faced with a dilemma: if he calls you at 7 and suggests meeting up at 8, you’re going to look pretty available/fine with being dicked around if you show up. But, on the other hand, he did make plans ahead of time, and maybe you do kind of like him, so your gut is telling you to show up anyway.

One of our friends handles this by texting the guy at noon to say something like, “I’m trying to plan my night. Where/when are we meeting?” This way she avoids 7 p.m.-bind, gets a date, and escapes with her dignity intact.

At the risk of sounding like our least favorite dating book (He’s Just Not That Into You), if he wants to see you, he’ll go out of his way to solidify the plans. When you hit it off with a girl on your kickball team, you don’t invite her to your birthday dinner and then “forget” to tell her where it is. It’s the same with a guy: if he really wants to see you, you won’t be in 7-p.m.-panic mode, because he’ll have called you the night before to tell you he’ll pick you up at your place.

It’s easy to blame these problems on social incompetence. After all, we tell ourselves, guys aren’t good at this stuff.

It’s true that guys can be totally spacey, forgetful, and bad with social conventions that come much more naturally to girls. But this is rarely going to prevent them from making a first (or second, or third) date. If anything, the more “awkward” guys are going to be even more forward in the beginning.

Someone you know (possibly even you) has probably been in a serious relationship with someone who, from an outsider’s perspective, seemed a little lacking in social graces. But think about how he was at the beginning. He probably seemed weird because he was too forward, called too often, tried to make too many dates.

So if he hasn’t given you any concrete details by 7 p.m., there’s something wrong, and it doesn’t bode well for your future together.

But when he does call, you don’t want to say something like, “Well, I didn’t hear from you, so I made other plans.”

This makes it look like 1) you were waiting around for his phone call but too afraid to call him and 2) you have certain “rules,” i.e., he has to set a meeting time at least 24 hours in advance.

This isn’t what you want either—the message you’re trying to send is, “I’m too in-demand to pencil an asshole into my calendar.”

The easiest way to say this is to realize that a guy who hasn’t checked in before 7 p.m. isn’t getting the pleasure of your company that night, and he needs to make a huge gesture if he wants you to agree to a more specific date in the future.

The best way to say that is something like this, “Crap, I’m actually really tired/busy/dying to go to a yoga class—could we reschedule for another night?”

Let him propose the make-up date, and remember that it’s not your job to explain how dating works. Don’t say, “Next time, give me more of a heads up” or anything else that betrays the fact that he’s the reason you’re canceling.

If he’s smart, he’ll figure it out on his own. If he’s not, he’s not worth your time.


  1. This is an awesome blog. Great advice.

  2. Great blog. I am in a situation like this right now. He keeps telling me he really likes me and that he sees a future together but he forgets our dates,or is really vague about them. I always have to call him, or text him, otherwise I just won't hear anything from him. I'm kinda done with that. Tonight we had a date, but since he has not contacted me yet, I am defenitely telling him I'm tired or busy. His loss.