Your best, group-chat-approved outfit? Check. Nerves under control? Check. Protection, gum, and other goodies necessary for a smooth night? Also check. But even when you've got your sh*t together, you might still encounter some tricky dating situations, like when your date bails last-minute without so much as a "Something came up" text. Whether you're feeling disappointed, sad, or anything in between, you have every right to text the person who stood you up and let them know what's good.
If you've been waiting for your date for less than 10 minutes, don't freak out yet. Keep your mind occupied and look out for that frantic "Sorry, I'm running late!" message. If you've been waiting longer than 10 minutes, feel free to send your date a text. Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a psychotherapist and relationship expert, previously told Elite Daily she recommends texting your date something like, "Hope you're OK," or, "Did I get the day and time wrong?"
Maybe your date comes through with an explanation that's to your satisfaction, or maybe they fumble this chance to redeem themselves. Along with venting in the aforementioned group chat and relocating for the evening (because why let a fire 'fit go to waste?) don't be afraid to call your date out on their behavior.
Molly-Margaret Johnson, a sex and dating content creator (@whatswrongwithmollymargaret on Instagram), says 20 minutes is the ideal time to wait before calling your date a no-show. "It's enough to see if they’re late and with a dead phone — no way to tell you they’re running behind," Johnson tells Elite Daily. "Any more than that is a waste of your time."
If your date completely disappeared into the ether, Johnson recommends sending a text along the lines of, "Hey there, bummed you were a no-show. I was looking forward to meeting you. In the future, you should let someone know if you aren’t gonna make it, as to not waste their time. Have a good night."
Even if they cancelled with short notice (or only did so after you hung out at the bar alone for an hour), you can still touch base with your date and let them know you didn't appreciate their lack of communication. Johnson recommends something like, "I understand last-minute things come up, but a little more heads-up would have been helpful, as I also have my own life and plans to worry about."
If you're considering giving someone a second chance after they stood you up, reflect and feel out what your gut is telling you. "You will know if they are genuine in the last-minute cancellation, or if they are just taking you for a ride," Johnson explains. "If they were sincerely apologetic, I say give them another shot. If you have a feeling 'something better' came up for them, they can stay gone."
While the other person bailing is 100% their fault, save yourself the energy and text your date ahead of time to confirm you're on the same page. A simple "Hey! Are we still on for tonight?" message, or an updated ETA on the day of your meet-up can give flaky people an early out.
And as hard as it might be, don't feel bad about getting stood up. It was out of your control — whether it's because your date got distracted, made other plans, or found themselves in the middle of a family emergency or dealing with social anxiety. Either way, you deserve an explanation, and you won't get the answers you need if you don't ask the important, albeit uncomfortable questions. "Lead by example," Johnson says. "Be communicative with your dates and treat them how you want to be treated. My rule of thumb for dating: If you think someone should be doing something, do it!"
As you loom vigilant over your phone, waiting for the puzzle pieces of your date's disappearance to fall into place, you should also prepare for the possibility of them not giving you a valid excuse for their absence. In a weird way, that's OK, because in doing so, your date shows their true colors. "If you do not receive a response, then be relieved that you did not waste your time with a rude and immature person," Wish told Elite Daily. "You may never know the reason the person stood you up. So, your winning strategy is not to dwell on it or blame yourself."
Because in the same way you deserve answers (if your date has them to give), you also deserve to date people who are thoughtful, intentional, and solid communicators. Waste no sweat or tears on the situation and gladly move on.
Molly-Margaret Johnson, writer and influencer (@whatswrongwithmollymargaret)