If You Wait At A Date For Longer Than This, Experts Say You've Been Stood Up

by Ginny Hogan
Originally Published: 

I wouldn't wish being stood up upon anyone. It's a horrible feeling to be sitting somewhere, staring at your phone, wondering if your date got hit by a car and that's why they're not texting you. You look around the bar and imagine that everyone else there knows you're being stood up and that the bartender feels sorry for you (sometimes, your imagination runs away from you). You wonder: How long should you stay at a date before you give up? And that's just at a bar — if you're stood up at a restaurant, you may have to vacate the table and apologize to the waitstaff for taking up their time. Being stood up is no fun, and I wanted to get the expert opinion on how long to wait around before concluding that your date isn't coming.

You might not need to wait long before deciding you've been stood up, because someone can send a text saying that they're running late. "With everyone's phone within an arm's reach of them at all times, there is zero excuse for someone to not reach out and let their date know that they are running late," Founder of Master Offline Dating Camille Virginia tells Elite Daily. "Zero. Even if you don't have their phone number, you clearly have some way to get a hold of them, or else you wouldn't have been able to plan the date. So, if your date is more than 10 minutes late and hasn't reached out, be aware that people are on their best behavior when dating." If someone is running late and hasn't texted, that's unfortunately not a great sign. It doesn't mean you need to write them off forever, but after 10 minutes, you might be able to conclude you've been stood up.

Trinette Reed/Stocksy

There are extenuating circumstances in which someone might be unable to text, and while these are uncommon, they do happen. If this happens, you should expect an apology later if they want to reschedule the date. "Unpredictable forces definitely happen and prevent someone from being on time — but the point is how people handle it," Virginia says. "More than 10 minutes late requires a message and ETA, and a big apology as soon as they show up." If their phone really has died or there's an emergency and they're absolutely too swamped to text you, it's up to you to decide if you're willing to forgive them. Standing someone up on a date is never a nice thing to do, but emergencies happen, and you can decide for yourself if you think they are someone you're willing to reschedule for.

You can wait for a date as long as you're having a good time — there's no rule saying you can't have fun alone. "If you're feeling up for it, I say stay as long as you're having fun," Virginia says. "I personally love to hit the town by myself and make an evening of it — I'm my own best company! Sit at the bar, order yourself a nice glass of wine, and talk to the person sitting next to you or the bartender. Or just enjoy a moment to yourself — how often do we get those?" Don't let one person being a flake ruin your evening. Maybe it's a group date, and you can still have a good time with your friends, or by yourself. If you want to go home or go meet up with someone else, absolutely do that. But if you dressed for a night out and you want a night out, enjoy that as well.


Ultimately, how long you wait at a date depends on what you're comfortable with. If you're having a good time at the spot, there's no reason to leave just because your date isn't there. But if your date is running late and hasn't texted, you can absolutely leave as early as 10 minutes in. Standing someone up isn't a very considerate thing to do, and it's up to you to decide if you think someone's behavior makes them unworthy dating, or if you'd be willing to give it another chance. And if a person stands you up, that's their loss — there are tons of others who will make it to the date on time!

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