Excuse me while I brand myself as one of "those" people: I'm so darn busy! I know, I know. Saying that you are "so busy," is the equivalent of saying that you are "so a human person." Which, of course, yes — you are, I am, and we all are. Cool! But the "I'm busy" angst has been hashed out elsewhere, so I won't indulge in it. I, too, agree that we are all busy, which is why I'm so confused as to why some people find it weird to schedule a date a week in advance. A first date scheduled a week away means that I'm more likely to actually be able to make it work, but others find planning a date a week out a hall pass for cancelling.
When the standard, "Should we grab drinks?" back-and-forth turns from fantasy into reality and someone throws an actual day of the week out there (finally), I don't always have a free night or day during that exact week open. While that may have just been a humblebrag about my popularity, it's also true.
If our nights don't line up, I'll generally throw out a date the following week to see if we are both free. Sometimes, the men I chat with on dating apps pull a weird taunt like, "Oh, you're sooo busy, huh?" To which I say, yes! I have a job that sometimes require nighttime hours. (I work as a producer on film sets, and no, not those film sets.) I have friends. I have hobbies. I like doing hot yoga — the aftermath of which is not a great first date look.
At the same time, I understand that a lot can change in a week, and that sometimes dates need to be rearranged when organized that far out. I spoke to Julia Armet, head of matchmaking at Tawkify, about how her clients juggle busy schedules. Does planning a date a week in advance work, or is it a guarantee you're going to get cancelled on?
TBH, it depends on the situation.
I personally think it's attractive when a date makes plans a week in advance because it suggests they actually wants to make the date happen. However, someone else might feel like planning a date in advance suggests someone is too busy to date. Or, too eager to date...
As with all things, "context is everything," says Armet. "If someone is a strong communicator — almost a hyper-communicator — I would attribute their 'planning ahead' to an anxious attachment style." They may simply be a "planner," and so planning in advance does not mean they are likely to cancel. "It means they care," says Armet. "And odds would say they will provide very [detailed] plans closer to the date and even arrive on that date early."
If someone wants to cancel, they will — no matter how far in advance you planned the date.
On the other hand, Armet says that a person who plans a date far in advance might be an avoidant type who is wary of solidifying plans. But the signs of this kind of noncommittal behavior will also be more obvious. Those signs include "perpetually shifting plans, postponing dates, presenting excuses, or not responding at all," adds Armet. "You'll also see the same 'postponement' mentality in people who have commitment issues," says Armet. "That can emerge deeper into relationships. Odds would say for these types: They'll flake on you."
But it's important not to read too much into relationship behaviors before a first date — you haven't even seen each other in the flesh yet! Maybe your match is just traveling for work, and needs to schedule for next week. Or maybe they are a super flake. There's no way of knowing that yet, so do your best to give your right swipe the benefit of the doubt.
So should you plan a first date way ahead of time?
IMO, yes! "I personally see more people appreciating dates that are planned ahead than dates planned last minute," agrees Armet. "We all have commitments to manage in our calendar. In my line of work, where we are responsible for scheduling dates for people, I find that clients appreciate the matchmakers who get dates in the calendar well ahead of time."
Armet adds that of course, because people who are dating often can end up in a relationship at any time, too much lead time can lead to a cancelled date. But that's just a risk of dating at all. Planning ahead is a great look. Think about it — it's much harder to cancel a date you planned a week ago that afternoon than one you sort of planned that day. You aren't a jerk, so you probably feel badly taking up a night from someone's week and then flaking.
And remember, it's just a date, so don't read into your date's planning style too much. If someone is asking you out a week ahead of time, they probably really want to meet you. Take it as a compliment and roll with it.