Did Your Date Just Cancel on You? Here's Why

Guys - you’re doing it wrong. Setting up dates, that is. We often hear from women that men are making one simple mistake that throws them out of contention. Want to know what it is?

So, let’s say a woman has a date set with a guy from a dating app. She messages back and forth with him over the weekend, and on Sunday, they agree to get a drink on Tuesday. Everyone is excited. She thinks about what she’s going to wear, and on Tuesday, she goes to the gym in the morning, instead of pilates after work, because she’s anticipating the date. She plans her outfit just right, so she can transition for work to evening drinks seamlessly, and she makes sure her hair is on point.

But all of a sudden, it’s 4pm, and she hasn’t heard from the guy. He still hasn’t texted where and when the date will be, and she’s starting to feel a number of things. She’s not going crazy, but she’s starting to get annoyed that she has no clue what’s up. Is she supposed to meet him right after work? Have dinner first? What’s the venue like? At 5pm, her insecurities start to kick in. Is he testing her? Is he even still interested? There’s a lot going on in her head, but it tends to culminate in frustration.

Sure, the woman can text the man, and we recommend that she does. But in her mind, a man’s ability to plan a date, and to think about her needs, is a huge indicator of his personality and his ability to take care of her. The woman is of course capable of planning a date, but on a first date, she wants to see that he’s a take-charge kind of guy, so by taking no action at all, he’s really screwing himself over. She has no information, so she eventually takes charge herself.

In this situation, the girl is probably going to cancel the date. She makes the call that this guy isn’t for her based on the information she hasn’t been given, and moves on.

From a guy’s perspective, this behavior doesn’t make sense. He wasn’t intentionally leaving her hanging - he just had a busy day at work. Men are actually less likely to text during a work setting, perhaps because they aren’t as good at multitasking. He also doesn’t think about her routine. Men don’t typically have to plan unique work outfits each day or worry about when they’ll do their hair or makeup. They don’t have to worry about their eating habits as much, and because they are expected to be in control, they aren’t worried as much about being taken advantage of or blown off. So when the woman texts at 5pm saying “I haven’t heard from you, let’s reschedule,” he sees her as irrational, or doesn’t even recognize that she’s canceling the date for this reason, so he moves on as well.

Now, at Three Day Rule, we believe that both parties are a little at fault for this date failure. Women, you should be able to communicate your needs and not be afraid to ask for what you want. Men, you should be thinking about the other person’s feelings, and should show that you are that take-charge type most women are interested in. Both should remember that communication is challenging before you actually meet in person, so should err on the side of over-communication when possible.

The bottom line is that, even thought you don't know the other person yet, you'll be more successful if you're simply thoughtful about their needs, and your date will go better if everyone feels like their time and emotions were respected. Many people forget basic etiquette when it comes to dating - if you treat your date how you want to be treated, the online dating world will be a much happier place.