Stood up!

Have you ever been stood up for a date? Whether you have already or regrettably, may be in the future, it’s useful to examine your options. Here’s how I explored mine.

A new potential suitor (#77) and I arranged for a dinner first date last night. He called two days ago to set a time. He asked me to choose a restaurant and email him the address. I did so within the hour, along with the restaurant’s phone number and my cell number.

I got dated up and drove to the restaurant, arriving 10 minutes early. I waited. The appointed time came. He didn’t waltz in. I gave him some grace, as he was driving from an hour away, so maybe he got caught in traffic. Another five minutes passed. Ten. I asked the hostess if she thought it rude, as I did, to be 10 minutes late and not call. When she found out where he was driving from, she thought he might have hit traffic. I called his cell phone to see if he was lost or stuck. Voice mail. I left a message.

Another five minutes passed. Then another. I called again. I didn’t leave a message. I vacillated between fuming at his rudeness for not calling, worrying that something had happened which prevented him from calling, to wondering if I got the day wrong, or if he’d even received my email. I gave him a little more slack.

At 30 minutes after the time we set to meet, and 40 minutes after I arrived, I left. I called his cell one last time to see if I could get him, not his voice mail. I didn’t leave a message.

When this happens you have several choices:

  • Should you call again? No. I left a message and he can see I called multiple times after that.
  • Should you email to ask what happened? No.
  • If he calls, how should you react? I’ll be in wonder, curious at what happened. If he is contrite and apologetic and offers a plausible excuse — which needs to include the words “hospital” or “kidnapped” — I’ll consider giving him another chance. But I can’t imagine that his reason would be anything but inexcusable. I will let him know I was inconvenienced.
  • If he doesn’t call, oh well. Although he was charming on the phone and had a wonderful accent, deep voice and good sense of humor, he lives over an hour’s drive from me, which is far from optimal. He’s been married 3 times, and is only separated from his last wife, but they’ve filed for divorce. Orange flag (a mix of yellow and red flag.) He has a small child with her, which complicates life.

If he purposefully blew me off, what possibly could go through a man’s mind to make this okay? Narcissism? Selfishness? Lack of compassion, empathy or humanity? If he decided not to meet me, what would prevent him from having the common decency to at least call and give me some feeble excuse, if not say he changed his mind or plans? As much as I want to be in wonder, this one has me flummoxed.

We’ll see how this one plays out. I won’t be waiting by my phone. I have a second date with #76 tomorrow.

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9 responses to “Stood up!”

  1. Cupertino Avatar

    I’m someone who gets crazy if I’m even five minutes late, so having someone not show up at all would normally push all my buttons.

    However, there have been occasions — very few, fortunately — where I completely forgot an appointment or a meeting. Either I never wrote it down, or forgot to look at my schedule, but I was totally embarrassed at having to explain to the other person what I had done.

    So when I’ve been on the receiving end, I’ve learned to be more forgiving. Nevertheless, whatever happened, he should be sufficiently apologetic for you to feel okay about setting up another meeting.

  2. Carla Avatar

    This happened to me twice! The first time, the prospective date had an accident on his way to meet me. The second time, the guy never showed, never called and never responded to my e-mail. I was dumbfounded as to why he ever set it up. Perhaps he is one of those guys who likes to e-mail and then gets his kicks from imagining a women waiting for him. I met him online and since found his profile listed in 2 more cities…perhaps he lives in none of these and just pursues women via e-mail for the kicks. His story was that he had just moved here to take a job hence his cell was in a different area code.

    Well, I waited and then hit the bar…met some fun people and even got another date out of it. That didn’t go beyond one date but what the heck…most don’t 🙂

  3. Kaye Avatar

    A couple come to mind.

    Number 1 was half and hour late. I had left to go home when he called me. His excuse? He fell asleep! Didn’t sound like he was very motivated to meet me. While he was with me at coffee, he was very apologetic, very charming. After, emailed and promised to call me soon. Never heard from him again. I think he likes to collect first dates. Your #77 sounds like one who’s more interested in getting the responses than even meeting someone.

    The second was someone who got caught is very bad traffic. I don’t have a cell phone, so he called the coffee house I was at and had them track me down. He got major points for his perseverance. Since traffic would take a long time to get back to normal, we rescheduled for dinner and had a lovely time.

    As for the man in your article – that he’s not yet divorced is a huge red flag for me. I simply do not date married men. And yes, separated or “filed for divorce” are still versions of married. One friend puts it this way – you’re either working on your marriage or working on your divorce – you don’t get to date until you are divorced.

  4. walt Avatar

    We made tentative plans to meet for coffee, but never confirmed. She thought the date was on, I thought no confirmation meant it wasn’t. So, she went to Starbuck’s, waited for a half hour, then left. Amazingly, she agreed to try again. Now we’re at the two month mark, and having a rockin’ good time!

  5. Ellen Avatar

    For me, dating is a time to learn about the other person, to just look at his actions and listen to his words and see what kind of person he is. Lots of my friends (and me in the past) make excuses for the things the guy does that should be inexcusable, but the guys like that always prove to be unworthy and the ladies just waste time and energy. I vote we listen and learn and think about what the other person says and does as if we were an outsider or a journalist, someone just making observations and not being emotionally involved. We are so involved with hoping it will be wonderful that we miss the reality of what’s in front of us. A guy who is late and is not dead or unconscious is a write-off. Orange flags? Come on, it’s red or nothing, we can’t make an undesirable person into someone desirable just by wishing and wanting!!!

    xo Ellen

  6. Dating Goddess Avatar


    While lack of communication is a deal breaker, I’ve also learned to not make a judgment based on incomplete information. I haven’t heard his side of the story. I may never hear it. If I don’t hear from him by the end of today, I’ll totally write this one off to lack of consideration. But I’m willing to listen if he got in a tremendous car wreck that took him out of pocket for 24 hours. Or something happened to his daughter that made him otherwise focused. Or if he thought it was for a different day. Miscommunication does happen, and I’m not immune to it, so will allow a few more hours of grace.

  7. MADY Avatar

    I date exclusively from dating sites..heres how I remedy that..and dont get STOOD UP..
    first i never make the first date anything more then a simple cocktail date,
    its always lets meet outside a pub in a strip mall near me..I ask him to call before he leaves ( he is usually at least an hour away) and again when he gets there if he doesnt call at the appointed time about an hour before the meeting time..I dont get ready just forget about it..if he does I do get ready..when he calls and says he is waiting out side.. I leave I am only 5 min away..
    with all the flakes on the net its the only sensible thing to do..

  8. Marina Avatar

    I have to concur with many of the others. If he doesn’t show up, doesn’t return voice mail or attempt to contact you to let you know he’s running late, and/or doesn’t apologize within a day or two — write him off.

    The older I get the less I put up with other people’s b.s! This guy was inconsiderate at best; a total flake at worst. Eithere way, he is a LOSER! And why waste your precious time with a man like that?

  9. michele Avatar

    I enjoyed reading these stories because it just happen to me. I met this guy online we had two great date i thought things were going good. We planned our third date this past weekend, he was going to drive to see me about a hour out of the city, meet some of my friends and then plan to spend time to ourselfs. He was suppose to call at 6 but know call so I called him at 7 he said he was on his way just a liitle late leave. As I was waiting I went online to past the time and he was online the whole time he never left, I did call once to see whwer he was but got voice mail I never called him back and he never called me I see when he is online but I don’t bother in email him. There is a part of me that can’t belive why someone would do this.