Flaking Out: A Dating Disaster

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Self-help books tell you to put what you want out into the universe and the law of attraction will deliver it. This is what led to the Facebook Dating Project. I wanted to reach everyone in my circle and say, "Hey, I’m ready to find THE ONE." But it’s not so easy. My past three set-ups have crashed and burned before ever getting started.

The first guy who bailed was actually a second date. We had a good time on the first date and he asked me out again a few days later. But he was so busy that he was suggesting dates four weeks in the future. At that rate I would barely remember who he was. Call me high maintenance but I think when you’re excited about someone, you want to see him or her and will find two hours in your schedule for a coffee or beer. I stopped answering his e-mails. Next.

The second guy was another set-up. He e-mailed and I suggested we meet for drinks. He responded a week later. That was a bad sign. He apologized for taking so long to get back to me and we went back and forth a bunch of times but could never get a date on the calendar. Next.

Finally, a very nice single friend asked me to dinner. I asked him, "Why don’t we do it next week?" He said he didn’t know his schedule and would get back to me. A few weeks later I texted him, "Hey, we never got that dinner," and he said he was embarrassed because he was broke that week. That was a huge bummer. We didn’t have to go to dinner. This is Los Angeles, let’s have an iced tea by the ocean or hike a canyon. It wasn’t about the money and it was worse to flake. Next.

So why do guys flake before they even meet you? I asked The Panel:

"I think someone who flakes after the date is set up is probably not all that interested in being set up." — Abby, 37, married

"A first date is like a first job interview, this is how you expect to be viewed by people for future engagements. You go through with it no matter what, and more times than not you may be surprised from your expectations.  Keep it low cost and simple.  Get to know each other and later decide if this is a person you would like to impress or spend more money on." — Wilfredo, 45, in a relationship

"If you really care about meeting someone new, you make the effort to do it. And if a mutual friend sets you up, flaking will not only look bad on you, but the mutual friend too. If you are going to make anyone look bad, please don't let it be the person trying to find a relationship. Don't be late and don’t flake." — Grayson, 27, in a relationship

One of the best parts of being in a relationship is having someone else in your life to take into consideration. When you're single, it’s all about you. No obligations, no one to answer to, no one to check in with. But it’s a slippery slope. We singles run the risk of getting so used to not having to think about anyone before we make decisions that subconsciously we start to like it. We get lazy. We don’t really feel like getting dolled up, spending money or trying to impress someone new. So guess what — we flake. It’s easier than putting yourself out there.

I, however, refuse to be a flake! I'm looking for someone who wants to make room in his life for me and I will make room in my life for him. If you can't find two hours in your schedule to go out on a date with me, then you're not interested in meeting me. If you can’t think of a date that doesn’t break your bank, then you’re not interested in meeting me. If you cancel on me at the last minute for no reason at all, then you just suck.

Guys, you’re not doing me, or your friends, any favors when you agree to a set-up. Say no upfront and you’ll never have to worry about being a flake. If you say yes, then be a man, and take a chance. You might find something really great.

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