Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What to Do When a Girl is Late for a Date ??!!

What to Do When a Girl is Late for a Date  - waking up late for work

On our discussion boards, a member named killerman has run into a situation where girls are changing date times last minute, or otherwise being late for a date. Here’s what he had to say about this:

    “right there’s one thing that’s really getting on my nerves these days, and it’s girls agreeing to a time but then trying to change it last minute, then being late. it’s really getting on my nerves, but the thing is how do I express it without coming across as an asshole? i understand that sometimes things crop up but sometimes it seems they do it just because they feel like it. i cant remember a girl turned up to a date on time so maybe it’s their way of testing out guys? like maybe they do it on purpose to piss us off then see if we’re genuine by expressing our discontent?”

What killerman wants to know here is how to express your disapproval to a girl at having her change times or be late.

What I’d like to use his problem for is to answer, in addition to his own question, a slightly broader one: what do you do when a girl is late for a date?

Do you get mad... or storm off... play it cool... or hang in there and wait... or, do you do something else?

What’s Your Value to Her?

The first and most important thing to figure out is “What’s your value to this girl?”

This is going to determine how she is feeling en route to this date she keeps changing times on or is in the process of being late to... and how she feels will determine what you should do.

The different ways she might feel include:

    Stressed: “Oh no, I can’t believe I’m late... I sure hope Frank isn’t annoyed with me. I hope he doesn’t leave!”

    Indifferent: “Oh, I’m late... oh well, it happens.”

    Entitled: “I’m late, and it’s only going to make Will want me even more. He is so hung up on me right now.”

Which of these she’s feeling depends on HOW she values you.

For instance:

    If this is just another throwaway date she’s going on (her third date with a guy this week) and she has no strong opinion of you either way, she’s probably going to be indifferent or entitled

    If she views you as significantly higher status/value than the men she normally has a shot with, she’s going to be stressed out about blowing it with you

    If she’s intrigued by you but not bowled over, she’s likely to be somewhere between stressed and indifferent... “mildly stressed”, let’s say

    If she views herself as higher status/value than you are, she’ll either be indifferent or entitled, depending on the value differential (the higher value she thinks she is, the more entitled she’ll feel)

There’s another dimension to this as well, and it’s where you fall on the friend-lover-boyfriend triumvirate we discussed in “What Women Want”:

    Does she want you as a platonic friend? Then chances are she’s either indifferent or entitled, depending on how much value you present as a friend

    Does she want you as a lover? Then her emotions range anywhere from stressed to indifferent, depending on how badly she wants you in that role

    Does she want you as a boyfriend? Here too her emotions will range between stressed to indifferent, again dependent on how excited she is about you as a boyfriend

The challenge is that while you’re still getting familiar with women, you’ll tend not to be so good a judge at which girls want you in which roles... and even when you’re pretty good, you’ll misread some girls who merely want you as a friend as wanting you for something more, and occasionally will misread the more emotionally reserved women who might want you for something more as merely being curious about having you as a friend (always assume attraction!).

So unfortunately, there’s an element of this that’s always going to be a bit of guesswork, where you’re relying on some part intuition and some part experience to divine out what it is a girl is after with you.

However, figuring out whether she’s stressed, indifferent, or entitled – and, by extension, how you can best respond – is a lot easier to do.

Why a Girl is Late for a Date

late for a dateBefore we talk “how you respond” and “what you do”, let’s talk about why a girl is late for a date in the first place.

There are a few different reasons.

Most men seem to jump to assuming women are either

    Completely disrespecting them, or

    Totally legitimate in their lateness, and this is quite understandable

... when in fact either can be the case, but it’s never usually 100% one or the other.

A woman’s reasons will tend to be more nuanced, and may include:

    She started getting ready for the date, realized she didn’t look nearly as good for you as she wanted to look, and now she’s changing her outfit a million times, doing and redoing her hair, taking off her makeup and reapplying it, or any other frenzied activity to try and make herself look her best for a guy she’s suddenly realized she wants to look said best for

    She’s a poor judge of time, and had other things going on or even was simply relaxing and hadn’t realized she’d need as much time to get ready, get out the door, and show up as she now is discovering she needs

    She was uncertain whether the date was still on or not, so preferred to wait a little while and text you she’d be late to see if you’d respond and let her know it’s on, or whether it’d be better for her to simply stay home (you can avoid this uncertainty on her part by texting beforehand, as talked about in “What to Do When Girls Flake”)

    She wants to play a game and make you more attracted to and invested in her by having you wait around; i.e., she wants to “make an entrance”

Rarely ever is her reason going to be because she is consciously trying to “disrespect you”... it’s easier to simply just not come to meet you in the first place if that’s the case.

So, try not to take this personal.

Chances are, either she’s flighty and she forgot, she was uncertain whether you were still going to show up, she wanted you to be MORE interested, or she’s going crazy trying to make herself look good for you.

Two of those are outright good things (her playing games to make you want her more, and her going crazy to get ready in time), because both mean she cares what you think of her.

The other two are neutral at worst, and mean she cares at best – the fact that she’s still bothering to plan coming out at all when she thinks you might not be probably means she’s at least somewhat legitimately interested in you, too.

How to Respond to Girls Late for Dates

You’ve essentially got two (2) valid potential responses to any girl who’s late for a date with you:

    Stay, or

That’s it.

“Chew her out” or “put her in her place” aren’t really ‘options’ here since they do nothing for you except drive her off cursing your name a blue streak and wishing she’d never met you. That benefits you about as much as punching cinder blocks does when you’re miffed.

Instead, you can stay or you can go.

And whichever you choose, you want to be relaxed about it.

You’re not her dad; she’s not going to entertain a lecture from you on timeliness and responsibility and the importance of honoring one’s commitments.

You’re a passing acquaintance she knows little about, or perhaps is curious about, but has zero interest in being lectured to by. Try this, and she’ll beat a hasty retreat and get ghost for good. Save the stern talking-tos for when you have children of your own and can instruct them on the merits of punctuality.

So... how do you know whether to stay or leave?

Here’s what I’d advise:

Stay if you can tell she is stressed and nervous about seeing you. The signs that she is include:

    She’s apologetic in her message response to you: “I’m sorry! I’m coming! Just 10 minutes behind!”

    She’s empathetic in her message response to you: “Ah, I hope you’re not having to sit there waiting for me too long – I’m on the train now, there soon.”

    She’s providing frequent updates: “Okay, just parked, I’m on my way.”

You don’t need all of these signs; one is enough (i.e., her being apologetic is all you need to know you should stay – she doesn’t have to be apologetic and providing you streaming updates!).

late for a dateIf she cares this much about inconveniencing you, she views you as a man of value to her, which means you’re in a good place with her. She’s actually more likely to be more receptive to you after running late, in fact, because she’s just spent the past 20 or 30 minutes frazzled and wondering about your emotional state, whether you are going to get annoyed at her and leave, whether she’s blown it with you, etc. All this mental footwork actually makes her more invested in you and causes her to realize how much she actually likes you to let being late for you have this kind of an impact on her.

Also stay if she’s providing you some kind of update, even without being apologetic, empathetic, or lots of updates, if you know you’re probably in a good position to be seen as a lover by her. That’s because a woman can view a potential lover indifferently yet still be open to moving forward with him, so long as he fulfills a role for her that most men can’t.

In this case, hang out, be relaxed, be available, and be ready to fulfill that role she has you in mind for once she’s made it to your date.

On the other hand, you should leave if she seems indifferent and you’re closer to the friend zone or boyfriend zone (that is, you’re someone she sees any kind of potential future with, basically), or if she seems like she’s behaving entitled toward you in any way (e.g., downplaying her lateness and ordering you around like an underling: “Hey, I’ll be late, sorry. Grab a table for us and I’ll see you when I get there”).

Here are the conditions on how and when you leave:

    She’s not responding to texts, you haven’t heard from her in at least 30 minutes, and 15 minutes have already passed from the scheduled date time: if you were supposed to meet at 1 o’clock and it’s now 1:15, and the last time you heard from her was a short text around 12:45 saying she’d be late, with no responses to other messages from you since, it’s time to bail.

    She’s responding to texts, but 30 minutes have gone by and she keeps pushing things back: this is only if she isn’t super apologetic / providing frequent updates, of course; if she is, you may still elect to wait for her as long as it doesn’t inconvenience you too much (however, I’d suggest you probably invite her home soon into the date if she makes you wait a really long time to meet up). Normally though, if she keeps pushing it back, “Hey, I’ll be there in 10 minutes, sorry,” – 15 minutes go by – “Hey, sorry... another 5 minutes, I should be there” – another 15 minutes go by – and she doesn’t otherwise seem to be really close (i.e., “Just looking for a parking space, I’m right outside”), it’s time for you to leave.

    She’s at all entitled, in any way: if you get an entitled-sounding message (“I’ll be about 15 minutes late. You can order the appetizers and start without me if you want”), know right away that your odds of anything remotely romantic transpiring with this girl are few. If you want her as a platonic friend or business contact, that’s one thing... but, otherwise, don’t wait... bail.

How should you bail, when it’s time to?

Like this:

    “Hey Laura, wasn’t sure if you were going to end up making it or not but seems like we’re better off rescheduling another day/time. I just headed out – hope to catch you a day we can plan to meet up better!”

... or like this:

    “I’ve got to run Kelly – sorry we couldn’t link up this time. Let’s reschedule another time when our schedules line up a bit better.”

What this message communicates is three (3) things:

    You were waiting for her. This is important – it lets her know you were there, on time at the time you agreed upon, and were sitting and patiently waiting for her. This is to avoid any feelings of her feeling insulted, slighted, or auto-rejecting if she is feeling stressed or indifferent (if she feels entitled, she’ll be insulted no matter what you do)

    Let’s her know you’re open to rescheduling. By telling her you’re “better off rescheduling” and reiterating that you hope to catch her “a day you can better plan to meet up”, you’re telling her you’re not rejecting her... merely her lack of consideration for your time

    Keeps it vague and makes her uncertain. What you’re NOT doing here is saying, “How about we try for Slurpees again on Tuesday the 11th at 2 PM?” Instead, you leave a vague “Let’s try again another time” response, which makes it unclear whether you mean it, or are just expressing your disappointment / walking away in a nice, polite way. This is designed as a mild “punishment” for her tardiness – you are giving her a small takeaway. The opposite, trying to reschedule, is rewarding her absence/tardiness, and any time you reward bad behavior you communicate weakness, which is highly unattractive

If you’re worried about her getting ticked at you for canceling... don’t.

If she’s a normal human being and you followed the time limit guidelines above, she’ll understand perfectly well that she’s the one who messed up, and either won’t care (if she was indifferent to you) or will want to make it up to you (if she values you highly).

Either way, you usually won’t have a great deal of trouble rescheduling later.

If she becomes indignant, and you did everything as laid out above (and didn’t mess up on some detail that makes you seem oafish or like you left too early or when she was 2 minutes away), she was showing up feeling entitled to you waiting around for her, and you should consider yourself as having dodged a bullet here.

What’s Next?

If she’s late for a date and you hang with it, be cool, calm, and act no different than had she been precisely on time when she does show up.

Don’t try to be clever and tell her the first round’s on her or anything like this, unless it really suits your style (the rough-around-the-edges bad boy / rebel type seems to be able to pull this off effectively – maybe picture Sean Connery or Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson flashing her a grin and a wink as he does it). Otherwise, you risk making it sound like she very much inconvenienced you, and you’d have been better off being your usual self instead.

I’d advise you moving faster and potentially going for first-date intimacy if you’re up for it with a girl who makes you wait a while before she shows up... she’s the one in the wrong here, so the balance has shifted more toward your terms in how the date gets run from there on forward.

If you leave with the vague “let’s reschedule sometime” text, play it by ear – if she’s apologetic in her response (“I’m SO sorry, I literally got caught up at work and just couldn’t make it out in time”), you can be playful and reschedule yourself after a bait-style text to get her on board with “making it up to you” (“It happens... well, we’ll just have to figure out a way for you to make it up to me next time around”).

If she’s indifferent (“Yeah, another time”), it’s probably not even worth following up with her again, but you can always shoot her a “Hey, want to try again?” message in a week or two (like “Hey Dana, so far we’re 0 for 1 on meeting up – what’s your schedule like this week / next, want to take another shot and see if we can even out our score?”).

If she’s indignant, that’s your signal that she was thinking about things all wrong... and you can either drop it, or experiment and see what you can get. e.g.:

    You: Hey Laura, wasn’t sure if you were going to end up making it or not but seems like we’re better off rescheduling another day/time. I just headed out – hope to catch you a day we can plan to meet up better!

    Her: I was almost there, and then you’re just going to leave?

    You: Just got home; I’m only a stone’s throw away, actually. Want to just head over and join me for a coffee here?

Chances are, you’ll get an indignant “no” to this, but sometimes you’ll get an “okay”... and now she’s coming over to your place.

You know what to do from there.

(And if you don’t? Check out “How to Get a Girl in Bed” next ;)


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