The Dating Nerd is a shadowy figure whose whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he is really, really good at dating. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a lengthy bar tab at, and he’s here to help the average guy step his dating game up a notch – or several.
The Question
Hey Dating Nerd,
So there’s this girl I met on She’s amazing. She’s beautiful, we have all the same interests, and the conversation is going great. I moved things to texting pretty quickly and smoothly. The only thing is that she’s always flaking out on me. Like, we make plans, and then she cancels them at the last minute, or she’s always busy. It seems like she’s ready to take things offline, but then the actual date never happens. How do I handle this situation and get her to finally meet up with me?
– Chasing After Perfection
Hi Chasing After Perfection,
The way to deal with a flaky person is to not continue pursuing them. Forget they exist. Move onto your other online dating matches. Or get new ones. Or just go to the gym, or read a book, or do other things that will bring joy and/or meaning into your daily life. Because anything will be better than wasting your daily life on chasing after somebody who won’t show up.
Flaky” is really a nice method of saying unreliable.” It is a word that may also be employed to lovely, delicate pastry, which can fool you into thinking it isn’t so bad. Which means you shouldn’t use that word. You need to use the term unreliable.” Can you tolerate unreliability from co-workers or friends? Can you wait around for those who don’t show up if you are not attempting to date them? Most likely not. So don’t hold out for someone you met online who doesn’t invest some time seriously.
But Dating Nerd,” you respond, this girl is merely busy, and when I keep communicating with her, she’ll involve some time eventually, and we’ll make sweet love, and live happily ever after.” Sorry, nonetheless it doesn’t work this way. Someone who really wants to see you will notice you. They will take the time. They will treat you prefer you’re valuable, that you are. If she’s actually, genuinely, significantly thinking about you, she’ll say, That is a really busy week, but we will go out Saturday afternoon?” And, on Saturday afternoon, she’ll arrive and you’ll spending some time together. She won’t say, Um, I have no idea, maybe I’m going to be free sometime in 2020,” or make vague plans rather than follow up on them.
If someone does that to you, they’re sending a very clear signal, which is that you are not a priority. Sorry to break it to you, but she’s just not super-excited about you. Maybe she’s willing to see you at some point, maybe she’d even take you back to her place after a few drinks to hook up – but only if she’s bored or lonely. To this girl, you’re like a 7-11: She doesn’t like you all that much, but you’re there if she needs a little snack. Is that the kind of person you want to be? Is that the role you would like to play?
Maybe you think she’s so great that the answer is yes – that you’ll sacrifice precious hours, self-esteem, and cognitive capacity for even an outside chance of a disinterested makeout. She’s just that amazing; even a little taste of her magic is worth the effort. Well, you don’t really know, since you haven’t met her yet, and you’re most likely wrong. Most likely, you’re engaging in an incredibly common form of stupidity: You’re falling for scarcity value. The more she’s unavailable, the more she seems like a mysterious, supernatural nymph, who’s living the life you’ve always dreamed of inhabiting, somewhere in a distant curtained room you can’t currently access. Several times a day, you gaze at her profile pictures, mentally Photoshopping yourself into each one.
Don’t let scarcity value fool you. It’s likely that, she’s not some form of supernatural nymph. EASILY had to bet, I’d wager that she’s just the average person. That is what average means: It’s what many people are. Don’t be such as a kid who suddenly thinks a Tonka truck is the foremost toy ever because various other kid is using it and he can’t own it. Don’t assume that folks are cool because they don’t desire to spending some time with you. This is simply not me being harsh – I’m actually sympathetic, because it is a very human, easy mistake to create, and I’ve managed to get before.
Betty had the coolest profile I’d ever seen on an online dating service So she should be an awesome person, right? She had long, curly, beautiful dark hair that framed an exquisitely severe face. Her job was super cool – she was an architect, and an effective one at that. She drove an awesome car, her outfits looked good, etc. Seriously, what could possibly be more attractive when compared to a total babe with the energy to create a skyscraper?
The only real problem was, she wouldn’t see me. She said we have to meet up, and at the final minute, she would get yourself a call from work, or she felt tired, or whatever. (These calls from work were possibly fictitious.) But I had not been deterred. Weeks of carefully crafted messages later, she finally met up with me one night for a beer. Probably because she felt harmful to me, or she needed some attention. (We’ve all been there.)
And the tragic thing is that, when I finally met her, Betty proved to be… OK. She was certainly pretty, but just a little less pretty than her profile pictures made her out to be. Also, while her life, in some recoverable format, was super cool, that didn’t necessarily make her personality amazing. Conversation was polite and unremarkable. We didn’t make one another laugh. We certainly didn’t enter any substantial discussion of items that actually matters. It had been all idle chit-chat, basically. Among those first dates where both of you get drunk because you’re bored, find out a little, say you need to meet up again, rather than do. Not worth the hours of effort I put into meeting up with her. Not even a little bit.
My date with Betty happened before some maturation occurred – before I became the kind of person who wouldn’t waste my time on a date like that. The maturation basically consisted of an increase in my self-esteem. When somebody’s not that excited by the prospect of hanging out with you, that should make you less interested in seeing them, not more. Playing hard to get is for childish people. Don’t go out with childish people.
I know that when you’re a single dude it’s easy to fall into the mindset that you’re the underdog – that you’re just some schlub, going around and trying to fool women into spending time with you. Your job is to avoid that mindset. Respect yourself and your time, and don’t act servile towards people who don’t respect you and your time. Not only will pursuing unappreciative people make you unhappy, it won’t even get you laid.

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