Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

Those Confirmation Jitters

4pm and still no confirmed time or place? Brande offers solutions to a letter writer whose dates give her day-of anxiety.  

Q. I run into this problem constantly and I’m looking for a solution. I use dating apps pretty much exclusively to meet people. I have no problems matching and securing dates. The problem comes with the actual logistics of setting up a date. 

Here’s what will typically happen: we’ll chat for a bit, the guy will ask me out for say, Thursday, and I’ll agree. Then he’ll respond, “Great, sounds good!” and I won’t hear from him for the rest of the week…until Thursday, around 3 or 4pm! By that point I’m having extreme anxiety — did he forget about the date? Are we still on? Where am I supposed to meet him, and when? It’s actually really annoying because I want to be able to plan my outfit, especially if I’m coming straight from work. If I have no idea where we’re going this becomes difficult. I also want to be able to plan time to shower, get ready, etc. I want to make a great first impression and feel relaxed, knowing the plan. 

My question is: how do I get these guys to understand that it’s really annoying and borderline rude to wait until the LAST possible second to plan a specific place and time? I don’t want to come off pushy or aggressive since they’re the one doing the asking out. I also don’t want to look desperate by texting something like, “So where and when are we meeting Thursday?” the day before. HELP!

Chelsea, New York, NY

A. I must confess: when reading your question, in addition to nodding my head in “been there” agreement, I had an Oprah moment. To paraphrase one of Queen O’s favorite sayings: when it comes to men, what I know for sure is when they want something, they go after it. If you need extra confirmation, consider this: 86 percent of men say they initiate asking someone out all or most of the time. Bottom line? If he wants to see you, he. Will. Ask. You. Out. 

In this case, men who don’t bother to set concrete plans don’t really want “it” — “it” being a serious relationship with someone who wants to be treated like more than an afterthought.

Let me clarify that this lack of interest is in no way a reflection of your amazing qualities as a woman; people are just lazy these days. A first date used to be a huge planned out event; now it’s a 3 pm, “Hey, wanna grab drinks? I’m in your ‘hood,” type of thing. In addition, many men simply don’t realize the amount of time women like to spend getting ready for a first date — 80 percent of women spend more than 30 minutes getting ready for a date, while only 54 percent of men do. 

86 percent of men say they initiate asking someone out all or most of the time.

There are two ways you can approach these types of situations. One is to grab ahold of the dating reins yourself. If a guy asks you out for Thursday, don’t just agree to his ambiguous offer; get the details right away. Better yet, offer some meet-up suggestions of your own. Say something like, “Thursday works. How about 6 pm? There’s a great spot on (insert street name) that has Happy Hour ‘til 7 pm.”

If he gives the OK, now you have a plan. You know you can shower at 3 pm, get a blowout at 4 pm, throw on your skirt and heels, and make it to the place in just enough time to make a stunning first impression. 

80 percent of women spend more than 30 minutes getting ready for a date. That number drops to 54 percent for men. 

If you still prefer to let a man lead and plan the first gathering, then the only approach you’re left with when he comes through with a last-minute text is to decline. You don’t have to be nasty about it. Simply say, “Hey, I hadn’t heard from you about plans so I made other ones. Can we reschedule for Saturday night?” You’re still leaving the ball in his court to right his wrong (i.e. set a time and a place), but you’re also setting a tone that says “I have a life. If you want in on it, you need to follow through before something or someone else occupies my time.”

Also to keep in mind: there’s  nothing wrong with texting “Hey, are we still on for tomorrow?” the night before an agreed upon meeting date. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to because the guy would have already followed up, but life gets busy and when you’re in the early stages of dating multiple people, you may forget to confirm drinks here and a movie there.

If, after trying all the above solutions, the guy still can’t nail down a time and place in a timely manner…he’s just not serious. If, however, he responds enthusiastically with a set plan, forgive his forgetfulness just this once, but make sure he doesn’t make a habit of being a poor planner. If he does, he’ll likely make a poor boyfriend as well.

BRANDE VICTORIAN 

Brande Victorian is the creator of Be-Enough.com where she chronicles tales of love in the time of weight loss along with other musings of her health and wellness journey. She also serves as Managing Editor of MadameNoire.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Send questions to Brande at advice@hinge.co.

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