Getting Stood Up By A Guy & Last Minute Cancellations

Last night I got stood up by a guy for a first date set up from an online dating site; is there anything worse than getting stood up by a guy?  I know it was not an accident that he did not show up because when I got home the connection to the guy who was supposed to meet me had been deleted on the dating site we met on.  This is the first time I have been stood up for a first date in the year plus since I started my post divorce middle aged dating, but I have had many last minute cancellations. In fact I have had so many cancellations, I give a date an odds of about 1 in 2 of following through after the initial meeting is set.


Getting stood up by a guy

Getting stood up by a guy


Usually the men call or text within a few hours of the date with some made up excuse. The number one has been “I found out I have to go out of town for a business meeting.  Can’t make it”.  Why they can’t just be assertive and tell me the real reason is beyond me. I am a naturally assertive person, so I would say “I realized I am not ready to date yet” or “I changed my mind about dating you. I realized you are not really my type”.  The latter one is a little harsher but at least it puts the blame on me not saying “I realized you are too ugly, stupid, boring and/or poor for my standards” .

Getting stood up by a guy at middle age

I never got stood up by a guy when I was young; I got married at 30 so had lots of experience dating. I even used dating services such as video dating and newspaper ads before online dating was invented. I think the cause for this high rate of getting stood up and last minute cancellations now are two fold:

1. invention of online dating

2. post divorce or death dating

1. Online dating leads itself to non-serious inquiries and “shiny ball syndrome”, as The Millionaire Matchmaker calls it.  It is easy to get caught up in the dating site as a game. In fact the site creators often try to make the site game-like to increase success and popularity of their site.  To avoid getting caught in the game, before going on a date, I would ask yourself:  “Am I excited to go on this date with this person based on photo and profile?” and “Would I want to go on that date right now?”  If the answer is yes to both questions then make the date, otherwise do not.


Shiny ball syndrome is where you get stuck in the uncertainty phase of dating even before you go out on a date; jumping around from one profile to another seeing what each has to offer and what aspects matches that princess charming in your head.  It is a 100 times easier to do this ball chasing when your choices are laid out eBay-like on the dating site, 1000 to 4000 potential dates at a time, rather than having to meet each person one at a time in real life.  So a man who made a date with you may start looking at your profile and realizing he was not totally serious and that there are SO many other choices out there, and cave into his natural nervousness about a near-blind date and cancel at the last minute.

2. The guy I was supposed to meet last night was widowed, so I have to include that as a factor in cancellations.  Like post divorce, there is a time when you THINK you are ready to date but you are actually not.  It is why most women and some men will not date someone who are listed as “Separated” on their online profile.  I have been guilty of thinking that I was ready to date again but actually not being ready myself recently.  It has been a year since my husband moved out and I knew that the marriage was over for 5 years prior to it ending so logically, two months ago, I thought I was ready to date.  However, I realized I was not ready at all by the fact that I started crying on the date. Pretty obvious!  Yet here I am giving it another shot because two months later I think “Well surely NOW I am ready”.  Maybe I still am not.

Since men get dumped more often then women and dumpees tend to take longer to heal then dumpers, I think that  leads to men thinking they are ready to date when they are not more often then women.  Women also tend to be less in denial that their marriage is ending than men and so process more prior to separation, I have read.  This leads to the high rate of cancellation of first dates by guys, I believe,  when at the last minute the man starts realizing he is still caught up in the loss of his marriage and can’t be there to make a woman happy just yet.

So if you are getting stood up by a guy in your middle aged dating, don’t take it too personally.  Don’t go out with them if they do call later, or at least tell them to call you in 6 months.  It is a waste of your time IMO to go out with first date cancelers it says in The Rules of Dating.  Although no one has ever called me back after a first date cancellation, the men who have cancelled last minute on me for the second and third dates have been total time wasters so far.
For more info on middle aged dating check out Online Dating For Women Over 40: The Hopeful Woman’s 10 Step Guide to Enjoyment and Success

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