under Date Night
There comes a pivotal moment while waiting for a date to arrive at which point you have to make the official call: you’ve been stood up. This moment differs from person to person – some people might give up after waiting fifteen minutes, others thirty, or even an hour for some. Or you may be in the George Costanza camp and wait about five minutes, after which you eagerly go home, change clothes, order food, and bask in the glory of eating dinner in front of the TV in your underwear. (Wasn’t it George who said something like, “I never met an obligation I was upset to get out of!”?)
No matter your personal tolerance for tardiness, being stood up is no fun. But, how do you determine if someone is just really late, or if there is a legitimate emergency, or if they just aren’t coming at all? If you’re the one running late, how far in advance do you inform your date? If one party is running really late, at what point do you decide to just cancel or reschedule? If someone has a good excuse for being late or not showing up, do you give him/her another chance? As usual, I offer more questions than answers. However, here are some general guidelines:
- I generally give people a ten-minute leeway without question, but I tend to run on the late side myself, so your tolerance may vary.
- If you are going to be more than a few minutes late, inform the person who is waiting for you and apologize when you arrive.
- If you’re waiting on someone who is 5-10 minutes late, try not to make a big fuss about his/her unpunctuality on the first date. Stuff happens – be forgiving. But if it happens continuously and it bothers you, speak up!
- If you are going to be 20 or more minutes late, you better have a decent excuse (or make one up). Call your date, explain, and offer to reschedule if he or she prefers.
- If you’re waiting on someone who is significantly late, call and/or text to make sure you correctly communicated the same date, time, and location. It’s definitely possible that one of you showed up at a different location of the same place, for example.
- Waiting on someone longer than 20 minutes consistently? Possible grounds for dismissal.
- In the event that you get a better offer on the day of the date (or on the way to) and you decide to ditch your plans altogether, please inform your date. Say something came up. I suspect that this happened to me once – I was waiting for a guy to pick me up, and he never showed. After texting and giving him a ring, I got no response and never heard from him again! But don’t worry about his well-being – I could see that he was regularly logging in online and even updated his profile photos not long after that night. Harrumph.
Anyway, the point is: be considerate of people’s time. If someone isn’t considerate of yours, proceed with caution. And if you’re completely stood up? At least you can always spend the evening with an awesome, good-looking person, i.e., yourself.
under Date Night
You’ve made it! Another first date is coming to an end and yet the most uncomfortable part of the date has yet to occur: paying the bill. There are two scenarios depending upon how the date went:
The date sucked. You know you don’t want a second date. The end of the date couldn’t come soon enough (even if things are “nice” you don’t want to waste anymore time) and finally the waiter brings the bill. You both reach for it. Your date is shocked that you’re reaching for it too. You offer to split. Your date is stunned. What do you say? Simply say: “I just think it’s right, but thank you for a nice evening.”
The date went awesome! There was comfort, conversation, and chemistry! Neither of you wanted the night to end, but the restaurant was closing down and the night was late. The waiter brings you the bill, lays it on the table, and leaves. You both look at it because you don’t want this situation to become awkward when things have been going so great. Ideally, the man should take the bill and say, “It’s my pleasure to treat tonight and I hope there are more opportunities in the future for us to both treat each other.”
A couple extra tips:
- Pick a restaurant where you know you’ll be able to cover the bill.
- If you really want to impress your date, pull out all the stops and arrange to have the bill paid for before the check even arrives. Slip your credit card to the hostess or server whenever you get the chance.
- If your date does pay, then you must make sure you express gratitude and don’t take it for granted.
- If you’re going to make the motion to pay or split, then you better be able to follow through; don’t pretend to offer if you can’t back it up.
under Date Night
I’ve talked about canceling at the last minute before, but how do you tell the difference between a legitimate excuse and a bogus one?
A legitimate excuse arrives by phone call – although text is acceptable – at least six hours before the time of the date, and the person gives you an explanation. Additionally, the call should include the intent to get together again by asking for your availability.
You can say or send an “easy-breezy” reply, something like: “No worries, I hope everything is okay.” If the person canceling the date is legit, they will likely respond right away and make new plans.
A bogus cancellation (a blow-off) usually occurs by text less than four hours before the date, offers no explanation except the need to cancel, and does not allude to making it up to you.
You can reply with the same as above, but don’t expect a response. Or, you can call this person’s bluff by not responding at all. If they are truly interested then they will try again, but don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from them in the following days.