Detecting An Incoming Flake
Women rarely flake out or stand someone up without warning. There is almost always a signal that she is likely to flake.
The most common sign is the classic “Call me the day of”. You will hear this most often when you’re setting up the date – especially if it’s a nebulous offer to “hang out” rather than setting a concrete date. The message that a woman is sending is that she’s waiting to see if she gets a better offer. If nothing else comes along, then maybe she’ll go out on you, but you are – at best – her second choice. More likely the third or fourth.
Being less than enthusiastic about the possibility of plans in general is also a sign, even if she’d agreed to go out with you; “I dunno, I’ll have to see,” is another common example. Just as telling is the Shrodinger’s Date – she’s just remembered that she had other plans, so you two will have to reschedule… or maybe not because now she’s not so sure whether her original plans are still scheduled. You’re kept in a state of quantum uncertainty, where your date is simultaneously on and off and you have no idea which until the waveforms collapse… usually right before you’re supposed to get together, leaving you stuck at the coffeeshop with only cold lattes and the pitying, knowing glances from the staff for company.
The Schrodinger’s Date is especially annoying because it gives the impression that the date could still be on. It’s the re-scheduling that’s the key: a woman who is eager to meet you will make an effort to find a future day that works. An impending flake leaves that potential rescheduling up in the air, where you will almost never see it again.
Of course, the most pernicious version of the flake signal is falling down the Intimacy Ladder. To refresh your memory, the Intimacy Ladder is the sliding scale of intimacy based on the method of communication.
From most intimate to least, it goes:
- In Person
- Instant Message
How To Prevent Flake-Outs
Want to stop women from flaking out on you? Get them excited to be going on a date with you. Someone who’s eager to see you and looking forward to doing something fun with you is not going to flake.
When a woman is giving you signs of an impending flake, then the best thing you can do is just give it up as a lost cause and move on and just do better next time with the next woman (because there will be a next woman). Yeah, I know: you don’t want to. You really want to see this person. But she‘s showing you that she’s really just not that into you. And honestly: if she’s willing to just flake out on you, why would you want to see her?
But let’s say you’re really invested in making this date happen. There are times – not many, but some – when can actually prevent a flake from happening… provided you catch them in time. Now to be fair: flake prevention does require a certain willingness to play head games and applying social pressure, but you’re already in damage control mode as it is. This is your last-ditch effort to salvage the date.
There are a number of techniques that you can employ to try turn a flake around.
Definitive statements of intent can help salvage your date, especially if you’re getting the Schrodinger’s Date. Telling a woman that you really want t0 see her if her plans fall through can be incredibly powerful – you’re not being needy or trying to wheedle her into a pity date, you’re telling her flat out that you like her; this displays an appealing level of confidence and assurance. If she suggests that the two of you reschedule without suggesting a day or time herself, issuing a statement rather than a request can help her commit to a specific time and place – especially if you hint that you have other plans; after all, you don’t want her thinking that you’ve been waiting with sandwiches by the phone.
Her: Yeah, it just doesn’t look like it can work today. Maybe we get together later?
You: Sounds great. We’ll meet up at The Nomad at 9:30. I can’t stay long though. I told some friends I’d meet them later.
Do you have other plans? No, not really. However not only are you demonstrating that you aren’t planning on sitting at home if she doesn’t make it, crying and masturbating while using your tears as lube, but the artificial time constraint means that she’s more likely to accept. If the two of you are having a good time, there’s no need to actually leave; you’d much rather spend time with her, no? Otherwise… well, you’re probably better off writing this one off.
Another technique I have used to great effect has been the Pre-Emptive Flake. When I detect a potential flake, I will actually make a point of texting her and flaking first. ”
Example: “Hey, I completely forgot that my brother’s coming in this weekend, so I totally can’t make it. We’ll have to try again next week…”
This flipping of the script puts her on the defensive; by making her the Flake-ee rather than the Flaker, you have reframed the situation so that she is pursuing you. You’ll find that she will be much more receptive to rescheduling (again, with a concrete place and time) than if you’re in the position of chasing her.
The last technique I’ve used is to ignore her flaking out. I make other plans for the day and put her out of mind… until the day after. The day after the aborted date, I’ll either call – especially if I know I’m likely to get her voice mail – or send a text profusely apologizing for having forgotten that we were supposed to get together. After I give whatever bullshit excuse comes to mind – long night and overslept, got caught up by a deadline, something fairly minor – I’ll insist that I need to take her out in order to make it up to her. Again: this reframes the situation to where she is the offended party and feeling as though she’s owed something in recompense… especially if it’s being treated to a nice dinner. This will help encourage her to commit to the date; after all, you owe her, right?
Now, let’s straight here: these are not guaranteed to work 100% of the time. There will be plenty of times when you simply can’t keep a flake from happening. This is just a fact of dating, and you just have to learn to accept it.
Responding To Flakes
Flakes happen. Sometimes it’s because you’ve screwed up somewhere along the lines, sometimes it’s legit and shit just happens. You can’t salvage all of them.
If you get flaked on, then you need to remember this mantra:
It’s no big deal.
If and when your date calls to cancel at the last minute, all apologies and explanations, your response is It’s No Big Deal. You don’t whine. You don’t complain. You don’t tell her that she owes you. You don’t call them out on flaking. Not only will it not help, you actually hemorrhage respect and social value when you do; you’re acting like a child who’s pouting because he didn’t get his way.
Treating it like it’s no real thing will send the right message: you’re a mature and confident adult who has his own life to live and a minor inconvenience isn’t going to disrupt it. If plan A doesn’t work, you have plans B through ZZ. You can try – later – to get another date, or you can assume that things aren’t going to work and move on.
But handling a sticky or awkward situation with style and aplomb will make you more attractive, and people will react to your social grace.
And then you’ll find that flakes won’t be nearly as much of a problem in the future.