Erika Ettin: Are We Still On?

By Erika Ettin
Tribune News Service

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dating expert Erika Ettin reminds daters that if you do need to cancel a date, remember that there’s a person at the other end, with real feelings and real things to do besides wait around for you.

Tribune News Service

I scheduled a coffee date for 1:00 p.m. Thursday with someone on Bumble. We arranged this through the dating app the night before around midnight, ending with, “I’ll see you then!”

At 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, the day of the date, when I was at the gym and couldn’t reply, I got a, “Still on for 1:00?” text. Hadn’t we just confirmed? Had I not replied at noon saying that it did, in fact, still work, would he not have shown?

In another instance, I scheduled a date for a Thursday evening. We confirmed the date, including the time and location, on Monday evening. On Wednesday evening, I received a text asking, “Still interested in meeting tomorrow evening?” I was tempted to say no simply because I’m tired of other people’s propensity to bail (or flake or whatever you want to call it) being projected onto me.

I give the advice to my male clients to use the “confident confirmation” of “Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow” vs. the weak “Are we still on?”

In talking to both male clients and female, I know that they take this “weak” approach because they are afraid that if they say, “Looking forward to seeing you,” and don’t get a response, then their date will not show up. Let’s stop the madness!!

I realize that I’m somehow now in the minority of people who do not cancel plans. I have a strong sense of obligation, even if I don’t know the other person, to uphold a promise I make. I write my plans in stone (which perhaps leads to a heavy day planner!), so I, as both a dating coach and a person, have a hard time with the way plans are no longer set in stone for most people but more set in quicksand… fleeting at best.

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