That went well, right?
September 26, 2013 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Had a great first date with a woman who seems pretty busy. She cancelled our second date, asked for a rain check, and I haven't heard from her since. What's the etiquette here?

Last Sunday, after a week of really upbeat and engaged messaging on OkCupid, I had a date with a woman.

I showed up, waited for a bit, went to check my phone, and realized I'd sent it through the dryer. Got back home, messaged her to ask why she hadn't shown, and it turns out she'd texted me to change venues somewhere closer to home. Apologies were exchanged, and we rescheduled for Wednesday.

We meet up at 8pm, get to talking, and have (in my view) a great time. We talk about a number of really specific shared interests, laugh, do some minor affectionate touching, change to a quieter bar. When all is said and done it's 1am, we've talked for 5 hours on first meeting. I walk her to her bike, and she gives me a hug. That's a good first date, right?

The next day I message her to ask if she'd like to do something on Saturday. She's already got plans, and suggests Sunday. Sunday rolls around and I message to confirm in the morning, and she cancels (she's a grad student and has procrastinated), asking if I might be available during the week. I say Tuesday or Wednesday.

I haven't heard back since. OkCupid informs me she's online pretty often, a fact I'd rather not know. I tend to wonder whether she's waiting on a message from me (why not just initiate?), or looking for someone else (why agree to, then try to reschedule, the second date?).

Would it make sense to ping her again next week? My gut reaction is that the ball in her court, and that all I can do is wait. If she'd had as good a time as I did, she wouldn't need a reminder. If I don't hear from her in a few days, I probably never will.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would try one more time, then leave it in her court.
posted by jaguar at 6:03 PM on September 26, 2013 [14 favorites]

I tend to wonder whether she's waiting on a message from me (why not just initiate?)

Don't sit around wondering. You like the girl? Message the girl.
posted by jerseygirl at 6:03 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah I think you're in the clear to message her again. People make a big deal about how rude it is to message someone more than once, but honestly it's only a big deal if taken to excess. Where the "excess" line is differs from person to person, but I think you're on pretty safe ground here.
posted by Scientist at 6:09 PM on September 26, 2013

Not even close. Just take one more shot and see what happens.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:14 PM on September 26, 2013

I think she's a bit flakey, to be honest. Two - essentially three - cancellations and you're not on your second date yet. Try again, but she's been pretty disrespectful of your time so far.
posted by Dragonness at 6:17 PM on September 26, 2013 [8 favorites]

My theory is that she's doing the fade out. Try again, but you know she's online, and she still hasn't gotten back to you? 8 times out of 10, this ain't going to work out. It doesn't hurt to try one more time, but I would say that even if you guys do get it together to go out again, she doesn't seem that into it. You suggested a day, she didn't get back to you -- she isn't waiting on you to send her ANOTHER message, is my guess. She knows she didn't lock that down.

The "It" she isn't into might be dating in general, not you specifically, btw, so don't take it too personally. I myself am -- not to toot my own horn -- a great first date, because I am an extrovert and I am really good at talking to people, and I enjoy them in general. But what happens is, I then get home from said 5 hour date and realize I am not that interested in the person romantically or that I have too much other shit in my life to deal with anymore online dating, blah blah blah, I'm burned out on dating, etc. So the Great Date/Then Nada does happen.

And frankly, someone who texts you to move locations, doesn't hear from you, and then doesn't just go to the agreed upon location because it's obvious you didn't make new plans, AND also cancelled plans day of on you, but only when you tried to confirm? This is already kind of questionable behavior.

I'd just look for some other nice cute girls on OKC and try try again, myself. I think even if you DO go out again she seems like she only has one foot in the pool.

Someone Who Has Done Too Much Online Dating
posted by Countess Sandwich at 6:25 PM on September 26, 2013 [17 favorites]

She sounds extremely flaky and not into you. If you're looking for something serious look elsewhere. If you don't mind being strung along while she plans her evenings and sticks you in when she doesn't want to be alone, out of which maybe you'll get some action, sure, text her again.
posted by lillian.elmtree at 6:36 PM on September 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is little reason to believe that the online indicator feature is accurate, especially since there is plenty of incentive for it to seem like there are a lot of people online. That said, I agree that this is a bad sign. You might ask once more, but I wouldn't have high expectations.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:39 PM on September 26, 2013

I say send one more message.

My bias is as follows:

I met my boyfriend on OkCupid. In the early stages of dating we had a hell of a time setting up dates because of our crazy work schedules.

We were messaging back and forth and all of the sudden I didn't hear from him for several days. I figured he's met someone else or is doing the slow fade, and that is that.

Then one day he messages me to say, essentially, "hey, I haven't heard from you in awhile, let me know if you still want to hang out."

I look up in the thread and realize that my last message to him hadn't gone through. We both thought the other was doing the slow fade.

Anyway my point is: my boyfriend is freaking awesome and we are deliriously happy together, nigh on four years later. And we never would have gotten together if he hadn't gone out on a limb and sent me one more message. Lord knows I was too proud to send him another message, and it hadn't even occurred to me that my last message hadn't sent.

I'm not saying that what happened to me is what is going on with this girl. I think the above commenters are probably right about the odds and where your expectations should be. But: what have you got to lose by giving it one more shot?
posted by AV at 6:50 PM on September 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

The payoff matrix is pretty simple here:
1) You Message Her:
1A) She doesn't like you and is mildly annoyed or embarrassed for one second while she deletes your message. Value: -10
1B) She DOES like you and for whatever reason has just been really busy, you fall in love and live an amazing life filled with love and adventure and caring and die simultaneously in your sleep while holding hands at age 104. Value: +Infinity
2) You don't message her: Nothing Happens. Value: 0

The dominant strategy is "message her".
posted by jeb at 8:47 PM on September 26, 2013 [15 favorites]

It sounds like she's not that into you. You can message her, but don't rely on her to turn up to anything that you agree to do together.

Dating is a bit like looking for a job. You go to lots of interviews, sometimes, and don't find anything that suits you, or you find that the HR manager doesn't find you suitable. Keep looking until you have a definite offer in hand.
posted by Solomon at 10:47 PM on September 26, 2013

The next day I message her to ask if she'd like to do something on Saturday. She's already got plans, and suggests Sunday. Sunday rolls around and I message to confirm in the morning, and she cancels (she's a grad student and has procrastinated), asking if I might be available during the week.

Did you set firm plans for Sunday when you talked on Thursday? Or did you just vaguely say Sunday and then not roll around to talking about specific things to do and times until Sunday morning? People on OKCupid ARE flaky, and I would never "hold" a day and time for people until very specific plans had been made. If she wasn't counting on hanging out with someone that day, the morning of may have been too late to adjust her schedule.
posted by unannihilated at 4:38 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

People from OkC are notorious flakes. I've had numerous experiences that followed exactly the same script. In fact, I would not even bother sending a subsequent message. Keep clicking and move on.
posted by freshkippers at 4:48 AM on September 27, 2013

If she's frequently online, she can't be that busy.

Ordinarily I'd tell you to try once more, especially considering that you were the one who set the now-cancelled date and she may have assumed that you would set the rescheduled one. Honestly, though, she sounds too flakey to be worth it, and her excuses sound lame. It doesn't matter how interested she is, going on a second date shouldn't be this much of a hassle.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:24 AM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Message her with an actual idea for something -- a movie that you think she'll like, or some other outing that aligns with her interests. If she responds with, "Oh, I'd love to, but that day or time is bad, how about X?" then you're still in her Dateable file. If she responds with, "That sounds nice, but I'm really busy; I'll get back to you later," then she's dropped you without the courtesy of saying "This isn't working for me."; forget her and move on. If she doesn't respond at all, forget her and move on.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on September 27, 2013

Ok Cupid could just be open in a tab in her browser.

Just message her again with a firm suggestion for a plan. Taking a rain check, to me, implies that she'd look for you to propose a plan again.

What's the worst that can happen?

Also, try calling instead. Text only communication loses so much context.
posted by reddot at 7:23 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think it's right to attribute flakiness or malice to her. She might be truly busy, particularly as a grad student. OKC might be just one other site she compulsively checks while wasting time procrastinating to avoid writing papers or doing research. I suspect most people on here know what I'm talking about!

That being said, if there she felt amaaaazing fireworks, she'd be calling or texting or seeing you to procrastinate. She might have had a good time absent earth-shattering flames of passion. Give her a call, try and set another time and see if it takes. If not, back off and message someone else.

Quick anecdotes: Met up with someone from OKC; had a great time; set up 2nd date; he flaked out with the laaaaamest of reasons. I wrote him off, he called up to cash in the rain check and now we're best friends. Another: Met up with a guy, but left my phone at home; we sat on opposite sides of the cafe staring into space until I gave up and left; we still get together despite my own propensity to cancel last minute because I'm legitimately busy with stupid work. Lesson: just call her.
posted by mibo at 9:02 AM on September 27, 2013

Few things:

1) I've had really good dates with people that I was on the fence about seeing again, in hindsight, for various reasons.

2) Being frequently online is not an indicator that someone is not actually busy.

3) She rainchecked and didn't follow up, which is not great but isn't actually flaking IMO. (Flaking requires actual plans.)

4) Does OP now have a working phone? Does she know that?

Those things being said, I wouldn't have my hopes up (because honestly, I think the best approach to online dating is that it's a crap shoot) but I don't see any harm in just asking her out on another date and seeing what happens.
posted by sm1tten at 9:12 AM on September 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Go on with your life. She canceled and then didn't respond to a new request, which is a clear signal. I'm sure she thinks she's letting you down easy. Go look for another fish in the sea.
posted by KRS at 3:48 PM on September 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

If someone asks for a rain check but doesn't give you a specific time and place -- or ask you to give one -- they're trying to politely blow you off. There are exceptions but almost always this is the case. Goes for more than just dating, too.
posted by dekathelon at 7:20 PM on September 27, 2013

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