Too exhausted/hung over/wrecked for a date?
April 27, 2016 7:49 PM   Subscribe

Short version: Started seeing great gal, we're 3 dates in and have a 4th coming up. Banter is great, sexy talk awesome, pretty frequent texting (every 2-3 days, initiated by either). Thing is, she's now canceled/re-scheduled 2 dates on account of being... too tired. Really? Long version inside.

So first, she made it clear from the get-go that she wanted to take things slow. For one, she had just gotten out of what sounds like a messy marriage. Two, she seems to have a really busy schedule - in the 6 weeks I've known her, she's already made 3 business trips. But most importantly, she hinted that she's screwed up potentially good relationships before by jumping in the sack too soon, and she really wanted to take the time to get to know me.

I was totally cool with that, because I was in no rush myself. So long as she was taking her time to invest in me, and not simply dodging me/keeping me on the hook while she tended to other priorities, I was fine with waiting.

But here's the thing: she's now canceled a second date on account of being too tired/exhausted. The first time was actually our second date. She said she got wasted the night before and was just not able to deal. I kind of laughed it off, and teased her about it (lush, baller, etc.) Then we did meet up a few days later and had a fabulous time.

Now, she's just canceled our fourth date (second cancellation), once again saying she's too exhausted, this time from a business trip.

Here's my thought process: First, I know it's perfectly normal/natural to be too tired to go out - I get that. But this early on in the dating process, and in such short time, I just think... she can't really be that into me. I mean, I try to think about the last time I was "too tired" to see someone I really missed and wanted to see, and I draw a blank.

Then there's the infrequency of our dates - it's been about once every 2 weeks. Again, I understood her points about taking it slow, but... doesn't it ramp up a bit after the first few? How will we get to a point where we do feel a real connection if we don't spend more time with each other? In other words, how do we progress, make inroads, become more intimate at this pace?

I haven't felt this "right" about someone in a long time, and we have so much in common it's ridiculous. As I said, I feel like I can give her all the time she needs if that is where we're headed but I'm not sure this is happening.

So to wrap this up and actually ask an answerable question, is it actually possible to be "too tired" to meet someone you feel strongly about? Have you been this person, or have you been told this, and everything worked out in the end?

And of course the standard caveats apply - yes, I can just ask her and get a straight answer. And I plan to. But I want to just get other people's take on this first.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (33 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Every time she cancels, does she suggest to reschedule and offer a suggested timeframe?

If yes, maintain the relationship as long as you like. If no, she's just not that into you. Move on.

This is yet another example of the Brad Pitt Rule.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:55 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

Answering just your question and not commenting on the other details of the relationship, yes, I have done this with a person I was really into. If I'm too tired that I know I won't be "on" , or an unfortunately located pimple came up or something, I would rather cancel and reschedule than feel uncomfortable or self conscience all night.
As a matter of fact, I tended to do this more with guys that I was more into because representing myself well to them mattered more to me. Not sure what this says about my self esteem or lack thereof, but there you go...
posted by newpotato at 7:55 PM on April 27, 2016 [30 favorites]

Data point:
I would definitely blow off (to hopefully reschedule) a date with Brad Pitt if I had a big honking pimple on my nose.
posted by newpotato at 7:58 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

yep...when i come home from business trips i can be so tired that i sleep all weekend. i mean sleep for a good 20 hours. Also, she might not want you to see her in such a tired state. As long as the make-up date is good, i wouldn't stress about it.
posted by calgirl at 7:58 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

I would definitely blow off (to hopefully reschedule) a date with Brad Pitt if I had a big honking pimple on my nose.

That's the point of the rule. You would try to reschedule. If you really like the person, you would move heaven and earth to reschedule, if only so you don't look like a jerk. This is a sign of interest in the other person. Just saying, umm, no, I'm tired shows a lack of interest. Time to move on.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:02 PM on April 27, 2016 [12 favorites]

I would leave it on Brad to reschedule, I would suggest that we do something another time, and hopefully emphasize that I meant it and it's not a blow off, but for me personally, that's as far as I would go.
It's a good general rule to go by, but everyone's different is what I'm saying.
posted by newpotato at 8:06 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

You say you've got a fourth date coming up. If she cancels that one and doesn't make a firm plan to reschedule, move on.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 8:08 PM on April 27, 2016

My husband blew me off three times in a row after we had just started dating. He told me it was because he had to study and by the last cancelled appointment, I was totally over it. I made it clear I had other options and had no interest in being jerked around or treated as someone's booty call when it was convenient to them. I never thought I'd see him again. He did a complete 180 and, well, here we are.

Having said that, your girlfriend needs to work really hard to convince you that she likes you now. I'd leave it up to her to reschedule and I wouldn't chase her. Live your life. Some people enjoy the power trip of being wanted. If she's not as keen as you, move on.
posted by Jubey at 8:10 PM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

Omg I just did this (I actually half thought this question was about me haha) with a guy I've had a crush on for like a year. It would of been our second time hanging out, but I got out of work late and had to get up super early the next day. I wouldn't of been awake or "on" enough to be myself, and I want to make a good impression, ya know? (cause I get super quiet when I'm tired and that's no fun).

It's great that you're communicating between dates, otherwise I would think she was trying to let you off easy. Just make sure there is a firm rescheduled day if she cancels again.
posted by littlesq at 8:10 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm with CoolPapaBell and Brad: even if I had a huge pimple on my nose, I'd reschedule for a week from now when it's gone. Anyone who cancels because "I'm tired" and doesn't bother to suggest (since she's bailing on the plans) another time makes me think she's not interested.

Remember: ladies have to be subtle with rejections because we never know if a guy is going to go crazy on us, so we really can't and won't be straightforward about this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:11 PM on April 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yes, it is actually be possible for someone to be too tired to go out. For argument's sake, let's give her the benefit of the doubt that she's not giving you the fade out, that her excuses are valid, and that she remains interested. Nevertheless, it seems as if her "taking it slow" may be too slow for you and that she's not prioritizing this budding relationship as much as you are. If this is just how she is, would you be willing to put up with it? If not, you might be better off putting your energies into other potential partners.
posted by Leontine at 8:13 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

With my now-husband i rescheduled a couple of dates early on - with relatively lame excuses of "work being crazy-busy" and "I'm sick as are my dogs - maybe sometime next week if I'm feeling better?" Both of those excuses were valid (oh god, that bout with the flu while both of my large dogs had the runs and needed a walk every 90 minutes all night multiple nights in a row in the rainy winter weather...), but apparently he was wondering the same thing as you are now - was I just blowing him off? I truly wasn't, altho I was probably less invested in the relationship than he was at the time. I *was* casually dating a few other guys & gals at the time (having also recently gotten out of a messy marriage and enjoying the dating scene again), and had a pretty full social calendar, which meant a date with *someone* had to get cancelled if work got busy or I suddenly realized I needed a bit more downtime.

So, short answer: no, I don't think her cancelling a couple of dates is s big red flag, but that combined with the sparse dates suggests to me that she may be seeing other folks. Which is perfectly reasonable, imo, in the early stages of dating. If you're right for each other, you'll probably start seeing each other more and more naturally in the next couple of months.
posted by Jaclyn at 8:20 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

I have a touch of anxiety and a touch of depression. I also get migraines. There are lots of people (including close friends) that don't take the "I am an introvert and used up"/"I am not doing well mentally"/"I feel a migraine coming on but I don't have one yet" well. So for them, I'm either tired, sick, or just have a migraine - it's just easier that way. I don't pull it often, but in a high stress environment - like someone I care a lot about but aren't open enough with to be myself - things might be exacerbated.

Maybe she's genuinely tired. Maybe she's an introvert and that's her way of saying "used up" and she doesn't want to give you the leftovers of her because she likes you. Maybe she has something else going on that "tired" is easier to use.

You can only control you, so the choice is yours. You can take her at her word and roll with it. You can talk directly to her about it in a nice way the next time you're together and ask (without being creepy). Or you can end it because it's not worth the hassle to you. Only you know which of those feels like the right answer.
posted by Gucky at 8:25 PM on April 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

A business trip every other week is kinda a punishing schedule. What's the question again?

Don't wait around, but if she makes the next date, not a big deal. Is this her regular work schedule? Because this may be a long term feature dating someone with this travel schedule.
posted by jbenben at 8:30 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

What jbenben says. There are people who work punishing schedules and these schedules affect how much time they can/want to dedicate to dating and to their relationships. If this is her and if this does not work for you you may as well move on. People with jobs like that can't easily change gear and often enjoy what they do. If you'd like more time and attention that kind of person is not a good fit for you.
posted by koahiatamadl at 8:48 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

If she's not making it clear that she actually wants to reschedule, she's probably not that into you.

And even if she is, you're totally allowed to decide that you don't want to be with someone who requires you to make all the effort when it comes to scheduling dates.

You sound like you know what you want. Trust that.
posted by danny the boy at 11:43 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ask if she wants you to bring dinner over and watch a movie/tv show, if that's easier.

Flying, working, not sleeping well, dealing with clients, then being exhausted and having to get gussied up for a date because it's the early part of dating where he doesn't know that you use luminizer to get a dewy glow or that you can't stop yawning because you got the middle seat on the plane, or you just want to cry because you're just that tired...

---honestly, you should believe what she says, otherwise she would have told you she thinks she's too busy to date right now. She could just not be feeling up to doing all the makeup, clothes, looking good stuff we women feel like we have to when going out on a date.

So offer to bring over dinner, tell her she doesn't gave to get all dressed up, and just spend time together vegging out,no pressure. Build the friendship part.
posted by discopolo at 11:46 PM on April 27, 2016 [16 favorites]

(And honestly, even sending her dinner would be a sweet thing for you to do. Ask her if you can send her dinner---she'll probably say no but it shows you care. I sent my good friend dinner via GrubHub once because she had been on a grueling business trip with a mean boss for her awful job and she was emotionally and physically exhausted. Showing someone you care is a good and kind thing to do. unless you're going the quid pro quo, match her movements and don't show her you care too much because you're insecure weird stuff.)
posted by discopolo at 11:52 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

to wrap this up and actually ask an answerable question, is it actually possible to be "too tired" to meet someone you feel strongly about? Have you been this person, or have you been told this, and everything worked out in the end?

if you feel strongly about her, then I think you shouldn't be insecure about it. Don't go down that path where you question her interest because you feel insecure.

It definitely is possible to be too tired, btw, because she'd have to wash her hair and shower and god it's all a lot of work. Frankly, she could even be out of clean underwear or gassy or breaking out and she doesn't want to deal with possibly repelling you.

Have faith. And don't worry about if she feels the same exact level of attraction as you. If you like her and enjoy her company, be a friend who believes and trusts what she says.
posted by discopolo at 12:00 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

I don't know about the brad pitt rule. I get the idea, but honestly the more into someone I am (and the less time we've spent together)the MORE likely I am to cancel if I'm at anything but my best. If I'm not ready for someone to see me tired/sick/pimply/greasy-haired/gassy/whatever, and I'm not up to the work required to be at peak performance, I might cancel. Appearing in bad condition is worse than not appearing at all, to some people.

HOWEVER, if this is the case, you should be aware that this is likely to continue, no matter how much she likes you. Asking her to stop or change this behavior (or "prove that she really likes you" as someone else mentioned) is likely to leave you both frustrated. If you can't handle at least a few months of semi-frequent cancellations until she's comfortable with you just coming over and seeing her in pajamas and watching TV together (because she's too tired for a real date but now she's OK with that sort of thing) probably move on, for both of your sakes.

Also, if you're not happy with a relationship where a lot of your "dates" will be ordering takeout and watching movies at her place, probably also move on.

Honestly, from the POV of being someone like this... "she's not that into you" may actually be a less complicated and aggravating possible result than "she's really into you but is constantly overextended."
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 3:36 AM on April 28, 2016

It is so interesting: I can imagine a man sweetly offering to just bring dinner to watch TV and veg out like friends. And it would be such a great offer, but would send me into a bit of a panic. Because what reason could I give to say no? But in fact, for a new guy, then I'd have to clean the house as well as get myself in shape for interacting.
It's not just being too tired to go out of the house it's often just feeling too exhausted/unprepared/insecure about bags under eyes or puffy yuckiness from business trip food/whatever to be ready for the next date of a new relationship. Has nothing to do with not liking the guy.
posted by flourpot at 3:44 AM on April 28, 2016 [19 favorites]

When I saw the title of this post, I thought you were asking if it was ok for *you* to cancel a date because you were too tired/hung over, and my first thought was "sure, if you're not feeling well enough to enjoy yourself, cancel, but for goodness sake, don't TELL them you're too hung over, they'll think you're blowing them off." My second thought was, "well, if you really liked her, maybe you shouldn't have gone out drinking and gotten too wrecked to see her the next day, hm?"

So I guess take that for what it's worth.
posted by instamatic at 4:31 AM on April 28, 2016

Is she texting / calling in between dates? Is that ramping up nicely?

Young me would have absolutely made it happen. Older me would wait till I'm in the shape to connect, but make sure my "other" signals are telling him it's on, just not today.

4 dates is really early. Give it some more time. Don't build her up in your head. Maybe she's the sort of person who needs space.

3 business trips in 6 weeks is a lot of travel. I'm tired just reading about it.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 5:39 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Busy work and business trips can be fucking exhausting. That's totally legit. I've barely seen my fiancée over the past month because of work travel -- and we live together.

So, yeah, this can be legit and have nothing to do with you or how she feels about you.

That said, this could be how things are going to be. You've gone out three times, which is not much. It's totally fine for you to decide that this isn't working for you.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:51 AM on April 28, 2016

This is totally a real thing that happens. I have done it. Even when I really liked the person. Sometimes you get to this stage of exhaustion where everything is surreal and awful.
posted by corb at 6:15 AM on April 28, 2016

If it weren't for the business travel, I'd say she absolutely isn't that into you, but because of the travel I think this is slightly more likely to go either way. Three dates can also be a weird time to have a "Where are you at with this?" conversation, especially if she wants to move slowly for various reasons.

It sucks and is horrible to do so, but I'd sit back and white-knuckle it and wait to see if she reaches out to you.
posted by superfluousm at 6:25 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

So, if I'm reading this correctly, she has cancelled half of your dates. That does not sound good to me.
There is the possibility that she is one of those people who does not consider social obligations binding. I have known people like that, and I simply cannot have relationships, romantic or otherwise, with them. I have also quit being friends with a chronic overextender. At this point, you don't know for sure what is going on, but if I were you, I would probably cut her loose if she cancels one of the next three dates. It might not be that she isn't into you so much as this is just the way she navigates the world.

Because of the business trips, I'm guessing it's not something like chronic fatique, which I'd feel differently about.
posted by FencingGal at 7:24 AM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I don't think it's very possible that someone would cancel that many dates, for those sorts of reasons, with somebody that they liked. If she does like you quite a bit and still cancels the dates, then I'm afraid that's quite a chaotic life she's got going on over there and something else worth thinking about.
posted by destructive cactus at 8:37 AM on April 28, 2016

Who wants to go on a date when they are tired? I wouldn't want to. Since there are clearly good reasons for her to be tired, I think you should take her cancellations at face value, especially if she took the initiative to cancel. You should still assume at this point that she's just being open and honest with you, which is a good thing. It's not as if she just didn't show up.
posted by OCDan at 8:51 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

I've had times in my life where I've been traveling frequently for work and it catches up to me, and I get so exhausted that even putting the effort to cancel my plans feels too much. I've canceled on things I was super disappointed to miss (including attending concerts I paid big money to attend, parties I had been looking forward to for ages, etc). I've also not rescheduled for reasons other than lack of interest. I tend to overwhelm myself with commitments and then realize I need to clear my calendar and get back on track so I can refocus on my real priorities.

She might not be able to make you into the priority you would like to be for her with all she has going on, though. That doesn't mean she isn't totally hot for you, just that you have different rhythms.

FWIW, if I was dating this would probably totally happen to me. But since I have a boyfriend, when I'm exhausted, we just atay in and watch movies or play video games. At four dates, if you are patient, maybe you two will cross that barrier?
posted by pazazygeek at 8:51 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

All the back and forth here is because you asked the wrong question. You asked "is this a legitimate reason for canceling" when you meant to ask "are my needs reasonable". Of COURSE it's a legitimate reason. She didn't want to go because she was tired. Let's assume that, because there's no reason to believe otherwise.

Q: Now, what would YOUR behavior be with someone you really liked, but had to cancel on because you were too tired to see them?
A: Cancel, apologize, reschedule.

Q: And what would your behavior be with someone who you liked well enough, but you have other things going on in your life you'd prefer to attend to: friends, family, other people you were dating?
A: Cancel, apologize, let them sort out rescheduling.

If you asked for a meeting with your boss and they cancelled on you multiple times, what is the message they're sending you if they: reschedule (or even ask you to reschedule for them) vs. if they do nothing?

Is it possible that she likes you a lot but she's too tired to even think about re-making plans. Sure? But her behavior is indistinguishable from someone who's just not that into you. I think dating other people (while leaving this open or not) might be a good path forward for you. It'll take the pressure off, and you can decide how much you really like all the people you're seeing.

BTW, I have been a consultant that travels a lot who has dated other consultants that travel a lot, and the result is you quickly get good at communicating your needs around scheduling.
posted by danny the boy at 9:14 AM on April 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is just my gut instinct, cuz it happened to me before....

She's married and/or seeing someone else, which can actually *be* quite tiring indeed.
posted by some loser at 2:12 PM on April 28, 2016

I suggest giving her one more date and then bringing up the tiredness thing on that date, to test for yourself whether she seems sincere. Something like "How are you doing? Your schedule sounds so crazy! I would have been tired too. Is your schedule always like this or is this just a particularly busy time?" See if she elaborates at all and expresses that she wishes she hadn't had to cancel.

I have done this before, due to a combination of "I can barely keep my eyes open and just want to be in bed more than anything" and "oh god I look like a warmed-over corpse right now, I can't possibly let this guy see me like this, he'll never want to be with me." At some point, you're so tired that that overrides any other emotions you have. But I've always still felt really regretful about it ("Fuckkkkk I blew it!!!!"), and when given the prompt above I would have expressed that.
posted by sallybrown at 8:24 AM on May 1, 2016

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