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Result of Date: Stood Up and Steaming

August 29, 2010

It was supposed to be our third date. Late night drinks and maybe a movie. But I wound up sitting at a restaurant alone for almost 3 hours, writing in my journal and having two drinks. Did I mention that I was alone? How did that happen? Well…

Wednesday night Pancake Man met me at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. I had a pretty good time and we had a nice long talk. In fact, after we left the restaurant we wound up talking in the parking lot until like 12:30. Obviously, I enjoyed the conversation (otherwise I would have gone home), but I was really tired by the end of the night.

Anyway, he meandered around to almost asking me if I wanted to go out again on Friday night. (And I’m realizing he’s never directly asked me out on a date he just makes a series of annoying non-concrete suggestions and says stuff like, “Well, let me know if you want to do something next week.” It’s like saying, “You can go ahead and ask me on a date if you want.” It’s so passive and lame — wussy. Why can’t men just ask a girl a straight question nowadays? “How about drinks Friday night at nine?” Is that so freaking hard? Anyway, more about that in an upcoming post.)

Once we were on the topic of Friday night I let him know that I have dinner plans with my parents most Friday nights, but they’re old so by 8 p.m. I’m usually done. He had plans to go to the fair with his sister and his niece on Friday night but said he could do something afterward (again, he didn’t ask me if I would please do something with him at a specific time, but suggested if I wanted to ask him we could. So exhausting.)

I told him that it depended how late it would be and he said he didn’t want to be out too late with his 18-month-old niece and I got 9 p.m. out of the convo. Again, he didn’t say anything concrete, but in order to make a plan a girl has to start somewhere so I stuck nine in my brain and decided to be flexible about it — you know nine thirty, maybe ten.

Honestly, I was sort of planning to cancel on him because nine is usually my cut-off point. I mean if I’m not out by 9 I’m not going out. Plus, I was sick of all the lame, diaphanous planning and my friend Sarah was maybe going to be in town. But Friday afternoon Pancake Man started a text conversation that I kind of wanted to finish in person. So, I figured I’d try to stay up late enough to have the convo over drinks that night.

9 p.m. — you can do this, Crystal. Okay, let’s do it!

Friday at five he texted me to “have fun” with my parents and said to text him when I was done — “if you want.” (Seriously? He can’t even confidently manage a “please text me” request?) But I took it as him being eager to talk to me and honestly, I kind of assumed that he might try to leave the fair as soon as he knew I was available.

I wound up working late and missed dinner with my parents. I saw them briefly but by 8 p.m. (as I suspected) they were getting ready for bed. So I went home. I think I sent him a text asking if he was still at the fair. No answer. After sitting on my couch for 20 minutes I was falling asleep. So, in an effort to be awake to see Pancake Man at 9, I left the house. I took a few things to work on and headed to Applebee’s figuring it would be an okay place for us to meet up when he was done at the fair. (Plus, they are open till 1 p.m. if we got talking and went late.)

When I got to Applebee’s around 8:30 I sent him a text. (This is where I insert the disclaimer that I don’t have a perfect memory, and the messages aren’t still in my phone so I’m not completely sure what I said when, but these are the basics) I let him know where I was and that he could meet me there when he was done. Again, no answer.

About ten to nine he said he was still at the fair and would text me when he was done. I was still thinking he would probably be done around nine. So I thought I might see him by 9:30. But, by 9:30 he wasn’t there and I hadn’t heard from him. I was also almost done with the project I was working on and I had had 2 drinks so I was getting sleepy.

So I sent him a message to the effect of: Fair warning, I’m not going to be out much longer.

Fifteen minutes later texted me back (finally) and said something like: that sucks I’m still at the fair but we’re almost done. I understand if your wiped out.

And I started to get pissed. It’s not that I’m tired, dude It’s that I have no reason to be out by myself except to wait for you. (Okay, to be fair, I didn’t actually tell him that. That was on the inside.)

But I did say, “I’m not cancelling, I’m just saying that if you want to see me you had better hurry.”

And I got a more passive-aggressive crap from him. And I told him around 10 p.m. that I wouldn’t be there in a half an hour if I was alone. At about 10:30 he said he was on his way and I said I was on my way home.

He eventually asked me how mad I was and I said I would tell him when I had gotten some sleep. And then he launched into this huge contrite string of texts asking how he could make it up to me.

In one he even said, “Candy? Flowers?” Yes, please send me flowers and then tomorrow I’ll feel better when I get the flowers I ordered from you. (Note the sarcasm, please.) Honestly, maybe getting flowers would have made me feel better. But telling him to send me flowers and then getting them would NOT.

I didn’t know what to tell him and the more he prodded me about it the more pissed I was. But I’m mad at myself more than anything. I shouldn’t have put myself in a position where I was waiting for a man. I should have just stayed home watching Criminal Minds, fallen asleep on my couch and told him it was too late when he let me know he was done at the fair. I had let him know that was a possibility when we first talked about doing something.

Last night he tried to text me about it again and as soon as I saw his text I was pissed again. (Maybe I was pissed because it was a text. He still hasn’t actually called me on the phone. Or maybe I was pissed because it was 7 p.m. before I heard from him. Or maybe I‘m just an emotional whirlwind — you know, a girl.)

Anyway, I decided to be totally honest and let him know that I was upset and I didn’t know how long I would be upset and I didn’t know what he could do to make me less upset. He said he didn’t know how to make up for it and he didn’t know how to keep me from being upset. And I didn’t know what to tell him.

The conversation dissolved from there (although I did mention that maybe he should have called me rather than just texting me about all of it).

Anyway, this morning, I think finally figured out what I should have told him on Friday night when he asked me what he could do to make it up to me: “I don’t know but you should try to do something.” (Although, I did tell him to ask his sister for advice.) The thing is, asking me is a cop out because I’m not going to tell you that you need to take me out to dinner or buy me something pretty. Gestures don’t count in the same way when I have to ask you to do them. Use your brain. Think of something and do it. Don’t be a chicken, put yourself out there.

Further break down of the situation: I don’t know what I should do now. Should being stood up be a deal-breaker for me? I mean I think I know what happened. He didn’t want to tell me he wasn’t going to make it and he didn’t want to tell his sister that he had to leave. But he really should have done one of those things. And I think I might need a man with enough of a backbone to do one of those things when he gets himself in that kind of a situation.

Plus, he’s probably going to read this blog and be pissed at me. But I have to get this out of me and send it out into the Universe so that I’m not turning it around in my brain anymore.

Oh…and one last thing: for the record, men, text message apologies don’t really count for much. They’re kind of cowardly too and we feel obligated to accept them even though they feel less then genuine.

P.S. I actually had a pretty good evening on Friday night up until I realized that I was getting stood up. That put a pretty big damper on it. (Made me feel rejected and unimportant and all those sorts of things.) But honestly, I probably would have spent the night in the same way if I hadn’t had plans with the Pancake Man. However, I would have gone to bed happy instead of pissed.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2010 12:48 pm

    Well, as I see it, you did make one teensy weensy mistake: heading out without having heard from him. I can see how that might have put him in a slightly awkward position.

    At the same time, he should’ve sacked up and just told you that he wasn’t going to make it. THAT was a dick move.

    It’s funny, I was almost sorta in the same situation yesterday:

    My ex had asked me to take care of her dog today because she’s running a race, so we decided that she could drop the dog off at my place last night. I told her I was going to the zoo yesterday, but wouldn’t be out late. We also talked about meeting up for a drink.

    Well, I ended up being at the zoo a lot later than I expected, so drinks were out of the question, and my ex would have to drop off the dog way later than she was hoping for (i.e., after she had already planned to be in bed).

    As soon as I realized this was going to happen, I *called* her, apologized, and explained the situation. She was kind of annoyed, understandably. But by the time we met up, she understood and was glad that I could still watch her dog.

    Anyway, I know this sounds like bragging, but… if you ask me, THIS is how you handle a change in plans that’s out of your control. Own up to it, take responsibility, and offer an alternative.

    Don’t freaking just ignore the person. Cuz then you just REALLY piss them off.

    If you ask me, you should just tell the guy to sack up and figure out if/how he wants to “make it up to you.” Then, the ball’s in his court, and he’s gonna have to grow a spine.

    If he doesn’t grow said spine… hey, he’s probably not someone you wanna be with, anyway.


  2. August 29, 2010 1:10 pm

    You offered to sit until he was done. He is showing a girl femine emotional side like so many women say that they want from a man. Then you get mad at him for it. Not fair. He was not being aggressive, but offering for you to let him know if you were interested in going out.

    You need to speak clearly and make definite plans. You assumed that he should know what you are thinking. I am sorry, I don’t have sympathy for y0ur position. Not that I agree with the guy going all girly on you but too many men are beaten up by too many women and he was trying to be non aggressive. It is not the way that I would handle it but I understand why he handled it that way.

    Men like direct communication, they are very poor mind readers. You are at fault here. Sorry, but that is the way that I see it.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder


    • August 30, 2010 8:12 am

      Mr. Wilder, I feel you have completely misread the situation and perhaps even me.

      I did NOT “offer to sit until he was done.” The deal was NOT me waiting around for him. I went out on my own and had quite a nice time until it became clear that he wasn’t really making an effort to meet up with me at a reasonable time. Plus, when I was getting ready to go home I told him so. An hour later he still wasn’t there.

      Also, I don’t know how much of my blog you have read, Mr. Wilder, but I am very confident that I have never said I want a “girl feminine emotional side” from a man. I do want a man to be a complete person who knows himself and has emotions and I want him to be himself. But please do not misunderstand. I want a man. Not some feminized version of a man. I can’t handle the pressure of someone ALWAYS deferring to me. And I tried to let Pancake man know that and yet he continues to do so.

      Furthermore, sir, I speak very clearly and I am very direct about things (he was the one who wiggled out of definite plans — I tried to make them definite). I never assume that ANYONE should know what I am thinking and I do make others responsible for what I think and/or how I feel especially if I have not told them either. I do not beat men up. And men who have been “beaten up” should not hold me responsible for what other women have done to them anymore than I should hold all men responsible for what men in my past have done to me. And I actively work toward healing from my past and NOT punishing or holding the new people in my life responsible for the sins of others from the past.

      When I know what I want I am careful to tell a person and I require the same thing in response. That’s why (in this situation) I gave pancake man fair warning that the coach was turning into a pumpkin and I told him when it was going to happen.


      • August 30, 2010 9:14 am

        Then please accept my apologies. This is my first visit to your blog. I deal with a lot of dysfunctional women in my practice. You my dear are the exception to the rule. More women should follow your lead. The feminists are responsilble for a lot of girly men. I think that most women want a man’s man and some men have caved to the feminists notions of what a man should be.

        I teach mutual respect and for women to speak plainly about what they want because men are not good at nuance.

        Blessings on you and yours
        John Wilder


        • August 30, 2010 9:33 am

          Apology accepted happily! Please, by all means soldier on in your practice. I have met these dysfunctional women you refer to and I am as angry with them as I am with men who have submitted to them.

          In my opinion, my parents raised my sister and I very well in terms of communication.

          I hate the word feminist. Men can be men and women can be women. We can be different ans still equal. It is a delicate balance, but masculine women and feminine men disrupt the balance.

          Respect and nuance…indeed. John Wilder, changing the world one marriage at a time.


      • Kent permalink
        September 1, 2010 2:25 am

        you are a great writer and probably good with communication; however, you kept saying he would always leave the ball in your court as to whether you guys would go out or not. This bothers you, yet you never say anything to him about it. On the night in question you went out before the date was confirmed, so that is really on you not him, so he really has nothing to make up to you. On the other hand his texting you is very lame. Also, in my opinion,the reason he keeps letting you make the dates is because he likes you and isn’t sure what will happen if he asks you out in a more formal boyfriend/girlfriend fashion.


        • September 1, 2010 8:22 am

          I actually tried to let him know that it bothered me but wasn’t able to get my point across. He and I have since talked about it and I think we’ve smoothed it out.


  3. August 29, 2010 1:22 pm

    Sounds like he’s more clueless and thoughtless than actually a jerk or anything. There’s probably room for improvement there. That said, training is for 22-year olds and puppies. Unless he’s pretty darn special, I probably couldn’t be bothered with that kind of behaviour myself.


    • August 30, 2010 8:14 am

      No, he’s not a jerk. And I’m sure he is pretty darn special inasmuch as we are all rather special. Plus, he didn’t do it on purpose, but I don’t think he was thinking about the consequences of his actions either. And, I don’t want to train anyone — and I CERTAINLY do NOT want to have to train a 38-year-old man.


  4. Wendy permalink
    August 29, 2010 1:56 pm

    Sounds like your “date” lived up to your expectations. You knew better and you put yourself in a situation to be disappointed anyway. Sorry if that is harsh, it’s just that sometimes it seems that your blogs serve to validate this distrust you have already firmly established regarding the opposite sex. I’m not so sure that is going to change until you allow it to by creating something new. Hell, not that I’m an expert, I have my own delusions about potential significant others, I just don’t blog about them, to me that would empower a negative.


    • August 30, 2010 8:46 am

      Wendy, first of all, your comment is harsh and almost completely unwarranted. In all fairness, I did not include my expectations for the date here. But since you brought it up, I did expect him to show up. And, honestly I expected him to show up before 10 p.m. But I may not have made that COMPLETELY clear to him.

      Furthermore, while I am imperfect and I do have issues, distrusting the opposite sex is not one of them. I trust people (male and female) in general until a reason to wary might pop up. Then I make sure my trust can be appropriately re-earned.

      Also, I am in counselling. I have an expert working with me, so I don’t need your diagnosis. I am currently creating a lot of amazing things in my life. And I actually resent you suggesting that I am empowering negative things in my life.

      I do appreciate you reading and contributing to the conversation with your comment, but it didn’t strike me as very nice.


  5. dave c permalink
    August 29, 2010 2:14 pm

    I’m of several minds on this issue.

    1.) Yes, sometimes you do have to tell us what to do. Really. I know it’s sad and stupid, but, it’s how it works. If suggesting flowers, it might be interesting to find out if he goes for the grocery store, or the florist.
    2.) Man… weak sauce on worrying about whether you like him or not and being all passive about whether he goes out with you or not. I mean, we’re how old now? We should know what we want, and when it’s in front of our face, grab it.
    3.) I always thought it was bad that Kobe’s wife took him back after his infidelity, a public apology, and a really really expensive ring. So I’m curious at what does make-up for a stood-up date. …and if there’s maybe a chart somewhere. What says “Sorry, I killed your cat?”


    • August 30, 2010 8:51 am

      Thanks for the insight. I do know that men need to be told what we want. And, In all of my relationships I try to be careful not to assume that people know what I want or what I’m thinking if I haven’t told them. And beyond that I take responsibility for my own emotions as well. As much as I can anyway. Sometimes hormones really do make me insane.

      I have told my boyfriend — “Yes, you have to buy me a Christmas present and it had better be something personal.”

      And when he picked out perfume for me I made sure to wear it when I knew I would be a round him.


  6. August 29, 2010 2:44 pm

    Being stood up is not necessarily a deal-breaker but maybe the way this guy handles stuff is. I mean, if he can’t get his shit together for something like this, and in the beginning when you’re supposed to be impressing each other, what does that say about the type of person he is? I don’t know if this is true for other people, but my main issue with men is the struggles they have with being straight-forward. Don’t avoid concrete answers because you think you know what a girl wants to hear, guys! The gist of it? Some men need to grow a pair.


    • August 30, 2010 8:52 am

      Yes, some men need to grow a pair and it needs to be as big as my pair if you want to date me — preferably larger. (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)


  7. dave c permalink
    August 29, 2010 4:58 pm

    I need to clarify… I think it was weak sauce on his part about not just saying, “I want you.” Three words. That’s it. Now, I realize that’s ambiguous as to what he wants from you, but if he said, “I would really appreciate a date with you.” that would be a refreshing bit of honest towards himself, and towards you.


    • August 30, 2010 8:57 am

      I have been hard pressed to find guys who are willing to actually pursue a woman nowadays. I don’t understand it. If you like her than go for it. Don’t sit around sucking your thumb and crying about how women always pick a-holes. If the a-hole asked her on a date and you didn’t it’s your fault she picked him over you.


  8. August 29, 2010 11:52 pm

    Like Dennis said, if he would have just said from the beginning that he wasn’t going to make it it would have saved you a lot of trouble. Next time you probably shouldn’t leave until he gets there though. But don’t sweat it, i know being stood up sucks but there are plenty of other fish in the sea to catch if he doesn’t work out.


    • August 30, 2010 8:58 am

      I didn’t leave to see him. I left so that I wouldn’t fall asleep and I worked on a few projects of mine. I basically did what I might have done if I hadn’t ried to make plans with him. And hey…thank for the support!


  9. Doug permalink
    August 30, 2010 3:12 am

    You asked for opinions, so…

    I think if he wants to go out with you again after you just posted the entire event on your blog, then you should give him another chance. He was, after all, updating you via text the whole time and it was you who decided to wait for him alone at a bar, with no idea when he was going to show up. Both are to blame on this one I’d say.

    Reading through your blog, the main recurring thought on my mind was that you must obviously hide from your dates the fact you have such a self-disclosing blog. The revelation at the end of your diatribe that pancake man was not only aware of, but an avid reader of your divulgence, left me perplexed.

    I’m sure you’ve heard that it is good to keep some mystery when dating, especially in any fledgling relationship. Do you ever wonder if sharing the minuscule details of your thought process and subsequent actions is obliterating whatever little mystery there may have been, and are thus hindering your chances for success? I’m by no means saying don’t write, as I’m sure there are many, like myself, who enjoy your writing. Perhaps mentioning the existence of your prolific, online discourses to the guys you are dating however is something to be reconsidered.


    • August 30, 2010 9:26 am

      Hey Doug! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!

      Okay, a few points of clarification: if I decide not to go on a date with this guy again it will not be because I felt stood up on Friday night. It will be because he doesn’t man up. And it was a restaurant not a bar and I wasn’t just waiting for him — not at first. It was a place I frequently go to write and I did some writing.

      Alright, about my blog. It is not something I keep from the men I date, but it is not something I make a point to disclose to them either. Usually they don’t know about it. I’m not sure why I told Pancake man about it.

      Also, I have heard that it’s good to keep some mystery. And I like mysteries. However, it has always been an issue for me to be considered a mystery by others because I value honesty very highly (read some of my responses to other comments for a bit deeper explanation here) and because I am such a deep and diverse person that just the tip of the iceberg that is me can be very daunting.

      Plus, there’s something about it me — I’ll call it charm for now — that often makes people feel as though they know me very well after only speaking with me briefly. This “charm” also makes a lot of people feel very comfortable with me very quickly and they often tell me very deep and/or secret things about themselves. And them revealing their secrets to me often makes them feel like they know all about me when I have shared almost nothing. So, a sense of mystery doesn’t happen that often in Crystal-land, even though there are a lot of mysteries about me that could be revealed.

      Thanks again for the comment.


      • August 30, 2010 9:34 am

        Again, I wish more women would be self disclosing. When women keep too many things inside, a guy does not fully know you and understand you. I for one applaud you being open and honest and self disclosing. Far too many women have the notion that if a man loves you, he should be able to know what you are thinking without her disclosing it. Again, men are not good at nuance, although most guys are well meaning. Kudos. I say to tell every guy you are going to potentially date that you have a blog and if he wants to get to know you better have him read it. The ones who are interested will read it and the ones who don’t are not really interested but are too self centered and you don’t want them anyway. If a man is interested in you, he will want to support you in your efforts and your writing. He gets twice blessed by reading your blog.

        Blessings on you and yours
        John Wilder


  10. August 30, 2010 7:37 am

    Perhaps if you told him some of the things you told us in this post and given him a slight ultimatum about expressing himself better, he could/would have manned up and asked you point blank if you wanted to go out. He’s meek and you’re mild. What do I know though? I’m kind of shy too. I hope things work out for the best however they end up and thanks for commenting on my post.


    • August 30, 2010 9:28 am

      Well, he has actually read the post. And before I wrote it I tried to tell him many of these things to no avail. I’m loathe to become an ultimatum girl. Besides, I’m feeling like I’m all out of chances for him.

      Also…I’m not mild. I’m a saucy gal. A hot-saucy gal. And I’m not looking for a meek man.


  11. August 30, 2010 11:04 am

    I read through this post, and the comments (Good Lord you have some opinionated readers haha), and I think you already know the main problem: the problem is not really that you were stood up, the problem is not that he couldn’t make it for whatever reason, the problem is that he is consistently showing you that he is not strong enough to be your partner. Much of this situation could have been fixed if he’d been able to be direct, say what he wants and chase you. He should be able to ask you definitively on a date. He also should be able to say he’s sorry properly when said date doesn’t work out. And I also think it’s a cop out if a guy asks a girl what he can do to make it up to her. Figure it out. Try something. What? That didn’t work? Try something else. Use your brain. It’ll do you wonders. Not everything has to be handed to you on a silver platter.

    While I don’t think he sounds like a jerk (but what the hell do I know), my sense of this is that you weren’t really stood up, there was just some really poor communication going on. At the end of the day, you need someone strong to balance you out. Maybe Pancake Man isn’t that guy. Or maybe he is – but he better start showing it.


    • August 30, 2010 11:16 am

      Well, I just got flowers from him at my office. He might be manning up. I guess we’ll see what happens if I talk to him tonight.


  12. August 30, 2010 6:09 pm

    Guys are generally direct when they know what they want and wishy washy when they are unsure. I’ve found 1 out of 100 men to be wishy washy so dont take it personally and just roll with it.


  13. natasha permalink
    September 3, 2010 2:37 pm

    I love this blog post – you are 100 percent correct – an ‘I’m sorry’ received via text doesn’t count as an apology. As a side note, I got into it the other week with a guy I’ve been seeing – we were driving together with two friends, I was riding shot gun. It was quite cold in there so I moved the vent – and when I did the radio went crazy. The channels kept changing and the volume went up and down on its own. When I reached for the vent again, my date snapped “don’t touch my f’ing radio, you already broke it” he claims he was joking- I don’t agree; regardless, we found out 2 days ago that the couple in the backseat were messing with the backseat radio controls – funny? Yes. Very. However; I told him that he needed to apologize for being rude and he said, and I quote, “I’m sorry, but I’m not apologying”. He seriously apologized for not being sorry.
    I don’t get men.


    • September 3, 2010 8:10 pm

      You need to get rid of this borfriend. He shows you no respect and is a potential abuser. He obviously does not care about your feelings. No man should talk to a woman that way and when you expressed anger and hurt feelings, he refuses to apologize. This guy is the worst kind of loser.

      Blessigs on you and yours
      John Wilder


      • September 3, 2010 11:49 pm

        I second that, doll.


      • Doug permalink
        September 4, 2010 12:11 am

        Third. I don’t know you Natasha, so forgive the unwarranted advice, but guys like that don’t get better with time. Getting mad at you about a radio? Seriously? If he doesn’t appreciate you, find someone who does. You make it sound like he has that attitude toward you regularly. If he’s that unhappy or angry, you are not going to be able to fix him. You can’t change him, no matter how kind or patient you are. Singleness is better than settling for a jerk. Run.


  14. natasha permalink
    September 4, 2010 9:44 am

    I’m agreeing with ya


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