One of the biggest complaints men have about the women they meet and ask out (at least in many areas of the US and the world) is that they are flakes – they don’t follow through and/or are not good at returning phone calls, emails or showing up for a date when they say they will. I have no doubt that women have the same complaints about many of the guys they meet as well. Surely sometimes it’s a man’s fault that the woman he is interested in acts like she doesn’t care, because she really doesn’t, or because he did something to make her lose interest in him, and he refuses to get the hint that she is just “not that into him.” However, more often than not these women have a flaky mentality, so to speak. Being a flake is often a matter of poor time management skills. A flake is unable to commit to going out on a date or to even returning a phone call, and she doesn’t think that canceling a date an hour or less before for no serious reason is a big deal. Some women are well aware of that flaw in their personality and even say to their friends and the guys they meet “I can’t plan anything, let’s play it by ear… because I am kind of flake” This kind of cavalier attitude toward being a flake and not thinking that it’s a big deal or it needs to be changed will undoubtedly hurt a woman’s dating life. It goes without saying that to be successful in anything in life, you have to be able to (1) plan and (2) stick to the plan, and follow through with whatever it is you intend to accomplish. While spontaneity is a great quality to have, reliability and following through is paramount to any significant accomplishment, be it something as casual as a first date or some as serious as a school paper, a sales presentation or some other work project, or interactions with the opposite sex. You can’t achieve significant professional or educational success if you don’t meet project deadlines, if you cancel or are chronically late to meetings, and if others cannot rely on your word and cannot be sure that you will be there when you say you will.
Surely, many women who are flaky when it comes to going out with guys and dating are very reliable when it comes to their professional obligations. However, it is hardly flattering to a woman to treat her business associates or colleagues better than the men in her personal life. After all, following through, respecting other people’s time and not flaking is a matter of basic courtesy that one human being should be extending to others regardless of the level of romantic interest.
By the same token, the kind of men that most women are interested in – attractive, interesting, accomplished, ambitious, confident and non flaky – expect the same qualities of reliability from women. The busier the man is, the more he has on his plate, the more frustrating it will be for him to deal with a woman who can’t return a phone call/e-mail or who is chronically late when they go out, or who keeps canceling their dates. That guy will quickly give up on a woman who has time management problems, because that guy simply can’t afford wasting that much time. The kind of men that you would respect and admire, also respect and admire themselves and they will have little, if any, tolerance for anyone who doesn’t respect their time and their life. This is not a matter of ego on their part. If they are used to dealing with people who don’t need to be asked twice what to do and where to be, that’s the kind of interaction they are used to having, and anything short of that would be disappointing and unworthy of any effort, especially dealing with a woman who is a flake. Imagine the frustration of the professionally accomplished guy, who has to rearrange quite a few things in order to meet with you to only find out the last moment and you cancelled on him. No one likes that.
You might be saying “But so many of my friends are flakes. This is how most people I know are” That might be true, but this doesn’t mean that you have to join that ” flake club”. There is little honor in being a member of that club. On the other hand, not being a flake and being punctual and reliable is a great opportunity for you to stand out from the rest and show that you know better and that you are better – professionally and socially, and that you operate on a higher level, so to speak, as you expect more from yourself and from others.
Being prompt and reliable is an important quality in any relationship – in a friend, a co-worker, and of course a romantic partner. Don’t send the wrong message about who you are by being flaky to anyone who matters to you or even to those people who are not that important to you. This is a matter of your own self respect. If you feel you have an issue with being on time or returning phone calls/e-mails, don’t justify it with the “that’s just how I am” excuse. Instead, consciously work on it, and you will be surprised by the amount of satisfaction that becoming more reliable and less flaky, and being on time will bring into your own life, and how much better about yourself you will feel once you keep your word and gain a reputation of someone who follows through in the eyes of others and in your own view of who you are.
Calling to cancel the date or to change plans is best. If you have a hard time rejecting another person who you are not interested in seeing anymore by phone, then e-mail and text should eliminate the awkwardness associated with calling, and this leaves no excuse for being a flake.