Think of the last guy who really flaked on you. What did he do?
- Didn’t text/call you back.
- Disappeared on you.
- Didn’t show up for a date.
These days, it’s common for someone to vanish off the face of the earth, whether it’s ghosting (in which he disappears for good) or zombie-ing (where he disappears unexpectedly, only to pop back in your life like nothing happened).
Despite the increase in flaky behavior, it’s still rare that a guy would arrange a date with you, and then simply not show up.
(Even he knows he’d better text you if he’s going to cancel!)
That gives you a clue about the best way to deal with flaky behavior in guys.
Why Guys Flake
You might think that everyone knows right from wrong…
And surely these guys should have learned better behavior…
But what’s normal today isn’t what was normal even 10 years ago.
Technology has changed the way we interact. New norms are being created all the time.
Maybe you remember the days when you went out to dinner with friends and had their full attention the entire time. Now everyone dips in and out of the conversation, because their attention keeps getting hooked by their phones.
It’s not polite to check your phone when you’re supposed to be spending quality time with friends, but everyone does it, so how bad can it be?
That’s what he’s thinking, too.
“Everyone” is a bit flaky these days. Even women. So he thinks, “Why should I be held to a higher standard of behavior than everyone else?”
You Train Him How to Treat You
Judging him for being flaky when he really isn’t any flakier than anyone else isn’t fair.
What IS fair is letting him know what you expect.
The more you get to know someone, the more you find out what’s important to them. For example, you may be pretty casual about time, while it annoys him to have to wait for you.
It would not be fair if you had only just met and he wrote you off for showing up late. But it would be appropriate if he decided not to pursue a relationship after he’d let you know how important punctuality is for him…
And you kept ignoring that.
We have to let people know what behaviors aren’t okay for us. Not as a way of judging them, but as a way of establishing healthy boundaries.
If he doesn’t know what your expectations are, you can’t blame him for not meeting them.
Make More Dates
There’s one situation in which most guys are going to think twice about being flaky:
When you’ve planned to meet up for a date.
He knows it’s going to cause you a lot of inconvenience if he’s a no-show. You’d probably even dump him.
That’s why I urge women to make more dates.
Use electronic communication to arrange a date, then keep everything else until you’re face-to-face.
This tip can transform your love life. Not just because he realizes he has to make an effort with you—he can’t text occasionally and assume that’s enough—but also because all that in-person contact activates two powerful forces on his behavior:
- The Exposure Effect
- Loss Aversion
He’ll find himself more and more committed to you, without even realizing it’s happening. Here’s how it works…
He Can’t Help Falling for You
The Exposure Effect is a foundational principle of interpersonal attraction. The more exposure you have to someone, the more attractive you find them.
Basically, we love what’s familiar to us. We’re more likely to pick what’s familiar than what’s unfamiliar, even if the other option is better.
A man who sees one woman several times a week—perhaps because they work in the same office—will feel more drawn to her than an even more amazing woman he only sees occasionally.
The next factor, loss aversion, is also known as the sunk cost bias. Simply put, it means we don’t like to lose anything we’ve invested a lot into.
Clearing time from your schedule to see someone is a big investment. When he’s with you, he can’t be doing anything else.
But texting or messaging you is low investment. He can do it while he’s at work or with friends.
Loss aversion gets activated when he feels like he’s invested in you. If he starts over with someone new, he’ll have lost all that time and energy he put into you.
So use these two forces to your advantage.
Get offline and meet up with him. Save the cute comments you’d normally text until you can share them in person.
You may just find that guys aren’t as flaky as you thought they were. They’re perfect gentlemen … as long as you’re face-to-face.