You’re excited about your upcoming date with a guy you met online.
You really enjoyed chatting with him. He seems to have his life together—great job, cool hobbies, even impeccable grammar!
You agreed to do something the weekend after next. He said he’d nail down plans with you closer to the time.
But now a week has passed, and it’s Thursday…
And you haven’t heard from him.
So you get up the courage to message him:
“Are we still on for this weekend?”
He messages you back:
Yeah, you could have guessed that! But he still didn’t answer your question. You message him again:
“So that’s a no then?”
He writes back:
“Gotta wait and see.”
What do you do?
What He’s REALLY Saying
When a man refuses to nail down plans with you, he’s giving you a clear message:
You’re not a priority.
To him, you’re just a profile picture and some words showing up on his phone. He’s never met you. He’s not invested in you. He won’t feel guilty if he brushes you off.
Yet YOU wouldn’t do this to him.
You understand that there’s a human being on the receiving end of those words.
Someone with feelings. Someone with a life to plan.
No matter how you feel about him personally, you’d respect him enough to be clear about your plans.
Unfortunately, not all men show the same respect.
Some men believe that acting like a jerk makes them come across as a man in high demand.
They don’t want to make it “too easy” for you.
If they act like they’re super-busy, they think you will be impressed and hustle for a fraction of their valuable time.
That’s not going to work with you!
He’s Playing Games
Any time a man plays the game of, “My time is more important than yours,” don’t buy into it.
He’s trying to position himself so he has the power in your relationship.
Variations of this game are:
- “I’m more of a catch than you.”
- “My work is more important than yours.”
- “I’m better than you are because I’m a guy.”
Nip those games in the bud.
Here’s how to do it.
Boundaries are Your Best Friend
Every relationship, from casual to committed, needs boundaries.
Boundaries help us trust each other by teaching us what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.
But boundaries don’t just appear out of nowhere.
You have to:
- Know your boundaries.
- Communicate your boundaries, and
- Enforce your boundaries.
If you don’t know what your boundaries are, there’s a simple and easy way to figure it out:
If you wouldn’t do it to him, don’t let him do it to you.
If you wouldn’t put off nailing down a date until the last minute, don’t let a man do that to you.
But knowing your boundaries is just the first step.
You can’t expect him to know your boundaries unless you communicate them.
You can say something like:
“I like to know what I’m doing ahead of time on the weekends so I don’t miss opportunities to spend time with my friends. Let’s call this weekend a miss. Hopefully we can plan something in advance for next time. I’d be open to that.”
Communicating a boundary does something rather magical:
It separates the good guys from the time-wasters.
Time-wasters don’t like boundaries.
They react by pushing back.
He might say, “Okay, let’s meet up this weekend, then,” conveniently ignoring the fact that you’ve just said you weren’t available. (More on what you should do about that in a moment.)
He might be sarcastic: “Fine, thanks for letting me know you’re high maintenance.”
Any man who shames you for communicating your boundaries is a CLEAR time-waster.
Or he might just never write back to you again.
Boundaries Don’t Work If You Don’t Enforce Them
If you communicate a boundary and then allow a man to violate that boundary—by letting him do something you said wasn’t okay—then you’ve taught him a lesson:
He doesn’t have to pay any attention to your boundaries.
That’s as bad as having no boundaries at all.
If you set a boundary, make sure to follow through.
If you tell a man that you need him to nail down plans with you in advance, don’t throw that to the wind just because he said, “Okay, I can do something tomorrow.”
You may really want to see him. You may feel as if you’re missing out on your only chance with this guy by turning him down.
But your boundaries matter more than ANY guy.
As Dr. Brené Brown writes:
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”
Love yourself and hold out for a good guy. The right guy will love the way you teach him how to love you.