If we were to ask you to share what words come to mind when we talk about dating, we’d hope to hear words like exciting, encouraging, supportive, etc. Unfortunately, though, we often hear a laundry list of other words that aren’t all that positive. One of those words we do hear quite often is the word ‘flaky.’
Dating someone who is flaky is no fun. It can add undue stress, get you frustrated, and quickly lead into feeling emotional fatigue or burnout.
So, what should someone do about dating flaky people? Is there a way to avoid these unreliable people? Are there ways to make it work with someone who is a bit on the flaky side? These questions and a whole lot more are what we’re going to cover in today’s discussion.
What does flaky mean in dating?
Before we get into the tips to deal with dating flaky people, let’s quickly define what it means to be flaky.
A flaky person in dating is someone who is unreliable when it comes to making plans, meeting up for dates, and communicating.
It’s someone who cancels dates last minute (or frequently), shows up late for dates, forgets to return calls or texts, or does anything else that could be described as unreliable.
Now that we’re all on the same page about dating flakiness, let’s share some tips on how to deal with these people.
1.Know your worth.
If there is only one thing you take away from this entire article, it should be this—
You are valuable, your time is valuable, and people who don’t respect that do not deserve your time.
If people treat you like an option instead of a priority, they’re not worth your time. What does that have to do with flakiness? Every time someone chooses to do something else instead of being reliable to you or the plans they made with you, they are saying that other thing is more important.
If they blow off your date to hang out with their friends, they’re saying you’re less important than their friends. If they forget to text you constantly because they have a busy schedule, they’re saying that your time is far less important than theirs.
This may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. All dating should be approached from this reference point. If they’re not willing to make you a priority, you shouldn’t waste your time with them.
2. Set reasonable standards.
What goes hand in hand with this is that you do need to have reasonable standards as to what is expected of someone you’re dating, especially if it’s a brand new relationship or the first few dates. If something comes up once and they have to reschedule, things happen. If they forget to text you once or it takes them forever, it can happen.
Where we start to have a problem with the flakiness is when it’s a pattern or it’s egregious. If they’re constantly forgetting to text or call you back, that’s a problem. If every time you get a date scheduled they cancel, that’s a problem.
As for egregious, we mean things that are so bad that one time is probably enough. For example, if you schedule a date and they just completely forget about it or don’t show up at all, that’s not cool. We can understand a text slipping your mind or something like that, but not missing a complete date.
How Early It Is in the Process
One other thing to take into account is where you’re at in the dating process. If you just started talking to this person and they’re already blowing it, it’s probably worth moving on sooner than later. If you’ve been dating for a while and then a few incidents happen, be on guard, but you probably should have a little more latitude for forgiveness.
Basically, if they’ve proven that they are a trustworthy and reliable person already in the relationship, you can plan to have a little extra grace and understanding. Still, be on guard in case it’s a permanent shift in behavior because it’s still not acceptable.
3. Remove ambiguity.
A very important tip for dating someone who might be flaky is to make sure you’re doing your part when it comes to planning dates. If there is a lot of ambiguity when it comes to the plans, maybe they’re not really blowing you off—maybe the plans just weren’t clear enough.
For example, if you say something like, “Let’s go out sometime this weekend,” and then you end up not hearing from them or going out, what does that mean? While this is low effort on their part (still not great), they didn’t really blow you off because there weren’t hard plans in stone.
But if you make clear plans with times and locations of where you’re going to meet and they blow you off, that’s a problem.
So, here’s the takeaway. When you make plans or schedule dates, be clear about the who, what, when, and where. This accomplishes two things. Number one—if they’re not flaky but just lower effort, it eliminates any flakiness. Number two—if they are flaky, it helps you see it much more clearly so you can decide how to proceed.
4. If necessary, share how important reliability is to you.
Should you just run for the hills if you determine the person you’re dating or talking to is flaky? It depends. If it’s someone you’re just getting to know, yes, you probably should just cut your losses. However, if it’s someone you really like and maybe have been dating for a while, you may want to consider another step first.
What we’re talking about is communicating your thoughts with them. Tell them that it bugs you when they don’t do X, Y, or Z. Be clear and direct that you’re not okay with it. Ideally, they wise up and correct the problem. If they don’t, though, then it’s time to run for the hills.
The point, though, is that you can’t always expect someone to correct a problem if they aren’t aware of it. Yes, we’d hope everyone would understand common decency in relationships, but that’s not always the case.
5. Consider how you’re meeting other singles.
If you’re constantly meeting singles who are flaky and wasting your time, there might be an issue with where and how you’re meeting these singles. For example, if your friends are setting you up with multiple people and they’re all flakes, maybe you shouldn’t rely on that friend to set you up anymore. If you’re meeting a lot of singles from the same bar and they’re all flakes, maybe that’s not a great location to be looking.
If you’re looking for new ways to meet quality singles, one avenue to consider is online dating. Some online dating sites are amazing for meeting quality and reliable singles, while others seem to be havens for flakes. If the first option there sounds amazing (and it should), we’d recommend checking out our list of the best online dating sites and apps now.
6. Cut ties when you know it’s time.
The last tip we have for you on dating flaky men and flaky women is a big one.
When you know you’re dating someone who doesn’t value your worth and your time, you have to have the resolve to walk away.
Yes, it can be tough, especially if you like them a lot or they seem to be exactly what you want (at least on paper).
However, if someone isn’t making you a priority, that’s probably not going to change. And if it does change, the chances are it’s because it didn’t work out with someone else and they’re just going to their backup plan (you). You should want to be with someone who values you as their top pick. There’s no other way to spin it.