How To Respond When Someone Cancels A Date


Getting ready for a date takes quite a bit of energy and mental preparation. So it can be really disappointing when someone suddenly has to cancel on you the day of. It's normal to feel bummed out, mad, and confused. But according to experts, how you respond when someone cancels a date will determine whether you'll end up actually going out with them or not.

"Every situation is different," Laurie Berzack, MSW, matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. "Whether it's a first date or you've already been out a few times, you should always take a canceled date at face value, approach it with kindness, and don't take it personally."

For the most part, it isn't really cool to cancel on someone when you've already made plans. But there are so many legitimate reasons for needing to cancel on them.

As Nancy Ruth, breakup coach and relationship expert tells Bustle, "In an app-dating world, date cancelations happen all the time; maybe they genuinely were sick, or had a work meeting come up. You may have previously been canceled on and assumed this person is doing the same, but that can jeopardize relationship potential if we paint everyone with the same brush."

The reality is, you'll never truly know. People will tell you what they choose to tell you. So the last thing you should do is overthink it. The only thing you can do is respond in a way that aligns with what you want.

Here are some ways to respond when someone cancels a date, according to experts.

"Thanks For Letting Me Know"

Sure it's disappointing to have plans fall through. But look at the bright side. "In a culture of ghosting, I think it's admirable for someone to communicate their intention to cancel a date, rather than leaving them alone at a restaurant," Emily L. Depasse, sex and relationship expert, tells Bustle. Whether you want to make new plans or not is up to you. But thanking them for making the effort is always a good move. It can leave things on a good note just in case you end up talking again in the future.

"I Understand. Let Me Know When You're Available To Reschedule."

If you still want to go out with them, make it known. There's no need to make new plans right away. Just let them know you're interested in rescheduling and leave it at that. "Life happens," Caroline Madden, PhD, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle. "Don't go into full tailspin mode of why the person dipped out on you." Just send them that one text and leave it be. There's no need to follow-up. If they get back to you, great. If not, it may be best to move on for now. More often than not, when someone's interested, they will make a move to reschedule.

Show Yourself Some Love And Practice Self-Care

When someone cancels on a date, it's easy to get down about yourself. If you notice negative thoughts popping into your head, do something that makes you happy. Practice self-care. "This is an opportunity for you to pay attention toon to your limiting beliefs around love and worthiness," Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. "Your date canceling plans has nothing to do with your worth or value. Learn to validate your own worth, and you’ll be ready for a partner who validates it, too."

When you're anticipating a date, getting canceled on can be super disappointing. But there's no need to worry about it too much. More often than not, it really has nothing to do with you. If they eventually reach out to reschedule, you'll know they're actually interested.