Flaky people irritate us all. And I think all of us are guilty of doing it from time to time. I think it comes from a lack of interest or in fear or nervousness about a social situation. Even if the social situation is just a date or even a hookup.
If you're lucky, you can detect that someone might be a flake early on in your talks with them, so you can avoid wasting your time in trying to meet them, only to find yourself going home alone, annoyed and disappointed.
Some warning signs of a flake are:
- A lack of committal to plans of meeting up. They struggle to cooperate with you on making definitive plans to meet. They talk of being busy but never mention what they'll be busy doing. When they do mention something that they have to do, it usually seems like something which they could either reschedule or something which would not take all day to do. The fact that someone needs to run a few errands shouldn't prevent them from meeting for coffee, for example. Errands are not an all-day task under most circumstances.
- They won't provide you with an alternate means of communicating with them. This one can be a bit tricky because we all are concerned about our privacy and are reluctant to hand out our phone numbers or even email addresses to people we've never even met. But we live in an age where there are multitudes of ways to communicate with one another which are more reliable than the average dating or hookup app. Grindr, for example, is extremely unreliable for communication, as it is dependent upon the other person having the app running in order for them to get your message. Additionally, some messages are delayed by hours or days, even. An alternate means of communication makes it easier to make arrangements with someone to meet. This could be in the form of using any number of available chat apps, or using Facebook, or a throw-away email address. If you suggest this to someone and they ignore the suggestion, or poo-poo it, choosing to stick to the unreliable method, then this person isn't interested in making sure that you can contact them.
- Fading away during a conversation. This one is happening to me right now. A guy messaged me a few days back, wanting to meet up, and I replied, indicating that I was up for it, but he stopped responding. In fact, this time, when he messaged me again just a little earlier today, I called him out on his flaky behavior, and he has yet to reply. If he was really interested in meeting, he'd make it easier to do so. He may actually want to meet, and it could be the case that he's just extremely irresponsible and inconsiderate. Whether he lacks interest, is irresponsible, or just inconsiderate, I'm not interested in meeting up with him. He gives me a headache with this shit.
- Passive lack of interest. If you can't get the person you're talking to, to be specific about much of anything, they're likely just responding to you because they think it's the polite thing to do. When really, the polite thing for them to do would be for them to shut the fuck up and go away. This person will say, "Oh, yeah, that would be fun," when you suggest meeting up, but then it ends there. They won't indicate when they are free. They won't follow up on it. They'll just leave it at that. When talking to them, they may reply with one- or two-word messages. Nothing which will specifically state whether they're interested in you, or not. You'll get replies such as "Yeah," "oic," or "Oh, haha!" They might even vaguely show feigned interest. Don't be fooled, though. You're wasting your time talking to this asshole. He or she could tell you that they're not interested, but they're too much of a coward to do so. Technically, this person might not actually be a flake, per se, but I'm lumping them in there because, well... because I can.
- Nothing but excuses. This person may show an interest in you. They may reply to all of your messages and even act as though they want to meet up, but they don't have a car, or money, or a home. Or their roommates are home, or their parents or brother is visiting from out of state (Why are they even on a dating app while their family is visiting from out of state?). Even while making all of the excuses, they'll still talk to you. They'll even talk sexy-talk with you. But they have no intentions of meeting you, even if they talk like they would love to meet in person. If you're persistent, and I really wouldn't suggest bothering to be persistent, you can get them to commit to meeting you somewhere, but they'll never show up. They'll explain that the car that their brother was going to let them borrow had to be used for some other purpose at the last minute. Or they suddenly remembered they have to work in the morning... "I should get to bed. Goodnight." *offline*
- Too much sexy-talk. This one is weird because it seems counter-intuitive, but I've personally encountered this countless times. I'll mention an interest in meeting someone and he'll worry more about what we're going to do together than concern himself with the actual logistics of meeting like how, when, and where. He wants to know what you'll do to him when you meet. If you answer, his follow-up question will be, "And then what?" He wants all of the fucking details of the fucking. He actually wants all of those details more than he wants the actual fucking. What's really happening is that he's very likely masturbating as he's talking to you. You will notice that if you do provide all of these details, that he or she will just eventually stop responding. They're done masturbating, and they're done talking to you. You just got used as a freebie phone-sex operator, minus the phone.
- Stalling. This person is very similar to the guy who wants to know all of the sex-related info, but this person is going to ask you where, exactly, you're going to meet. He wants to know if you have condoms and lube. He wants to know your STI status. He wants to know what you drive, and how long it will take you to get there. He wants to know where you are right now, and why you're there. He wants to know everything. And while a few of these are legitimate questions that should be asked, this guy is using it as a stalling tactic. Additionally, the gaps between messages get progressively larger and larger. He might be interested in meeting you, but he's also likely talking to someone else at the same time, and you're Plan B. He doesn't want to dismiss you entirely, in case Plan A doesn't pan out, but he doesn't want to commit to meeting you, either, just in case Plan A becomes a sure thing. After all of the stalling, one of three things will usually happen: A) He'll either eventually give you his address, or get yours; B) He'll stop replying, which likely means that Plan A panned out; or, C) he'll block you.
- Canceling at the last minute. The most obvious indicator of a flake is when they have actually flaked. You've made the plans to meet someone and hammer out all of the details, and at the last minute, he cancels for whatever reason. Now, it could be a legitimate excuse, but most likely, it's not. When you talk to this person again, as you may likely do, keep in mind that he canceled on you in the past. It's a strong indicator that he'll do it again. This one, unfortunately, means that you may have to actually waste your time in order to find out if they are a true flake or not, since there are some instances when the cancelation was warranted. You won't really know for sure if he's not going to cancel again until you are actually meeting up. I have had this happen before. I've had guys who canceled at the last minute a few times, and I've had guys cancel at the last minute and then ended up meeting them on another night. They're still kind of flaky, but less flaky than all of the other assholes listed above.
We all experience flakes. We've probably all been the flakes on a few occasions. In fact, some of what I wrote above is shit that I've actually been the one guilty of doing. Namely, the stalling one. The guy that I flaked on was the Plan B, for whatever reason. Though, in true karma-like form, I've had that backfire on me, where my Plan A canceled on me after I canceled on my Plan B. So, I got what was coming to me.
Most of these are indicators of a lack of interest on their part. It's not that they dislike you, but they're just not all that interested in meeting you. It could be that they're not all that attracted, or it could be that they're just not in the mood, or they're scared. Who knows? The point is, don't get your hopes up when you find yourself talking to one of these people because they're likely going to flake on you in some way, shape, or form.