This week’s question comes from Julie:
“Hi Orna and Matthew,
How should you respond to a man that cancels a 2nd date? He first did this months ago and it took me a while to agree to another date. I have now agreed and today, the day of the date, he has another reason. I know that you must set the rules early for how you will allow to be treated and I won’t stand for this. My time is valuable and I deserve respect. So, how should I respond to him in a manner that is not emotional but will let him know this? He has asked if we can reschedule for Sat but I won’t agree to that.
It is important, especially early on in the dating process, to ask for what you want. We believe that with the right language you can say anything to anyone. The key of course is how you make your request. Because you have standards for how you want your partner to behave, it is important to remember that they are your set of standards, and if someone doesn’t abide by them it doesn’t make them wrong or bad; it only makes them not right for you.
We suggest that you kindly and simply explain to him that it is important to you that a man keep his word when he sets a date with you. It is always best to use the template for non-violent communication and own your feelings in the situation. In this case, emphasize the positive and not the negative emotions in your request.
Here is an example: I feel respected and valued when a man keeps his word to me when he schedules a date. I would appreciate it if you would honor my request in scheduling time together.
Most men are confused today about how to be with women and women aren’t making it any easier by assuming that men will somehow just “know” their particular values and expectations. When you make it clear to a man how you want to be treated, if he cares about pursuing a relationship with you, he will step up his game and act accordingly.
We recently coached a client who was concerned because the man she was just getting to know was offering her help in her business. She wanted a romantic relationship with him, not a business relationship. With our coaching, she communicated exactly what she needed and he adjusted how he was being with her. He has continued to “step it up” and deliver exactly what she has asked for.
The big realization was on her part understanding that his offer of help was his way of showing her his value. He wanted to help solve her problem, which is a typical way men show affection. If you tell a man which problems you want solved instead of attacking him for wanting to help, you’ll get a much better response.
Our niece is going through some dating challenges and had this experience with a new potential boyfriend. He texted her that he would like to “hang out over the weekend.” She made it clear to him (after some coaching from us) that asking her out via text was not acceptable. He made the adjustment and agreed to call her later in the week to schedule a date.
HOW we ask is the key. Always make your requests about you and not about the other person. If the person doesn’t respond well, that tells you a lot about who they are. Remember the dating process is a DISCOVERY process – find out if you two hold the same values and are a good match (we are assuming that the attraction is there because we recommend that you do not date men you do not find attractive).
To dig a bit deeper, we do notice your emotional reaction to this situation. We could guess the reason you are reacting to him cancelling and wanting to reschedule your date is because you are taking his behavior personally. You stated “I won’t stand for this.”? And you also stated that you “deserve respect.” This is pretty strong language for someone who is having trouble scheduling a second date.
There is nothing wrong with desiring respect in relationship. However, when it carries with it a lot of negative emotion (fear, anger, sadness, hurt, shame, or guilt) then it appears that you are being triggered by something that has nothing to do with him, and your strong reaction has to do with the events of your past.
Let us know how things work out for you, and if you do in fact have that 2nd date.
We believe in you!
Love and Abundance,