Being Stood Up: He Said Sorry. Now What?

A woman waiting for her date to arrive after being stood up.

Dear Joan,

A guy stood me up & said he’s sorry. Want to show him it’s not okay but get him to ask me out again. Ideas?

Ouch. You should seriously reconsider going out with someone who left you hanging. Their lack of consideration for you and your time was unbelievably rude. So rude, in fact, that I can only imagine this happened due to an emergency or a scheduling mishap.

If your date did make a mistake and is genuinely sorry, you can try again—if you’re still interested—while still commanding respect from him and for yourself. Here’s how:

1. De-pressurize the situation

Your date is going to wonder if going out again is worth it—especially if you’re angry or upset. He’ll be able to sense this in your tone, so try your best to stay appropriate. Since you’re still interested, let him know that you’re open to seeing him, while emphasizing that he’ll need to demonstrate extra effort to see you again.

2. Give him a reasonable way to make it right

Giving him a specific way to “earn” his way into your good graces shows that you’re capable of starting fresh without compromising your dignity.

You could say: “Ugh I can’t believe you forgot, so if you want to go out again, it’s going to cost you a dinner at [insert choice of restaurant] plus dessert.

The goal here is to get on another date and move on from his mistake, so make sure your ask is something relatively easy and enjoyable for both of you. The ideal task will leave him thinking, ‘alright, sounds like a plan’ versus ‘geez, tall order’.

3. Observe how he responds

People who are genuinely sorry are interested in making things right. After giving your date a way to make it up to you, don’t do anything else. If he’s interested in you, he’ll figure out how to impress you despite the rocky start.

Still confused about being stood up? Watch and learn.


Joan Actually

Dating Expert

Joan is a writer and dating expert.

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