Category: Dating 101, Tips For Chicks | By:  Anna Jorgensen | 27 Comments

Why Do Guys Cancel Dates?

One of my most popular videos for women on my YouTube Channel is about what to do when he cancels last minute. (See below.)

Women all over the world are wondering why guys cancel dates at the last minute and what to do about it.

Just to interject for a moment with a seemingly off track topic… I wrote an article entitled “The Radical Hustling Technique to Get Babes” for a local Vancouver rag (that be slang for: magazine). The article was directed to single men and single women.

Wanna know what the technique is?

Radical honesty.

Pretty simple, huh?

But here’s the catch: radical honesty only works in our favour if it is accompanied with radical compassion.

In other words, ladies, we need to maintain our high standards while not getting all bent out of shape bitchy about it.

Which bring us to …

What to do When He Cancels Last Minute

Let’s break it down into bite-sized bits.

  1. I repeat: Don’t get into your best yoga pose when he cancels a date at the last minute. Why give anyone that kind of power over you when you don’t even really know them? <—Rhetorical.
  2. Always have a Plan B in case a guy does cancel. This isn’t planning to fail. Nope, it’s not relying on the date to have a great Friday night. Or whichever night. Hint: Having a backup plan also trickles over into the date because you won’t act overly anxious and keen with him. If he doesn’t cancel, you may even have a way to work your Plan B into the convo with him, like when he says, “Wow! You look amazing.” Then you could say with a wink, “Well, I had a backup plan in case you were ugly.” (Obvi, you don’t want to say this if you think he’s ugly.)
  3. Let him know you just spent X hours getting ready for the date he just canceled, but let him know in a playful, Goddess-y way. Example: “You know women take WAY longer to get ready than men do. You’re lucky I have a backup plan and am going out looking a-mazing! ;)”
  4. If he hasn’t told you why he’s canceling, it’s abso-f’in-lutely OK to ask him why! Reminder: Goddess. “Ok, Sexy, you’re off the hook this time, but fair is fair, what’s up? Are you in the hospital? Jail? Do you need me to bring you a care package?? ;)”
  5. If any of his replies (or lack thereof) tell you that he’s not a keeper, ditch him and follow through with Plan B. Be glad that you didn’t waste your pretty little ass on a pathetic little asshole.

Watch for signs that indicate he:

  • ain’t interested in you
  • ain’t sure about you
  • is a flake, fake, or fibber
  • is not trying his best to figure out how to make it up to you a-sap

Why Do Guys Cancel Last Minute?

  1. He’s in the hospital, jail, or dead. Seriously. Sometimes serious shit does come up.
  2. Upon further reflection, he realizes he’s just not that into you. He’s a dick for canceling last minute, so be thankful you’re not wasting time on a dick: his.
  3. The girl he’s really interested in finally gave him the green light. Hey, come on, what would you do in that case? I’ll tell you right now that if I had a first date lined up, but then Gerard Butler said, “Hey, Anna, wanna get together?” I’d be on him like white on rice and ditching the fellow who brushed his hair real nice for me. Now, not every guy is waiting for his Jessica Alba, but there might be a gal he has been waiting for. If you’ve ever pined for a particular person, have some compassion. And, again, be happy you’re not going out with a guy who you’ll always feel second best with.
  4. He’s not ready to date. Maybe he just got out of a relationship. Maybe he’s still in one! Whatever. Next.
  5. You were way too fricken anxious, excited, needy, and wordy and scared the poor fellow away before he could even give you a chance. (And vice versa: you give him a chance.) Unless a guy is desperate and needy — do you really want that?? — then you gotta know that guys move slower than women at the beginning of new relationships. If you’re too anxious already, he automatically feels like the pace will be too fast for him. Sloooooow down. What’s the rush if it’s right? Even if you want kids and a white picket fence, like, yesterday, you’ll get there much faster by reeling him in slowly.

So, did that mostly answer your questions about what to do when a guy cancels last minute and why do guys cancel last minute?

If not, make a comment and I’ll try to answer it!


p.s. Wanna know how to get the guy you really want without playing silly games and never get canceled on again? Check out my GET A BOYFRIEND program. Guaranteed or your money back.

About the Author Anna Jorgensen

Dating, Love and Relationship Coach Founder: Wingmam, Vancouver, Canada Warning: Not PC, not a feminist ❤️

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  1. Hey! I love this and I love you. But, what if it’s not his fault, and he is apologizing and doing everything in his power to make it up to you but you simply need to get over the fact one put so much effort into the occasion? What should do then?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Dalilah! This depends if it’s a one time misdemeanour or if this is a trend in his behaviour. But also, always have a back up plan to go out anyway. Seriously. If you took the time to get all dolled up then take yourself for a glass of wine somewhere. If he knows that’s your protocol for cancelled dates, he won’t cancel again. Too great a risk that you’ll be out in the world by yourself looking dateable and solo! Don’t do it to be vindictive, do it to empower yourself (and not waste all that effort)! xo AJ

  2. I had a similar experience with this guy I met through an app and had a couple of dates with. Firstly he showed up late to the first date and it seemed like he made no effort with what he was wearing! The date went really well though. We were at ease wth each other and there was definetly chemistry to the point he kissed me in front on my doorstep at the end of the night. The next day he was the first one to communicate trying to fiigure out what I was doing on that day. He made it look like we would be able to meet again that day but then cancelled because he allegedly left work late. But…. he offered a “movie night” at his place like at 9pm (aka booty call). I politely declined and told him I would rather do something the next day. I finally dragged out of him a time he would come to pick me up. Guess what, the next day he asked to push the time to 1 hour later because he got “caught up” talking to someone at the gym. Haha. Then after that he messaged saying his flatmate held him up and he was going to be even more late. Needless to say that he was by my place 1 hour and 30 minutes late and I was not very impressed. He was also wearing the same shirt from the first date we went to!
    He took me to the zoo (yes the zoo!) and was using every opportunity he had to touch my back caress my neck and waist, but he did not kiss me! I kissed him a little smooch before leaving the car and he asked if I would like to catch a movie later in the evening. Then guess what? He messages me later saying he didn’t think he would make for the movies and that I should come to his place instead (yes another booty call). I politely declined and we said we would do something the following day. Kid you not, he cancelled on me that day too 1 hour before arrrrg. After this I sent him a short and angry message and he replied saying he was not trying to string me along and that I was beautiful and intelligent and deserved the best, but he was just really busy. I made peace we wouldn’t see each other again. Wrote him a message appologising for being short on him and wishing him all the best.
    1 day later he replies to my message saying it was nice to meet me and asking me when I’m leaving town (I was only visiting). I reply short and sweet and he asks me if I wanted to go to dinner before I leave. Well, let me just say he didn’t make solid plans to meet me and hasn’t confirmed anything.
    In my opinion, he just wanted a fling and is not ready for a committed relationship and wehn he saw he wouldn’t get sex he moved to his next prey. The distance factor is making him even more averse to taking me seriously (we don’t live in the same city).
    Another strong possibility is that he is dating other women and pick and choosing who he is taking out and leaving me as plan B in case someone cancels. This would be the most hurtful yet honest hypotesis!
    Writing this story made me realize he is not what I’m looking for and I should not waste one more second of my day thinking aout him and waiting for him to message. Coming to the end of it, I think I only excused him for all theses faults because he is freaking hot and I wanted more of that kissing haha

    Do you agree with my hypothesis?

    1. Yep, I agree with your hypothesis. The only you thing you did “wrong” was give him a third chance. He should’ve been schooled after the first incident and you should NEVER wait for a man, not for a date, not for a relationship. Live and learn. However, if you could be ok with only sex simply because he was hot, then take the sex and be happy and don’t expect more. But if you’re only interested in a relationship, setting standards early on weeds out the ones who only want a hook-up. Thanks for you story!

  3. Hey, I had a similar experience with guy I’ve known for about 6 to 7 months now. He is always very nice and kind and we get along really well. Just recently, he asked me to cook him something, which I did and I texted him to make plans to meet him at our yoga class to drop it off. At the very last minute he texted to cancel saying something came up (he had visitors) and asked that I bring it the next day instead to yoga classes. I assumed he’d be there so I took the food that day. He never texted and never showed. I was more than a little pissed but did not contact him. However I do plan to let him know in a calm but firm fashion that i did not appreciate him asking me to bring it the following day and fail to show or even text to say something. He could have simply just canceled altogether without asking me to bring it the next day. He has never done this before and in my opinion is very well mannered so apart from being pissed, I’m surprised. I haven’t heard from him since and this was 3 days ago. I did not contact him either because I do not feel it’s my place to do so at this point. Is this the right approach? I really like this guy but I’m not a pushover and do not want to come across as one period. Kindly advise.

    1. Well, based on what you’ve written, it sounds like either you are a pushover or you’re being used. For a guy to even ask you make and deliver a dinner to him is borderline narcissistic.
      Don’t contact him. Let him come to you with an apology not an excuse. If his actions don’t match up with an apology, you can do better.
      I’ll write more in a special blog post. (Make sure you’re subscribed so you get notified when it’s posted. Hopefully, by Friday.)
      Remember three things:
      1. We train people how to treat us.
      2. They always desire what is rare and difficult to get.
      3. Always leave them wanting more.
      At the same time, don’t react. He may have a legit explanation: Act of God, serious accident requiring hospitalization, someone died. (This stuff does happen and it’s the only allowable justification for not at least texting.)
      Hope this helped. If there’s an update, let me know by Thursday.
      xo AJ

    1. You’re welcome, C. Better to know sooner than later about his true character. Even if he has a legit excuse, a decent man would come back to apologize. Move on with life, continue working on becoming the best you possible! xo AJ

  4. Ok so what if you’ve been dating him for a onth and all was going fantastic then just before your date Friday he tells you he’s been thinking of an x he’s been in touch with and thinks about her when he’s with me. Why would he invite me for the weekend on Tuesday then cancel Frday

    1. Ugh, Christina, that sucks. He’s asked you to spend time with him because he likes your company, but you’re more likely the back up plan for if the he doesn’t get back with his ex. I’d start dating other guys.
      If you like this guy and can stay detached enough to not be devastated if he leaves, then you could continue to date him, but right now he’s got stuff he needs to work through and is not ready for a healthy relationship with someone else. Maybe one day, but not yet.
      The risk is that he gets over her but then wants to play the field a bit before committing to anyone. Make sense?
      Big hug,

  5. My ex asked my help in buying his sibling birthday present, but after learning I have plans after the meeting, he cancelled, saying he want to have the whole day, don’t want to be rushed (mind you, I live in a conservative are so he’s not thinking about a night together). I refused and asked to be on the same day (since we’ll have more but then he can’t be contacted. In the evening he asked my schedule. I’m very mad about this. What do you think I should do?

    1. Thanks for reading my blog and for your question! It’s difficult to tell if your ex wanted to spend the whole day with you because he wanted to be with you or because he wanted to ensure the project was completed. Men are very project oriented. You could have asked him.
      Also, I’m not sure if you’re mad because he wanted to reschedule or because you couldn’t reach him (or he didn’t reply promptly) or if you were mad because he cancelled. Could you clarify? 🙂

  6. Hi, I have a question. My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for almost a year and are exclusive. We are currently in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, we’ve had virtual dates over Zoom, but the past 2 weeks, he has canceled twice, to watch a movie with his family. They are all WFH right now, so he often does not have much time to spend with them. I feel like he can watch movies w/his parents and sister anytime, because of the pandemic situation. I’m not sure what to do-because he hurt my feelings by scheduling something with family, knowing that we already had something planned. I’m afraid he’ll be mad at me for him wanting to spend time with family. I understand it to a certain extent, but keeping in mind 1) I don’t get to see him because of the pandemic, and 2) his family is with him all the time now.

    1. Thanks for reaching out. First, your feelings are completely valid.
      My recommendations (these are going to be tough to do):
      1. Give him some emotional space. Men can easily feel smothered. Let him come to you.
      2. If/when he does, don’t be too anxious to connect right away. But don’t be cold. (A punished man doesn’t have incentive to spring back to you.)
      3. When you do finally connect, share your feelings. Be strong in your standards but soft in your approach.
      4. This video is unrelated and for men BUT the “Sandwich Approach” around 6:08 will show you how to ask for what you need.
      5. I strongly recommend my WakeUP2Luv program. It’ll help you understand your man better and teach you how to become irreplaceable.
      Hope this helps!
      Also, here’s my YouTube video playlist for women. Or a shorter playlist on How to Understand Men. I think these will help, too.

  7. Ugh! I’m so glad I found this. It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in my worries. I set up a Facetime date with a guy I met online since I’m putting off face-to-face meetings during the pandemic. Our first date went really well until his phone died – he texted me later to apologize and we made plans for a second Facetime to finish the great conversations we were having. Day of the date, we confirmed it over text that morning and again about a half hour before the call. However, an hour past the call time went by and I heard nothing from him. He ended up apologizing an hour and a half later and said there was a problem in his apartment and he had to find the landlord. He asked if we could resume our date plans but by that point I had given up on the date (and had already washed off my makeup and thrown on my robe). I told him I was unavailable for the rest of the day. He told me he understood, apologized again and said that he would be in contact. He didn’t say anything else until a few days later, with more apologies for appearing as a huge jerk for not making the date, how he was super busy the last few days, even sent a video of this ‘huge apartment problem’ he had to get the landlord for, but that he didn’t forget and it wasn’t because of a lack of interest in me. I’m such a timely person that I couldn’t help but feel hurt by his no-show, apologizes or not. I would have preferred if he had sent a quick text earlier on to just let me know something urgent came up, but I also don’t want to sound like a crazy person with high expectations for a casual virtual date.

    1. “I would have preferred if he had sent a quick text earlier on to just let me know something urgent came up, but I also don’t want to sound like a crazy person with high expectations for a casual virtual date.”
      This is the most important point.
      It’s ok to state your standards kindly so he knows what your preferences are. Keep in mind he was being overlay optimistic that he’d be able to do it all so he wouldn’t have to disappoint you by changing the date.
      Always use the love sandwich when making requests:
      Something positive + your specific need/standard + something positive.
      Hey, [his name], I so appreciate you not wanting to disappoint me by having to reschedule our date. In future, I’d actually prefer we formally change plans rather than be disappointed by a no-show. 🙁 Thank you for apologizing! It confirms your good character. Let’s reschedule…:)

      Make sense? 🙂 AJ

  8. Good post.

    Perhaps I can offer a perspective from the other side and possibly get some feminine advice all in one.

    Sometimes we truly cancel despite really being into a lady.

    I’ve been talking to a lady since early June, she lives in a city about 2 hours away. Our banter and wit are out of this world, as is our chemistry. we have the same love languages. Our first date was a nice magical outing at a park that had a small waterfall. It ended in a nice kiss under the night sky.

    We made plans for the following week. We both were looking forward to it, but it’s difficult to plan anything with the virus going around. She and I are both considered at risk, my asthma, but we discovered a drive in movie theater, an hour from her and 2.5 from me.

    I’m a mild germaphobe, and about ten minutes before arriving it hit me to ask her if she’d been at risk of the virus in the last two weeks, kissing for example.

    I said I know we aren’t dating or official and I don’t care, but between my health and my “essential coworker” who is 77 and has health issues, I have to be really cautious.

    She said she kissed one other person besides me, not including children’s cheeks on her birthday, but my question was like being dosed with cold water.

    She asked if she should turn her car around, to which I replied yes. I had to protect myself and coworker.

    I offered to see her again after 14 days, as we did have a strong connection, I told her I was sorry for hurting her, but at first she wished me well on my journey (she was defensive of the kiss and said she was only interested in me but offered no other explanation, nor did I want one).

    She did back off some and said she’d have been ok with us both at the movie wearing masks as long as we were spending time together.

    I didn’t think of that in the moment.

    I told her I didn’t want her to go, but would respect her decision if she left.

    She said she was hurt and disappointed and we could revisit in 14 days.

    I genuinely care about her, as well as one can a month into dating, as she did me with her borderline love bombing. But I haven’t heard anything from her in the 36 hours since I told her I wanted to straighten this out.

    How badly did I botch this? It’s not easy being at risk during the era of Rona.

    I don’t want to smother her or be an annoyance, but I’d like to fix this, if that’s even possible now.

    Any advice given would be wonderful.

  9. Hello luv, your so knowledgeable and I appreciate you very much.
    The guy & I agreed to meet offline for our first meet and greet but he called me 2 hours prior to our initial meet and said he was nervous and his brother is in town and can we meet tomorrow same time @1pm. He asked if i was upset and i said no…thanks for calling to let me know your feelings. Should i meet him tomorrow?

    1. Nerves are normal. Let him know you understand the nerves and you’re a little nervous, too. That gives him permission to not feel as anxious. He was honest, which is good. Reward good behaviour. I hope you met with him! Good luck!

  10. Hi Anna,

    I was meant to go out to eat with a guy today, He called me 30 minutes before to say he needs to do something quickly before he meets me (i.e he was going to be late) I told him it was fine but after an hour I began to feel annoyed with him. Around 2 hours later he texted asking if he can meet at 7:30pm, to which I replied that restaurants would be closed as it’s a Sunday. He then called around an hour later on his way. I told him that we should meet on another day as I have something else to do now. Was I too harsh? keeping in mind he’s in his mid 20’s, although I’m not sure that’s an excuse I am in my early 20’s myself.

    1. As long as you were kind and gentle you were not too harsh. Good men appreciate and value women who set reasonable standards. Being on time is a reasonable standard. As long as you deliver the info with respect he should respect you. If he doesn’t, he’s not worth it. 🙂

  11. Hi Anna! This was super helpful and gave me a peace of mind.

    I’ve been talking to this guy I really like for about a month now and I feel like we’re an excellent match. We’ve tried scheduling our first date twice (I had to cancel the first time because of work) but I did so three days in advanced and I let him know when I was available next. We rescheduled and everything was fine. A week passes and I’m all excited to meet him right? The day of he tells me that he may not be able to make it due to the weather. The weather? Yes, it was supposed to rain and he’s an hour away but, in the end it never did. He told me he would play by ear and understood it was a bad impression. I told him understood and if all went well, fine. If not we would reschedule. It took him about an hour to reply which he didn’t confirm that we would indeed reschedule. I asked him if everything was ok, another two hours went by nothing. He finally replies an hour before our date time and says “Sorry, I was busy.”
    No follow up to apologize Or explain for keeping me waiting or for canceling.
    I didn’t answer and I took myself out. I was already dolled up.
    He later called but left no message. He texted the next morning saying “good morning“ as though everything went back to normal. I haven’t replied and I feel as though I shouldn’t.
    I was just wondering what you would advise. Should I call him? Or should I wait?

    Thank you

    1. Set your standards with kindness but also with firmness.
      Example: “I’m excited to see you, Brad, just as soon as you can commit to a plan 😉 Let me know when you’ll be able to do that! 😉 xx”

  12. If you think feminism is a bad thing you should educate yourself. You can read ‘ A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf for a start. Thank me later.

  13. I started dating a man about a week ago who has canceled two of our dates to go hunting, as he’s a big deer hunter and he let me know early on that sometimes if the weather is right and there’s a lot of activity, short-notice cancellation could happen in deer season. I hate hunting, but understand that it feeds his soul so I don’t give him a hard time. It’s like backpacking for me. Otherwise, he’s considerate and makes plans in advance at least once a week and usually tries to see me once a week when he’s in town doing errands (lives a half hour away in the country). I can tell he’s into me, but I confess it’s confusing when he texts me when he knows I’m out to dinner with someone else to let me know he’s canceling our plans tomorrow night to go hunting.. We haven’t asked each other for exclusivity-it’s only been a month or so and I can tell he’s cautious and a slow-mover-but he has jokingly said he doesn’t like other people encroaching on his time when I have a date with someone else and he has told me that he’s not actively pursuing dating anyone else right now while making it clear he’s not ready for a commitment. To me, everything seems okay even though I wouldn’t necessarily do things the same way. He seems genuine, but I don’t want to be an idiot.

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