Why do women flake? And how should we respond?

Women who know too little about us can be annoyingly flaky: canceling plans for a date, usually on the basis of some excuse whose truth is difficult to assess. This experience is shared among many men.

The logistical annoyance of flaking is often aggravated by feelings of rejection. Among naive men, responses range from self-humiliation by an overly eager acceptance of her excuse (“Sure, no problem at all. Hope your friend recovers. I will call you next week and perhaps I can take you out then??”), to moralizing (“Why do you cancel at the last minute? How would you feel if I did that to you?”), and on to aggressive comebacks (“Fuck off, I don’t like flakes.”). All of these responses exhibit a deep misunderstanding of women.

Within the pick-up community, suggestions of how to deal with flaking range from prevention, to a zero-tolerance policy (including matter-of-factly calling her on her bad behavior), to mixed and more playful strategies, and on to an aggressive shifting of the balance of power at the level of society as a whole. A great story of classical flaking with lots of suggestions from commenters as to the best possible response is here.

Why do women flake?

A woman will flake for a combination of two reasons:

(1) She does not know that you have high value to her.

(2) She needs to test your value as a man.

Her uncertainty about your value (1) makes seeing you an option for her, rather than something she definitely wants to do. This may annoy you. After all her agreeing to see you suggested otherwise. You may experience a sense of rejection, as her flaking suggests that you are less important to her than she is to you.

And then again you may wonder if her excuse might simply be true. You may feel that your response should depend on whether her excuse is true or just something she made up. However, we will see below that such thinking is misguided.

First, we need to remember that the reason for her flaking is not that she knows you have low value (in that case you would not be interesting to her to even play games with). The reason is that she does not yet know that you have high value to her.

Her value to you and other men is largely defined by her looks. Thus, her value is obvious and an instant reality in your relations with her. Your value, on the other hand, is not greatly dependent on your looks, but rather on the masculine quality of your mind and actions and on your social status. So unless you have a reputation preceding you (celebrity or local hero status), your value will become a reality in your relations with her only slowly: as she gets to know you.

If we understand this, we no longer take her flaking as rejection: it indicates merely that she knows too little about us. For example, she may have thought you were cute when she met you. But she may not know whether you can take control of her and make her feel exciting and interesting things.

Since she doesn’t know your value (1), she may flake just because she doesn’t feel enough motivation (sexual attraction or a more general form of interest) to follow through on the date. Moreover, not knowing your value (1) may additionally produce a need in her to test your value (2).

Flaking can serve as a test because it will elicit a response from you and that response will define your value as a man and thus her level of attraction to you…

How should we respond to her flaking?

To even ask yourself whether her excuse is true or not is misguided. Most likely it is not true. But whether it is true or not, it functions as a test either way: your response will define her attraction to you.

If you show you assume it’s true, you’re beta: naive.

If you show you assume it’s not true, you’re beta: insecure.

What’s beta in either case is caring whether it’s true.

To see it as an indication of disinterest and to be disappointed or mad is misguided as well. A highly attractive man lives in sexual abundance – making her flaking irrelevant. If you let on that her flaking is not irrelevant, she will feel that you are not highly attractive.

Most likely she’s lying. But if you feel you need to call her on it, it shows your disappointment, thus her weight in your life, thus that you are a lightweight compared to her, thus that you are not worthy of her. She will not be attracted anymore.

She may feel that it’s possible that you are very hot indeed and still flake: because she wants to see if you really are. So my assumption is this: The greater the challenge she presents to me, the hotter she imagines me to be (but she needs to make sure). From this perspective what she is doing is actually a compliment.

The key: demonstrate that her flaking has no weight for you.

One option: no response at all. She will be frustrated because of the lack of effect of her flaking and will likely contact you again to meet up. Otherwise you can contact her — perhaps two weeks later — completely ignoring the incident. (Plans are options, you accepted she was busy, so were you. Say sorry you forgot to txt back, if she asks.)

Second option: text back: “sure. guess what i just saw: [unrelated observation of mutual interest]”

The idea here is: you got her message. It has no weight for you. It has no effect on your mood or on your attitude toward her. Some random observation of mutual interest that you might have shared under other circumstances as well captures your attention more than your date with her.

In sum, positive or negative attention will reinforce her flaking behavior. Option (1) is to not grace her message with a response at all, then continue contacts later as if nothing had happened (but with some plausible rationale: you were busy otherwise anyway). Option (2): skip to another topic, thus explicitly displaying how little weight her flaking has on you.

With either option, she will be disappointed about the lack of success of her attempt to rock you. And she will be more attracted to you for exactly that reason.

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31 Responses to “Why do women flake? And how should we respond?”

  1. Krauser Says:

    Nice analysis.

    I like Roissy’s version which sits between responses one and two: no response until five minutes before the date was supposed to start, then text “OK”.

    Here’s an example I used last week. Girl was supposed to come to a house party with me (had already accepted). On the night before, at precisely the time I know she’s meeting friends in a bar before going to a club, she texts me:

    Target: Hi Krauser, I can’t make it on fri, family duties 😦
    Me: (10pm the next night) Ok
    Target: (one hour later) Lol did u only just get that? And we should def meet up soon!

  2. Wilburn Genier Says:

    Greetings from New York. This is a helpful blog. I’m wondering if you have any advice on staying out of the friend zone with girls? Honestly I’m sick of girls telling me they just want to be friends. Maybe I’m being too nice?

    • stagetwo Says:

      give up the idea that being friends with her or nice to her will lead to sex. friendliness leads to friendship. sexual escalation leads to sex.

      sexual escalation is perhaps the essence of sexiness for a man. you can be friendly and sexy simultaneously, but if you want sex, don’t avoid sexual escalation.

      sexual escalation is not just physical. it’s keeping eye contact with a stranger. approaching and getting contact information. contacting and suggesting a date. leading the date. choosing interesting conversation topics. disagreeing with her where appropriate, while generally vibing well. negging her, demonstrating your value etc. then touching, necking, kissing, and sex itself.

      avoid behavior that suggests that you are interested in a nonsexual relationship. you can be friendly as long as you are not a pushover. when you feel that she’s less interested than you in the interaction, you should excuse yourself politely without revealing any bad feelings. you should leave before you develop any bad feelings.

      you can also play with asshole behavior. assholery attracts the sexual beast in her, but repulses the normal person that she also is. so she will either be up for sex quite rapidly or reject you with righteous anger — depending on which of the two of her first seizes control of her body. so assholery is adding energy and results will vary initially. but it can be educational — eye-opening even. for short-term sex it can put you in a different league.

      in order to avoid the contradictory responses inside her to your assholery, you need to be at once loving (to please the normal person in her) and an asshole (to arouse her sexual beast).

      the trouble: loving assholery takes genius, and cold assholery is selling your soul. fortunately you can get laid without any kind of assholery if you just follow the first few suggestions.

  3. My posts on Game « fourblindmonkeys Says:

    […] https://stagetwo.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/why-do-women-flake-and-how-should-we-respond/ […]

  4. realdeal Says:

    1)how many chances do you give her?
    let’s say you feel that she is just not interested, how about calling her on it to teach her a lesson?

    2) (independent of 1st question) what if it’s a women whom you have already slept with? do you call her on it in a subtle manner?

    • stagetwo Says:

      when she flakes, you don’t have hand. calling her on it just lowers you further because it shows that you care.

      when you’ve slept with her, then the situation is entirely different. everything then depends on the relationship. but even then calling her on it is not in general a good option, because it suggests that you want to draw an explicit contract with promises — uncool and unsexy. ideally, you are entirely independent. you organize things, so that things are good for you. if she can’t be counted on to show, then you see other women. doesn’t mean you’re bitter or cold toward her. you just don’t try to change her, but do your thing instead. this is hard to the extent that your options (at her level) are limited. so this is where your actual power is revealed to her. her attraction to you will be determined by that revelation.

  5. realdeal Says:

    “but even then calling her on it is not in general a good option, because it suggests that you want to draw an explicit contract with promises — uncool and unsexy”

    I don’t know if I totally agree with that, Tariq Nasheed always says that you gotta keep a women in check without being overly emotional or antagonistic about it. in other words, one can call her on it while being cool, calm and collected and without letting her affection affect him.

    A lot of times women do shit just to get some attention so ignoring them ad infinitum won’t resolve the problem, unless you wanna keep on going from women to women every time one becomes unreliable. at the end of the day you are a coach, are you gonna drop your team every time they deceive you?

  6. realdeal Says:

    “when she flakes, you don’t have hand. calling her on it just lowers you further because it shows that you care.”

    well I do care about my self-respect and self-dignity not about getting laid with her because she already established by her actions that she isn’t interested in having sex with me. I want her to feel guilty and to apologize (depending on the severity of what she did). that’s a question of personal pride not of making her like me because if a women doesn’t want to fuck me FINE I’m not offended, it’s her choice and I’ll ignore her and never contact her ever again. but if she blatantly disrespects me then I’m gonna call her on it and address it in a calm way

  7. Artful Dodger Says:

    Here’s how I feel about flakes specifically and about game generally:

    If a girl flakes, I leave her alone. She’s not GF material. I move on until a find a non-flake girl of good character (or two ). If the flake girl comes back, I make her the “back pocket” girl.

    In all of the discussions about game, I think it’s important to not be overly concerned about what the girl is doing. That shouldn’t change what we do. The important thing is to ALWAYS stick to the discipline and talk to a few women concurrently. That way, when she calls you on a Friday night, you won’t have to decide whether you shouldn’t answer the phone in hopes of coming off as aloof and indifferent. You will come off as aloof and indifferent because (1) you won’t answer the phone because you’re occupied by the company of another woman or (2) you will answer the phone and sound a bit uncomfortable due to the presence of your company.

    That’s the discipline.

  8. SilkSting Says:

    @Artful Dodger

    Your second paragraph implies that you assume flakiness is an inherent property of particular girls. But the whole point of this post is that flaking behavior is a signal of her perception of your value and not a character trait.

  9. anthony Says:

    girl just flaked, i googled “how to respond if a girl flakes” and ended on this page. Was annoyed but text back. “ok, day dreaming. Just walked into a little kid, their fault for being so small”. she replied strange back affectionately. prob the best result give the circumstance

  10. Hasan Says:

    I would agree to with what ” the system” by Doc Love says.
    He said once you approach a woman she gets an interest level in you, if her interest level is low then you are wasting your time. if her interest level in you is high then she will not break the date.
    Doc love said, you want to date women who have high interest level in you, and less problems and issues.
    Also Doc love said; if a woman break the first date, she is out. you don’t need to waste time/money on her in the hope that she might like you.
    I say, if she liked you in the first place, why would she break the date? if she wants to test you, then you got a test freak and numbers screener. I wouldn’t date a girl who starts a relationship by striking my ego or test me. if she couldn’t keep a date. she has trust issues.
    the best I could do is to Delete her number so i don’t tempt to contact her again. If she calls back i would say who is this? so she know her true value and I did this one time and it worked wonders.once I said who is this? she said this is…… I said oh hi! then let her talk… until she asked me out.

  11. Recovering Alpha Says:

    I have used a different approach. If I am truly interested in her, I shove back by bluntly stating that her behavior is unacceptable because it is disrespectful, and I choose not to interatct with people who don’t treat me with respect. I clearly state that short of her house being on fire, an auto accident or someone being in the hospital, I will never tolerate this behavior. (But this is only if I am interested in her at a pretty high level.)

    I had to do this with a woman last week… which resulted in a tearful apology, her making me dinner at her place, and me not getting any sleep that night. We had lunch today, and she arrived 20 minutes early (I was early too). I told her I was surprised and her response was, “I got the message. I will be early not late from now on.”

    Shit test passed = good behavior on her part.

  12. Flaking/ignoring invitation: Call her on it, or just ignore it? Says:

    […] Found this brilliant article on flaking . It gave me a eye-opener – perhaps you guys can also benefit from it. https://stagetwo.wordpress.com/2009/0…ld-we-respond/ […]

  13. Tom Says:

    If you are just starting to date this woman or this is the first date you are trying to have with her and she flakes just totally ignore her and have nothing to do with her for the rest of your life. They are millions of women and plenty who are not flakes, just put the work into finding a women who isn’t a flake. If you have been seeing each other and/or having sex call her out on it and tell her in business as well as personal relationships you expect people not to be flakes. If she doesn’t like that kick her to the curb, move on and find a new woman . If everyone did that there would be very few flakes. 9 out 10 times a woman who flakes is either not interested or is just a weak airhead who likes to play childish, immature head games for attention. Stop trying to make something work that has never worked to begin with and almost certainly never will. If a woman really likes you and has a strong backbone and is not a weak, insecure, spineless jellyfish she will not flake or play silly head games with you. You don’t ever have to tolerate that type of behavior if you are a strong man.

  14. FTS Says:

    Girl flaked, I replied with distrust because I respect my time and she clearly doesn’t. She didn’t reply back, I googled this page, read it and now I hope I could live in an alternate dimension where women acted like human beings and you didn’t have to search the net for advice on them to find something this bizarre.

  15. Robert Says:

    Oh, so a woman flakes because she wants to “test who i really am”? What a stupid test. How are you supposed to get to know me when you won’t even meet me in person?

  16. Nathaniel Adam Briggs Says:

    I’ve had so many flakes.. I made an app that takes some of my retrospect, and put it into a series of 10 questions to help you figure out.. if she’s a flake.

    Check it out.. it’s totally free, and just for fun.

    There’s an app for that! IS She a Flake? > https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/is-she-a-flake/id502729901?mt=8

  17. Curt Hendricks Says:

    Met a hot girl on match. Immediately hit it off with emails, which lead to texting all day & night, with her showing big-time excitement and interest. Seemed like she was mostly pursuing me, and ai was being cool & edgy. First date went great, Lots of sexual tension, as well as some physical contact. She starts sexting immediately after the date. Second date is scheduled, but she cancels because she can’t find a sitter for her kid. The following week she starts moonlighting as a bartender at the strip club she moonlighted at in the past, meanwhile I’m seeing other women. We continue to text each other daily, and have gotten quite comfortable and knowledegeable about each other’s daily lives. I wait an another week to ask her out again, because she only has a few evenings per week free and uses them for sleep, plus I’m seeing other women. She agrees to go out again, but a day before the date she never replied to my text. The next day I text her to see if we’re still on for that night, and I get no reply. Five days now have gone by after this, and I’ve yet to hear from her. Can’t figure this one out?

    • stagetwo Says:

      diagnosis: failure to escalate. if you have things going on in your life and sexual options, you don’t have time to text “all day and night”. you escalate in your texts, then arrange a meeting. this way you waste less time, see more quickly what she’s really about, and project higher value. you failed the classical “let me see how much of your time i can waste” shittest.

  18. man on fire Says:

    I don’t know if anyone is still following this post, but I just got flaked on by a girl.

    We were supposed to go on a bicycling date but she canceled two hours prior saying she “had to go with her mom because a family emergency came up and that she was sorry but she couldn’t make it”.

    My dumbass replied “It’s ok. Next time. Hope everything’s well”. Damn! I wish I would have read this post first!

    @stagetwo, am I screwed? Did I give her too much control now and did I shoot myself in the ass with my reply? How can I regain and retain control after making such a “caring” reply? Should I just ignore her from here on?

    Thanks! Love the post. Everything is so true! Wish I would’ve read it last night. Damn!

  19. mike Says:

    Probably one of the best posts I have read about flaking but could a third reason for flaking not be that she just isn’t that interested or she changed her mind for whatever reason? I would think that 9 times out of 10 if a girl agrees to a date that she has at least moderate interest but sometimes things happen. I recently had a girl ask me out that I had only talked to once and then end up flaking the next day without a counter-offer but later on saying that she really wanted to see me but couldn’t in the next couple of days and that she “would let me know when she’s free”. At first I thought she was screwing with me or using me for something but now I think it’s because she didn’t know me that well. I responded with a disappointed and frustrated attitude and needless to say she wouldn’t speak to me again. I wish I would’ve seen this article before. Also I saw a comment about “the system” by doc love. I think everything that man says is bunch of crap. I had a friend who was rejected the first time he asked out his girlfriend of two years. If he followed “the system” he would’ve lost out on a very meaningful relationship. Overall like a said a great, well though out post but I still think the unknown perception of value is more on track than the test. My main question is if a girl shows strong signs of interest and then flakes without a counter offer should you drop her right then and there or play it cool and try again in a week or two, especially if she doesn’t contact you after flaking?

    • stagetwo Says:

      attraction is created by projecting power. ask yourself what vladimir putin would do. if you can nonchalantly try again later without coming across as weak, it might work. but if you’re looking like a pursuer or worse: like an orbiter, you will have no power over her.

  20. Jay Says:

    I just got flaked on by a girl earlier this week. Long story: We were really good friends in high school and haven’t seen each other since graduation 8 yrs ago but we keep in touch on facebook and through text messages (even though she hasn’t texted me first yet). We were supposed to meet at a bar for drinks around 7:30pm. I even asked her the night before if our plans were still on and she said yes definitely. So I got there early and waited for her, when it was 10 minutes to 8 I sent her a text “hey, I’m at the bar, are u on your way?” She replied immediately “OMG I forgot, Im still at work!” followed by another text “I meant to text you earlier: and then another ” OMG pls don’t hate me!” and another “I’m so caught up at work right now and that she had a busy day because she just got back from vacation and that she needs reminders daily. I couldn’t reply because she kept sending me texts. I replied somewhere in the middle of all those texts saying “Lol no problem Im the only person here and it’s dead and that I should have messaged her earlier” I also sent another one saying “no worries, lets try for another night.” She then sent me another text around 9pm and asked if we could try for Thursday night, I replied a couple hours later and said that I’d let her know by Wednesday. I wasn’t going to let her know but I’m not like that. I respect her, so I told her around 11pm the next night (last night) that I couldn’t and asked if Monday would work for her, she replied back “I’ll have to check my schedule hun” and I said okay. I figure now, the ball is in her court…..Am I doing this right? By the way I love this post!

    • stagetwo Says:

      no. you are not doing this right at all. you say you love this post (thanks!), but have you processed it deeply? read my reply to 21yearoldwhitedude’s story. like that guy you are showing eagerness to fix the date by texting ahead of time and eagerness to make excuses for her. note that an angry response might be even worse than your “no worries”. but your immediate proposal of a different night, admission of wasting your time (bar is dead) and lack of respect for your own time add up to a level of subordination to her that makes you very unattractive indeed. like the girl in the 21yearoldwhitedude’s story, she is apologising to you because she feels guilty about not being attracted to you. i realize this happened 7 months ago. so you might be able to tell us how this story continued. from your behavior here i venture to guess that she didn’t rip your clothes off.

  21. 21yearoldwhitedude Says:

    This girl I met on a dating site, seemed really interested. (And I’m not clueless; I know when a girl is interested and when she’s not). She ended up flaking on our first date TONIGHT, because it was really last minute and she needed sleep.

    Or, she could have been seeing another guy tonight. But either way, she WAS interested in me buz she had been flirting very heavily with me, asking me in detail about myself and telling me a bunch about herself. Even IF she was seeing a hotter/cooler/richer guy tonight, chances are very high she would have still seen me LATER just to get a comparison- if I had acted chill about it.

    The conversation went like this:

    Me- Hey good morning *nickname*. Are we on for today?

    Her- (Sends me a paragraph but ill summarize it) Hey I’m exhausted cuz the kids im babysitting kept me up all night I have to see what time their parents get home tonight so I’ll let you know.

    Me- Ok cool. I dont really have a cutoff time so whenever that is, I can hang if you want. I can be ready by 7

    Her- Ok and I will check…

    AT THIS POINT I SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED A FLAKE AND MADE OTHER PLANS AND NOT TEXTED HER ANY MORE, AND LET HER TEXT ME IF SHE WAS INTERESTED/ABLE TO CHILL. I WAS STUPID AND DID NONE OF THESE.

    Me- (2 hours later at 6:50) Ok, hey any time when they’ll be home? (this just came off as needy).

    Her- Uh they said 7:30 (she was being b*tchy, obviously. Either cuz she made other plans, or cuz she was dead tired)

    Me- You still up for tonight? Haha if you need sleep or something let me know

    Her- I may need some sleep ah! These kids are wild today and will not listen

    (At this point I should have taken that as a “NO”. I should have said “ok no problem, my friends wanted me to come with them to this bar so I’ll just do that. Have a good nights sleep, get some rest” and just been cool about it. But I wasnt at all

    I ended up texting her THE FATAL MISTAKE: I was like “Ok well we made plans. So you cant keep them?” This pisses all women off, to be accused like that. Even tho its 100% true, I learned just now to never do it.

    A half hour later, still no response, so I said “I’m pooped too lol but still wanna see you before you leave for a week. Wanna just relax and watch a movie?” Again no response

    Then I called her and she didnt pick up. I politely asked her to call me (I said “hey please call me, thanks” but no call back). I called a couple more times. Then I said what a guy above here said, about how “flaking is disrespectful and unacceptable. and if you do flake, at least dont do it last minute and inconvenience somebody” etc.

    At the end of the night I got zero answered calls, the girl never even had the desire to speak on the phone, and I got ONE text from her at 9pm saying “I dont have to explain myself i am tired and going to bed only slept for 3 f*cking hours last night I dont have to do anything I dont want”

    Then of course to save face I was like “haha wowww nobody said you had to do anything you didnt want. I understand you’re tired. Plus I’m on a date with this girl Emily anyway. All I was trying to say is, you should tell somebody sooner if you can’t make it. You really inconvenienced me tonight and I risked looking lame by asking her to hang out. I was lucky she was down to hang at all. Please be more considerate of others in the future, I wasnt trying to bust your balls but there are more ppl out there than just me or you.” and left it at that.

    • stagetwo Says:

      this is classic and painful. here are some pointers:
      (1) “she seemed really interested.”
      this first sentence already illustrates your lack of experience. her flirting with you means nothing of substance. sure, her being playfulness is more encouraging than her being cold. but before some interactions with you (from what you look like or what your dating site says), she is not going to have any definite feelings of sexual interest (or disinterest!) in you. the evidence that gives her these feelings is gathered in interaction with you — of which there has been too little at this point. so at the point when you said “i’m not clueless” — i felt quite confident that you are clueless. (this will change quickly as you learn.)
      when a girl “seems interested”, it means she is probing (shit-testing) to see if she might be interested. act too eagerly and you are sure to fail that test.
      (2) “she flaked because it was very last minute and she needed sleep”. bullshit. you’re eagerly making excuses for her. but this is a rationalization that helps you avoid the truth: she flaked because every one of your communications shows that you are an inexperienced boy and she felt no attraction.
      (3) “hey good morning *nickname*. are we on for today?” the first part might already be slightly too sweet — depending on the nickname and context. the question suggests that it might be a big deal for you and you’re eager to make sure it’s on. also: you are offering to follow her lead by asking. reading this did not create any attraction in her. her response is an apology for her lack of attraction and foreshadows her flaking.
      what would have been a better way to contact her? (a) no text at that point. the date was set, right? checking is weak, weak is unattractive. (b) instead of in the morning, you could have texted later in the day, leading the interaction: “let’s meet *place*. i want to *fun activity that you will pursue with or without her (e.g. go dancing tonight)*.”
      i hope you can see that your “fatal mistake” was not where the problem started. rather, you are oozing inexperience/weakness/following behaviour from the first text. what you call the “fatal mistake” is just the point at which this became obvious even to you. read the article 3 more times.

  22. Norman Says:

    This is the worst dating advice I’ve ever heard. What is this? “How to be a classless douche like the girl I’m dating” blog? If a girl/guy flakes on you but you want to give them another chance, then give them another chance. If they do it again then call them out. People need to learn to treat others with respect and that playing games for any reason isn’t cool or mature. If someone flaked on you more than once then why would you even WANT that kind of a person in your life whether you could have them or not??

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