‘It happened to me five times in ONE week.' The new dating trend I *don’t* want to write about.

Last week was going to be MY WEEK. 

“Hello world,” I told myself in the mirror. “I am single and ready to mingle!”

Which has essentially been the case on and off for the past eight years of my life. But, you know... here we go again.

I was putting myself out there.

(And by *putting myself out there* I meant I was swiping. Repeatedly. On multiple dating apps. All day long.)

I present, dating. Image: Giphy.


Well, fast forward a week and consider your girl BROKEN. Because I got cancelled. Blatantly ghosted. And it happened not once or twice.

Oh no. 

It happened FIVE TIMES with four different men in the space of one teeny, tiny week. 

RIP me. 

But rather than wallowing in the inevitable questions that arise from these sorts of dating fails (ie, 'Is it me? What did I do wrong?' etc, etc), I decided to find out from an expert just what the hell is going on with guys these days. 

(Or if it was, in fact, me. Which is couldn't have been. No way.)

'It’s really sh*tty behaviour.'

“There’s a bit of a theme at the moment of people doing this more and more, and it’s really sh*tty behaviour,” Sydney sexologist Georgia Grace told me. 

“Unfortunately, there is a bit of a culture of standing people up – and it can be for a range of reasons."

The first, she said, is that people get nervous and their only way to deal with the nerves of the first date might be to avoid it. 

“They may just be so overwhelmed with the concept and idea that they've got to go and meet up with someone, that they may just never show up,” she explained.

Which could explain Brian. 

Brian, with his innocent smile, naive eyes and a WhatsApp photo that should have been left on LinkedIn. His image and banter just screamed (or, politely raised its voice) *good guy*. So after days of chatting on Hinge, and rescheduling one date already, we booked in a coffee for a Saturday morning.


And then I just... never heard from him again.

Watch: Horoscopes virtual dating. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

Besides simply ceasing to exist (not a super-likely scenario), another reason people are doing the dirty is that – wait for it – they may just be insensitive souls. (Ok, my words, not Georgia's – clearly the rage still simmers).

"It may be that they are lacking interpersonal skills and awareness as to how cruel it is to not turn up to a date," the sexologist said of outright standing people up. 

"Even though the other person may be a stranger to them and they might not know them well, they still lack care for how their actions may impact an individual.” 

Which sounds like just the right way to introduce Mark, who told me half an hour before our coffee date that he had to "pick up his grandma" from the shops. I want to believe that Grandma exists. I really, really do. But figment of Mark's imagination or otherwise, how he handled the situation left me p**sed.

But I was already dressed to leave the house (which you KNOW is a *thing*) so I suggested a drink later that evening. 


Six hours later, he told me he'd stayed at Granny's for dinner. 

(Plz let her be real.)

Is booze to blame?

Georgia explained that there could be other factors going on when it comes to a date cancelling or just not showing up.

Like alcohol.

“So they're out and they’re drinking, and with that, they lack the sort of awareness that they might if they were sober – and just don't show up on a date,” Georgia said. 

Which, okay, maybe I could understand as a gal who likes her tequila – but Brad wasn't drunk. No, he was just so hungover on Saturday that he couldn't even text me to cancel.

“So what happened to our date?” I messaged at the end of the day.

"Friday night escalated haha," he replied... ON SUNDAY. The day AFTER our planned cute meetup. 

It was a no from me. 

He's now dead to me. Image: Giphy.


The dating app era.

The real question is: WTF is going on?

“I think that dating apps can be amazing but they can also work to dehumanise people,” Georgia told Mamamia.

And I get it. I so do. Sometimes it is hard to see a person sitting there on the other side of the screen when you’re swiping through profile after profile.

“A lot of the time, people haven't heard their date’s voice or they don't know much about them,” the sexologist continued. “They're not as connected so the stakes are lower, and because they haven't seen them as a fully formed human being just yet, that might stop them from reaching out to say that they can't make it.

“It just makes it easier for them to just not show up.”

Easier? Maybe. But it's still kinda sh*tty.

Georgia also believes anxiety may play a part. “People don't know what to say and they feel really nervous,” Georgia said. “And as a result, they might just say nothing at all.”

What to do if it happens to you.

First of all, validate your own feelings (and then, if you're me, write about them for the world to read because nothing feels as good as unleashing your fury publicly).


“It’s really awful and it really sucks when you’re stood up, and there could be a range of emotions that are emerging,” Georgia said. “You may feel embarrassed. You may feel unworthy. You may feel anger and rage – and literally anything you're feeling is human, and it's expected because it sucks to be stood up.”

She then suggested a couple of resources that you could turn to. 

“Dating is really vulnerable and brings a lot of intensity to our lives,” she explained. “So it might be asking ourselves, what do I need in this time? When I am doing something that is consistently vulnerable, that is consistently requiring me to put myself out there? How can I create a sense of safety for myself?”

And finally, said Georgia, keep your mates accountable.

“If you ever hear that your friend is not going to message someone back, or if they’re tempted to just not go to the date that they've planned, call them out and remind them that that’s a really unfair and even cruel thing to do to someone,” she said.

“Really think about it for yourself. We've all done things that we're not proud of, especially when it comes to dating. But we’ve all hopefully learnt a few lessons along the way and recognise that yes, you may not know this person, but your actions can have a significant impact. Is that how you want to make people feel, even if you've never met them?

Responsible dating? I'm here for it. 

Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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