Someone gave this analogy: Going on a first date is the same as going to an interview. Before setting off, your mind will be swimming with thoughts that seem to unsettle you. You start rehearsing your so-called ‘self-introduction’ in your head, which you spent a huge chunk of your time memorizing. You tell yourself you have to make a good impression. You might be a ‘strong hire’ or just a ‘hire’. You might even be on the ‘weak hire’ list, or you might not even be considered for the role you applied for.

In the midst of all this, you receive a phone call: “I apologize, but something popped up today and your interviewer can’t make it. We need to change your interview date.” How would you feel?

If this happens on your first date, what would your reaction be? It seems obvious that we would blacklist this person without any hesitation if they did not provide a good reason for their sudden change of plans (they’re the ones who spoiled your plans!). What if the reason given by your date seemed acceptable, would you still give them the benefit of doubt?

Here are some real-life scenarios that we’ve come across:

Scenario 1:

After talking online on 2RedBeans for nearly two weeks, software engineer M arranged to meet a girl, F, at 5:30 pm on a Saturday at Philz Coffee. After spending time getting ready to meet him, F received a text from M at 5:10pm, “I just received a call from my boss and I need to get back to office. Would it be ok if we could meet up on another day instead?” F was disappointed but gave M the benefit of doubt. “What if he really had to return to the office?,” she thought. F replied, “Sure! It’s fine. Work is important, we can always meet up another day!” F then went to dinner with her girlfriends.

Scenario 2:

Mr S has a doctorate in material science, is very knowledgeable and is introverted. He and Ms G, who is very outgoing and extroverted, had been chatting on WeChat for nearly two months. Both of them arranged to meet after work on Friday at a Chengdu hot pot restaurant for dinner. As G gets ready to leave work early for the date, S sends her a voice message: “I’m sorry, but I have been feeling unwell after lunch and taking a nap didn’t seem to work…” Before the voice message even finished playing, S, using her nimble fingers, deleted S’s number from her contact list. Never one to be stood up, she came to the conclusion that he must have faked an excuse to not show.

Scenario 3:

Ms T and Mr H met each other online through 2RedBeans’ Valentine’s Day event. Both of them got along quite well and arranged to meet for dinner and a movie after work. H even bought the movie tickets in advance for both of them. Afraid that he’d be caught in traffic, H left work early. On the way to the restaurant, he received a text message from T,” I’m sorry! We had to rush to finalize a design for our boss. I definitely won’t be able to make it in time for dinner and might not even be able to make it to the movie” H patiently drove to a roadside parking lot and replied,: “Ok, understood. Don’t worry about it! Remember to eat dinner. I’ll still be heading to the theatre. We can still watch together if you can make it. If not, we can reschedule for another time.” T is touched by H’s message, and both of them managed to catch the movie together in the end.

There are many more scenarios, and different people will take different approaches to them. There is no right or wrong approach, but rather, the different approaches taken are usually determined by the different personalities and experiences.

If you are stood up before your first date, how would you approach it? Leave your past experiences and stories in the comments below.  (You can also summarize into one sentence your ‘emotional’ stories or the approach you took after being stood up)


  1. Great article. I believe in extending trust to a new person. At the same time, I look for effort in the rescheduling process. For instance, the person who cancels should offer an alternate day and time. If the person did not make this effort, it usually means the person is either selfish or not very interested (or both!) and I will take note of this fact and proceed with lower expectations.

  2. I have a demanding job that cannot just be dropped at a moments notice. While I do try to plan ahead for a date and free my calendar, things can turn up at the last minute. It has happened to me and I just delayed the date 1/2h and the lady waited for me. So I would hope ladies would wait in the N°1 & 3 situation.
    If you are ill you should let the other person know in plenty of time not at the last minute. As you say, we go to a lot of preparation and can be very nervous on a first date. So do what you can to be there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>