Article Lead Image

To stand out in the online dating crowd, quit flaking

The biggest obstacle to online dating success might just be systemic flakiness. 


Beth Cook


Posted on Jun 21, 2013   Updated on Jun 1, 2021, 12:57 pm CDT

Beth Cook is a personal coach and writer. Want advice? Have advice? Send her an email.

If there is one thing I don’t like, it’s flakiness. I’m not perfect, but I am communicative, and I usually do what I say I’m going to do.

I’m not a fan of people being vague about plans, cancelling plans or bowing out of conversations about the making of plans. 

You’d think I might be a little more go-with-the-flow about this stuff; I live in California, after all! And certainly the 10 years I’ve spent in the Golden State have loosened me up some. I’m no longer personally offended by people who quietly disappear from your life. But at the same time, I am shocked that online daters—people who have opportunities to potentially go on a dates, get laid, find cool girlfriends, or meet their future husbands—are so lax about communicating.

Here’s the kind of bad communication I’m witnessing all the time (do you, too?):

          1) People ask you out in a message and then ignore you when you say ‘Yes, I’d love to meet up.’

          2) We (my friends and I) ask people out in messages, and instead of saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ they respond with a list of pointless questions (i.e., how was going to college at Syracuse?). What?

          3) People drop off mid-conversation and then pop back up a week or two later acting as if no time has passed.

Like I said, I’m familiar with ghosting after meeting someone in person, but isn’t it a little early to dismiss people who you’ve already taken the time to communicate with, before you even meet? Presumably, at one point in the not-so-very distant past, you were interested in this someone enough to initiate contact, so why not follow through?

It’s baffling… Did she get struck by a case of the lazies? Is he hung up on planning the date? Is she distracted by other dates? Did he lose interest by the afternoon?

Wonder what you will, it doesn’t actually matter why these people are flaking off. What’s important to note is that they can’t be bothered to follow up on a two-line conversation that they initiated. How seriously could they possibly be about taking dating or finding a love interest? Not very.

Here’s the good news: in this sea of flakey fish, you have the opportunity to stand out from the crowd. There is nothing more attractive than someone who communicates in a timely and clear fashion. Not only will you impress people with your good manners, you’ll also get more dates! It’s not rocket science folks: follow through = dates.

So start acting like you give a shit and see what happens. My prediction: people will start finding you a hell of a lot more attractive.

Photo via 

Share this article
*First Published: Jun 21, 2013, 9:00 am CDT