Understanding Men: Why He Asks You Out But Leaves It Vague

When it comes to understanding men, sometimes a guy will ask you out on a “Vague Date”. He’ll suggest getting together and say you’ll talk about the details later. You might text a few times, but no details materialize.

understanding menSuddenly, it’s Saturday. You text asking if you are still getting together. He might text back saying something came up or not even respond. Now you’re facing Saturday night with nothing to do when you had been looking forward to a date! Why did he do that?

The “Vague Date” Keeps His Options Open

Some men like to hedge their bets to make sure they have a fun weekend. While chatting with you, he thinks seeing you would be fun, so he asks to meet you Saturday. Having you on the hook is a big relief and at the very least, he can see you.

Then he continues fishing online, viewing profiles, and chatting with women. He connects with another woman who seems better. Maybe she’s cuter, shorter, taller, younger, older, thinner, curvier, etc. Whatever his preferences or mood might be, he asks her out for Saturday night.

Now you can see why he didn’t make a firm plan with you. He was still looking for the best possible catch.

Understanding Men – Talk Is Cheap

My dating advice for women is not to take to heart what men say for the first several dates. This is especially true before you have a first date. Talk is cheap. A man can say sweet things that draw you in and make you adore him. He knows what a woman wants to hear, so it’s easy to say the right stuff.

Players know you want to feel he’s really into you,  thinks you’re the one, thinks you’re so pretty, etc. Other men use the “Man of Mystery” approach, getting to know you while revealing nothing. Some women are drawn in by this kind of man.

Remember “Talk Is Cheap”. You can enjoy what a new guy says to win you over, but don’t believe it, taking the bait all hook line and sinker. Only time will tell if he means what he says and is serious about you.

He might mean every word or be playing with you. Or, he might not know what he wants. Men don’t necessarily do these things just to get their way or be mean. Some guys just don’t know what they want so they act this way.

Understanding Men – Follow Through Is Gold

While talk is cheap, follow through is like GOLD. When a man says something and then does it, now you can start taking him a bit more seriously. A man who sets a day and time right away is showing a potentially deeper level of interest in you so watch his actions. When he follows through on promises and what he says, then he’s worthy of seeing again. This is one of the best ways for understanding men.

Dating is nothing more than a crude sorting process. You have to meet a lot of men and see them a few times to weed out the ones who are cheap talkers. It takes several dates to find out which man is serious about you. Watching for what he will DO to win you over is what matters most.

Any man can say nice things and make empty promises. You are looking for the guys who do more than “blow smoke”. You are looking for a man with integrity. A man who does what he says. A man who wants a relationship and wants it with YOU.

Keep Your Options Open Too

Next time a man asks to see you “sometime this weekend”, but doesn’t mention a day, time or place, don’t save the date for him. You can say yes, then keep looking too. As time draws near, you may be tempted to check in with him and ask if you’re still on. I don’t recommend it. If he’s really curious or interested in you, he should close the deal to make sure you are “off the market” for the weekend.

My dating advice for women is not get excited about a vague date. If there’s no day and time, then it’s not a real date. Until the details are firm, you are still available. He may follow through. But, if you have accepted a date with a different guy because the first one didn’t follow up fast enough, you can save face. Just say, “Oh I didn’t hear from you so I made other plans. But I’m free Sunday afternoon” (or whenever you are free next.) That lets him know you’re still interested and he’s still got a chance.

Learn to leave your heart out of figuring this kind of situation out. After all, if a man doesn’t know you, then he’s not rejecting you. He’s just making another choice. Understanding men is so much easier when you take your emotional attachment out of the equation and look at the situation objectively with a clear head.

For more on understanding men, check out this post on letting the man lead.




31 responses on “Understanding Men: Why He Asks You Out But Leaves It Vague

  1. Jessica

    What if he asked you out and then had to cancel and reschedules in a very vague way ….I’m doing a marketing exhibition at the mall across from where he stays for six days. I didn’t tell him I’m here but one of my friends suggest that I tell him that I’m here if he wants to say hi….Would that look like I’m chasing him or would it be a good way to see if he is actually interested?

  2. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jessica, When a man reschedules in a vague way it’s because he doesn’t want to be nailed down or is avoiding making real plans. One way to clear that up is to tell him you are across the street. If he makes an effort, there may be hope. But on the other hand, when a man doesn’t initiate or make a real date with you on his own, that’s not saying much about how interested he is right? Chances are for some reason he has changed his mind. I know this is disheartening but there are other men out there to meet.

  3. KG

    Hello. So I had made plans with this one guy to go to a basketball game with me. He said he would love to go. Day before the game he texts me saying he cannot make it; he has to work. I was upset but understood. Ever since then, he has been saying we need to get together, hang out, or “I really want to hang out with you!” He told me he had an upcoming weekend open and I offered to drive over to meet up with him but then he replied, “sure, as long as nothing else comes up.” Is this guy even worth it? I almost feel as if he is stringing me along which is one thing I am not looking for right now. HELP

  4. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi KG,
    Yes he is stringing you along. And nope he’s not worth it. Is it OK to have someone say sure let’s get together unless something better comes up? No way!

    This is why I recommend not asking men out. Let them take the risk of rejection by asking you on dates to start. Then after 5 or 6 dates if things are going well, you can ask if he wants to do something and initiate. Before that, it’s best to let the man do that.

    Now you can be friendly and flirty to show interest. But if a man is interested, he knows exactly what to do to go out on a date. And if a guy doesn’t take this step, it’s simple- he’s not really into you.

  5. Monee

    Hello I’m friends with this guys who I have met only a couple of times. But we always stay in contact either via facebook or through text. I always text him friendly text message like how is your day going or just to see how he is doing but nothing more than that. But he has asked me out three times and every time I say yes or text him to let him know when I will be free he never text me back. I’m confused what message he is trying to convey to me. Because he is the one who is asking me out why ask me out if you going to do this please help me understand?

  6. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Monee,
    I understand why you feel confused so I hope to clear that up for you. This is exactly what the post is all about. When a man is vague about proposing a date like your Facebook buddy here, he is STRINGING YOU ALONG. He asks, but has no intention of actually going on the date. You can see this is true because nothing has materialized yet, even though you let him know when you are free.

    So the first time he did it you might think that he meant it. Then the second time he did it you might think, “Maybe he got busy and dropped the ball.” But the third time definitely shows you without question that he is wasting your time and playing with your head.

    I recommend only one such exchange – if a man can’t get it together to see you on a real date after asking you out, then don’t entertain future requests. But you gave him the benefit of the doubt like most women would.

    However, there’s no doubt now. Stop messaging and move on to find a new guy – this one is a dead end.

  7. Kim

    I’m Doing online dating site and confused .. We matched and he messaged me first we messaged for about a week it was good conversation .then he asked for my number ..he texted me for about a week some flirting he asked a lot of good questions.then said we should hang out sometime. I said ok let me know since he has weird work schedule. A few days went by with no text ..he then texted and said what day did I want to go out he said he was off the weekend I said lets play by ear he said cool. It was a snow storm that whole weekend and didn’t hear from him. I texted the next day and said I was out in his area. he texted right back said he was at work and he couldn’t. It’s been a week and no text since.. I’m Confused

  8. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Kim, just like the post explains, when a man is vague, he’s not serious about you. Dump this guy and move on to find a man who is ready to date you. This guy has no intention of getting together. When a man wants to go on a date with you, he makes it happen. Last piece of advice, don’t tell a man “Let’s play it by ear.” Ask about a day, time and place or it’s too vague and likely not to happen.

  9. Anita

    Hi Ronnie, this guy messaged me and we started talking. We clicked instantly, our interests are the same (The only fishy thing is that he’s super charismatic and a lot of girls like him.) So then he asked me out and we set a date, but he flaked out on the day before. Now he says he wants to see me again, is it worth trying one more time? Or is he looking for an ego boost? By the way, he doesn’t message me as much as in the beggining.

  10. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Anita,
    It’s up to you and how you’ll take the potential second cancellation. If he flaked the first time and is a big flirt, he’s probably not worth it. But if you want to give him one more chance and won’t be all bummed out, give him one more chance. Who knows?

  11. TG

    Hi Ronnie,
    I have recently been meeting up with a guy that I worked with on a short a contract. He initially asked if I wanted to see a movie with him (back in December), but I was away for an extended period of time, so couldn’t. I dropped him a generic New Years text (when I was back in town), and he suggested that we meet for a movie or a coffee. We ended up meeting for a coffee. At the end of the “whatever it was” – he suggested meeting up the following week, if I was sorta, kinda free. It threw me, to be honest, because I couldn’t quite figure out what he was asking…long story short we met the following week, but again at the end of that “whatever it was”, he was like, “let me know if you’re free next week”. He is super courteous and attentive in person, he always picks up the check, we get on really well, but I literally have no idea whether he’s interested and I’m worried I’m coming of a bit aloof for fear of looking desperate – HELP!

  12. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi TG,
    Sounds like a date to me. He asked you out and he paid. Why are you confused? He’s lacking a bit of confidence by asking you to let him know when you’re free. But its also super respectful which you say he is. So not sure what seems strange.

    Men don’t come out and say, “I want to marry you. Let’s go on a date next week to see if there’s something to it.” He’s getting to know you with once a week dates – my husband did the same thing. Are you used to faster men who disappear? Slow and steady can work better. Just relax and see what happens. Maybe nothing – maybe something, but that is exactly the same with any man you date.

  13. TG

    Hi Ronnie,
    Thanks for the reply! Yep, I’m totally used to men who move quickly and disappear just as fast haha. Perhaps I tried something different.

  14. Cassandra

    Hi i have been dealing with a guy for 10 months now. At the beginning everything was good until 1 day he posted a pic of him and a woman on his facebook page. i asked him about it. he told me that just happen they broke up a month later. Then a month later he posted a picture again with this same lady, and now their not together anymore. When they were, he stood me up so many times, But he tells me he really loves me and now every time i ask to c him, he tells me he’s coming by and he never shows. But he doesn’t want me seeing any one else. i feel like a big fool for allowing this to happen for the past three months now and he is always working what should i do……

  15. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Cassandra, I want to encourage you to work on your self esteem. You deserve to be treated better like that. This is not a man showing you love – a man who cancels on you and posts photos of other women? He’s a cheater and a liar. You can do better. Don’t put up with such poor treatment another minute. It’s time to shut him down and move on. Next time you catch a guy posting a photo of another woman, walk away immediately. There’s no excuse that works. And a guy can cancel once but after that, move on. When you have the self respect to not put up with poor treatment, you’ll move on faster and find men who’ll respect you more.

  16. Patrice

    Hi Ronnie ~ I met a guy online two weeks ago and we immediately exchanged numbers to talk on the phone. Had a great conversation with a lot in common and talked for nearly two hours! Then we discussed meeting in person. I said that would be great and told him my availability. I thought I’d at least hear from him the following week. Haven’t heard from him since… I’m tempted to text him again and suggest getting together but just not sure what to do.

  17. Kee

    So this guy texted me earlier asking if u was still good to go for coffee I replied an hour and a half later cause I was at work and agreed also asking him what time we should meet. He read the messages and didn’t reply.

  18. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Kee, when dating you’ll encounter plenty of people who drop the ball. This happens to men as well, not just women and it’s part of the dating process. Don’t let it get to you – just move on and find someone new to meet.

  19. Lala

    When a guy gives me vague plans to meet up on the weekend without giving a specific date and time I always say “Fabulous! Once we have the specifics lined up I’ll put it on the books.” Lets the guy know you’re not waiting around for him and he is at risk of losing that date he wants. He’ll respect you more for this and be quicker to secure that date.
    Also, if he can’t give you specifics right now say ” no problem, we can just play it by ear and if we’re both available maybe we’ll meet up.” You guys know when they’re messing with you, don’t let them. 😉

  20. Riverwalk116

    Ronnie, I met this guy at a conference and he approached first. He set the first date, and asked 2nd date by end of 1st. We agreed to the date but not timing and place. Close before 2nd date, I checked with him as my girlfriend asked me out same time. He confirmed 2nd date time and place, but did not make it due to weather. But he set another one immediately as he was going for 2 weeks. And on this rescheduled 2nd date he said he wanted to see me after his return. But he did not make the move after he was back as he was busy with students and patients. Then he said we should meet before the weekend. Sat night he texted me saying he could not meet on Sunday as his brother is over. But we had not set up anything on Sunday. Now he asked sometime again this week, Should I neglect him or play as he plays? Btw he offered a home visit when I was sick in between but I said no.

  21. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hey Riverwalk, This man has cancelled and then never set a firm date again after the first date. I’d drop him and move on. What’s the point of dating this guy if he has no follow through? If he’s too busy to see you? If he can’t set up a simple date and show up? And good for you to saying no to his offer to visit you at home – it’s too soon for home visits. Time to meet some new potential partners.

  22. Freda

    I went out a date with a guy who is mid30. We had dinner date and extended the date by getting dessert. Since the first date, he texted me everyday with good morning and good night texts. He has not asked me out for second date for two weeks so that I let him know texting does not work for getting to know each other if there is connection between us. And I know he has full schedule and he is a busy man. But he replied my text as he understands why I sent the earlier text and he replied me as he is not available person. What should I do to this situation? Should I reply to his message or should I ignore him?

  23. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Two weeks went by and he hasn’t asked you out again – that tells you he’s not genuinely interested. Being busy is usually an excuse or it tells you he’s not ready to date or that you are not the right woman for him. None of those point to anything good. Then he replied to you saying he’s not available. What kind of follow up could there possibly be? He’s basically pushed you away! With compassion I suggest its more than time to move on. Block his messages and go meet new men.

  24. k

    Met online. Had a 2 hour phone conversation that went well for the most part. Texted me the next day hello and again the afternoon pushing to meet the same evening. I explained I could not and I suggested tomorrow during morning or aftn. He said he is busy with family but wanted me to cancel with my family that same eve. I suggested Monday night. We agreed to play it by ear. He became pushy to meet again during the day instead of waiting to see what happens…and I gave in. I did not hear from him. I texted him a “?” and he said did not work out and we will meet tomorrow. I texted him back that it was an unnecessary to make me wait on his call and to only let me know AFTER I texted him to see what happened. I then texted him “we will not meet tomorrow.” Am I nuts or does this guy like control? His behavior is between rude and narcissistic at times.

  25. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi K, I agree that he is lacking. But I question when a man can only meet during the day and not in the evening. I don’t know if either of you is working but when a man can’t meet at night – he may have other social obligations like a wife and family.

    Now if you set boundaries telling a man when you are free to meet and he doesn’t respect that – pay attention. This lets you know he thinks his life and timing are more important than yours. Rude and narcissistic as you said. Then he didn’t even meet you after pushing to do so. I agree – why meet him? He’s already proved he’s not the right man since he doesn’t treat you with respect.

    I recommend stopping all contact and blocking him. If you do exchange texts again, you will be demonstrating that he can get away with this poor behavior. it’s time to move on and meet new men. In the future, I encourage you to avoid not long phone calls before meeting. 15 – 20 minutes is long enough to decide if you want to meet. This keeps you from getting attached and having expectations that will not be met. There are plenty more men so don’t let this guy get under your skin.

  26. Leanne

    Hie Ronnie

    I kinda let a long term friend know that I was interested in him, I just let him know because I wanted to move on from being hopeful (We work together by the way) Immediately he then sent me a text saying that he was surprised and suggested to meet and discuss in person, but the issue was on which day to meet, initially he picked a place and said that Saturday he is busy , but the next one would do, and then I told him that I would be travelling two days before the day he had in mind. But now my plans have changed because my best friend whom I’m travelling with will not be getting an off on that weekend instead we will travel 3 days later from the the previously set date. So my question is, should I notify him that our travelling date has been moved so that we can meet on the day he had initially suggested? Will I not look too eager to meet him if I notify him?! And how do I notify him? I broke the ice and told him I was interested and he suggested we meet.

  27. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Leanne, You could simply tell him your travel plans changed and you are now available. Texting is fine for this. Just keep it simple without a lot of explanation.

  28. Alicia

    Hello Ronnie,
    I’ve been dating a guy since last May who was oversees playing basketball. At first I didn’t take him seriously. He suggested a play date with our kids, but flaked. In August I had a housewarming, he said he’d attend. He was a no show but called and spoke two hours. Then he suggested I come visit him oversees -I said yes thinking it wouldn’t happen. But he sent the money in Oct. and we spent a week together (no sex).

    Things were fine till Christmas (communication died). By New Years I sent him a farewell email. He responded with a detailed message. Since then things were great for long-distance dating – Text, FaceTime, phone calls. He retired in April, came back to the states and said he wanted to see me Thursday but texted with car issues. Changed to Saturday – didn’t happen. He’s been back 2 weeks, lives in PA and I’m in NJ. I even gave him the infamous speech, “If you are no longer interested, I get it!” He responded that he wants to see me but hasn’t set a date. Should I cut him off, give him time to adjust or play the game? Btw he suffers from procrastination (don’t they all) lol! HELP I’m 39, he is 41……

  29. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Alicia,
    Here’s the problem. You’ve tried cutting him off via emailed, but never did. So he knows he can talk you back into his game. When a man is serious, he MAKES TIME, not excuses. A quality man doesn’t “no show” or think a phone call replaces a date. Playing his game hasn’t worked so far – why continue? Even though you spent a week with him, he’s not serious about you or he’d treat you far better.

    Men never answer the famous speech honestly, “If you’re not interested I get it”. They keep stringing you along because it’s part of the fun. The only way to cut a guy off is to actually STOP COMMUNICATING. Since you always respond – the game continues. I hate to tell you but if you’re looking for lasting love, it won’t be with him so it’s time to move on. You don’t owe him an explanation either – if you explain, that’s just more of the game for him. Read this post on Mixed Signals for more details about men who are inconsistent.

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