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

Need help understanding men? If a guy makes plans but doesn’t follow through or leaves it vague about a day, place and time, that’s not a REAL date. Read on to also find out how to respond to a flaky guy.

why men leave date details vagueWhat Is a Vague Date?

Let’s say you’ve been texting with a great guy all week and on Wednesday he said, “Let’s meet this weekend.

We’ll talk about the details as we get closer to the weekend.” How exciting – you can’t wait to meet this guy! You are so looking forward to meeting him.

This could also happen after a first date or if met a guy out or at a party. It’s all the same thing if he asks you out but is vague about it.

Then suddenly, it’s Saturday and you don’t know anything about the date.

Not sure how to respond to a flaky guy, you text asking if you’re still getting together. He texts back saying something came up or worse, doesn’t even respond.

It’s so aggravating when this happens! Now you’re facing Saturday night with nothing to do when you had been counting on a date with him! Why did he do that?

Keeping His Options Open

Some men like to hedge their bets to make sure they have a fun weekend. While chatting with you, he thinks to see you would be fun, so he asks to meet Saturday.

Having you on the hook is a big relief because if nothing better comes along, he can see you.

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. This is a flaky guy who doesn’t know what he wants.

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

Understanding Men – Talk Is Cheap


Don’t take to heart what men say for the first several dates. This is especially true BEFORE your first date. Talk is cheap and doesn’t mean anything.

A man can say sweet things that draw you in to make you adore him.

Players know you want to feel like a man is into you, thinks you’re the one, or are pretty, so they say amazing things to you to win you over.  Go ahead and enjoy the flattery, just don’t BELIEVE it.

Only time will tell if he means what he says and is serious about you. Hold off falling in love until you know who this guy really is.

He might mean every word he said. Or, he could be playing with your heart. Men don’t necessarily do these things to be mean.

Some guys just don’t know what they want, so they act this way.

Why Men Say One Thing, Do Another

how to respond to a flaky guyThere are a lot of men who seem to always say one thing, then do another. In this case, it’s not just about setting up a date but, about almost anything they agree to do.

That might be when he’ll call, introduce you to his friends, or return something he borrowed. If you meet a man like this, let me assure you this will not improve with time.

You might be tempted to be patient and just to be sure he doesn’t turn it around. Instead, accept this is who he is and move on to find a better man.

Why didn’t he set a time for our date?

Follow Through Is Gold

On the other hand, follow-through is GOLD. When a man says something and then does it, now you can start taking him more seriously.

A man who sets the day and time for your date right away is showing a deeper level of interest in you.

When he follows through on promises and what he says, then he’s worth seeing again. This is one of the best ways for understanding men – following though what actually matters.

Dating Is a Sorting Process

why is he so vague about the dateYou have to meet a lot of men and see them a few times to weed out the ones who talk a good game but aren’t serious about you.

It takes several dates to find out if a man is really interested.

Paying attention to what he DOES to win you over is the only thing that matters.

Any man can say nice words and make empty promises. You are looking for a man with integrity who does what he says.

The right man for you wants a relationship and wants it with YOU.

Keep Your Options Open

Next time a man asks to see you “sometime over the weekend” but isn’t specific, don’t bother saving the date for him.

You can say yes, then keep connecting with other men and feel free to make a date if that’s an option. Why keep yourself open for a man who isn’t willing to schedule a date?

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 interested, he should close the deal on date details to make sure you are “off the market” for the weekend.

It’s not the end of the world if you do check, but if he takes his time responding, forget about him.

Guy Makes Plans But Doesn’t Follow Through

My dating advice for women is to not get excited about a vague date. If there’s no date and time, then it’s NOT a real date. Until the details are firm, you are still available to meet or see other men.

You want to know how to respond to a flaky guy? There’s no reason to respond!

Many women wonder if he’s shy or insecure and wants to help the guy out by making it easy and doing his follow up work. Don’t fall for that!

Give Him Space To See What He Does

give him space to see what he doesEven a shy man knows EXACTLY what he needs to do to go on a date with you Saturday night. He knows he has to ask you and set it up. Give him space to do this.

Whether or not he’s a shy guy, give a man the time to do what is natural for him to do if he’s serious about you.

When you give a man space, you are not taking over his role in dating. You are taking the feminine position to let him lead which is completely appropriate at the start of dating.

Later, things will balance out in terms of planning and getting together.

When a man seems flaky by not scheduling the date, he’s letting you know through his actions (or lack of them) that he’s not into you enough to be serious about you.

Let Men Pursue You

That’s why the best thing you can do is let a man pursue you. This minimizes the risk of going out with a guy who is just filling time until he meets someone better.

If you accept a date with another man, because the first one didn’t follow up, just say, “Gee, I didn’t hear from you, so I made other plans. But I’m free Sunday afternoon,” (or whenever you are free next.)

This lets him know you’re interested, and he’s still got a chance and that’s how to respond to a flaky guy.

When a Guy Wants to Hang Out With You

It might make you feel good when a guy wants to hang out. Just be aware that “hanging out” is usually a casual thing. This is his excuse not to be buttoned up with date details because it’s just hanging out.

If this is the case, don’t be fooled. He’s not serious about you at all. And since he’s not serious, you can do nothing because that’s how to respond to a flaky guy.

What Makes Understanding Men Easier?

how to respond to a flaky guyUnderstanding men is so much easier when you take your emotional attachment out of the equation.

Step back and look at the vague date situation objectively. Then you will see that a man who does this could be:

  • Playing games
  • Not sure what he wants
  • Stringing you along hoping he finds a better woman
  • Liked you, but got distracted by others
  • Isn’t ready to date, just wants to see if women are interested

Don’t Bother with Flaky Guys

The point is, it doesn’t matter what he says or why he’s flaky, only what he does to be sure he can see you. If a guy makes plans but doesn’t follow through, that’s hopeless.

It doesn’t matter if his texts are fun or sweet, he follows you on social media and likes your posts or calls and talks for hours.

When he doesn’t set a date, time and place, it’s not a real date. See how simple that is? End of confusion, end of the story.


For more on understanding men, get my Free book His Mixed Signals Are So Confusing.

Single for too long, Ronnie wanted to find love. She put her skills from personal development and her spiritual path to work, dating 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to manifesting and midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late to help smart, successful women find love or live an empowered and magical life. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC, is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000s of midlife women with her Love & Magical Life Coach services. She’s the host of the Breathe Love & Magic podcast and has been featured on NBC, ABC, & Fox News, NPR, BBC, eHarmony, MSN.com, and Connecticut Magazine among others. Also, Ronnie is the author of 6 books which are available on Amazon.

326 thoughts on “Understanding Men: Why He Asks You Out But Leaves It Vague”

  1. I am back in the dating world and on apps again! Ugh, much older now. Is it okay to like and message them first. Just not finding much out there worth my time! They are either too young, too old, don’t want a relationship or to get to know you, if you know what I mean? Advice please. Everything seems to move so fast!

    • Hi Tina, I know this might not be what you want to hear, but there are good men on the apps. So what’s getting in your way? Could be your profile, your photos, or the way you text/ message. But it also could be a reflection of where your heart is at. How open are you? Is your heart wounded? Are you in need of healing? How do you feel about love, dating, and men? Using the apps to find love isn’t quite as straight forward as it seems. Look within and see if you need to make any internal adjustments or if you need to adjust your photos, profile or messaging methods. Just remember, people fall in love every day – and you can do it too!

  2. Hi Ronnie, I am talking to a guy on a dating app. We set a location but not a day to meet. I proposed a date but he didn’t reply to me for six days later asking to change the location and meet the following week. I don’t like how long he took to reply (makes me feel he’s not interested). Should I still meet him? On another note, I noticed that men online typically ask to go for a walk or grab coffee as the first date. Before online dating my first dates were dinner or an activity. Dating online could get expensive to have dinner every first date. but I hate taking time to get ready, (hair and makeup) and drive to go for a walk or have coffee with someone I don’t know. The argument you don’t want to get trapped for a long dinner. Should I keep dating online? Is the paid membership of a dating app better?

    • Hi Frankie, Question #1 – No don’t meet him. He’s already showed you who he is so why bother? I agree he isn’t that interested. Question #2 – If you don’t do the apps and online, you’ll never meet enough men. Its time to accept this how dating works today. Date 2 is the dinner date or sometimes date 3 Perhaps you can cut back on prep time and still look good? Or remember that when you look your best, you feel better so you get to enjoy some of the benefit of the effort. Another option is to plan something 90-minutes after the date, since you spent time getting ready you get 2 activities for 1 hair/makeup session!

  3. Hi Ronnie,
    I would really appreciate if you could tell me your advice in this situation. I have know this guy since last year since i wanted to hire him for work done on my house. We exchanged a few times through social media but never met. We have now been talking almost every day for the last 3 and half months. He his the one initiating most of the time. I get my Good morning sunshine every morning and we exchange lot more, but rarely talk on the phone (3 times only). We’ve had 4 dates so far and intimacy. He has 2 teenage kids with one who started serious behaviour problems. He his separated with the mother since last year from a 30 years relationship (they split 10 years ago and says it’s been off for the last 4 years of their relationship). They still live together for money and house issues (has to be completed to be able to sell it). He says he is seeking for a serious relationship and we agreed on being exclusive last time. He is a busy man with his company and involved in other stuff. we haven’t seen each other for the last 24 days. I asked him to meet this weekend, but he says he has to finish a job before being able to confirm. I don’t feel like a priority. What should i do? Tell him? Forget about him? Thank you in advance

    • Hi Caroline, For all the questions you, these are the reasons why I advise to never date a separated man. How do you even know he’s separated if he lives with his wife? maybe it’s time for you to re-evaluate what you deserve. Do you deserve a man who has time for you? Do you deserve a man who has completed his divorce? Do you deserve a man who will share his life with you , not just text? Yes! Don’t put up with his relationship crumbs! Move on and look for a man who is free to create and wants the same kind of relationship you want and do not settle for less.

  4. Hi Ronnie, I met this guy through mutuals and we had a nice time chatting. He asked for my number and texted “lets meet sometime this week, just the two of us” which I responded to “I would love to.” He texted me this next day and asked what I’m doing tomorrow evening – in which I already had plans and suggested two other days. He said either should work unless something came up. He texted me the morning of and said “are you still around today.” My issue here is he isn’t planning anything but is also seeming to make an effort. Do I not respond or should I be direct and ask him to make a plan? Thank you so much.

    • Hi Sarah, I love rules for dating because they help singles take a more conscious approach to finding love. But, in order for attraction to build, flexibility is also needed. So, this is how I would handle this situation since you haven’t even met him yet.

      The last thing you want to do is be a strict “rules” woman, who says something direct like, “I need more notice.” This could come off high maintenance, which is not an impression you want to make. Instead, say yes and go meet him.

      Then if you like him and he says something about seeing you again, you could try this. “It just so happens I was free last minute this time. But if you want to be sure I’m free, nail down a date and time. I love a man who plans in advance.”

      Here’s what you accomplish with this: 1) Establish boundaries about planning ahead. 2) Let him know how to please you. Then if he still doesn’t make a plan you know 3 things: 1) He isn’t going to try to please you. 2) He isn’t capable of making a plan. 3) He’s not serious or that interested. Isn’t that easy?

      For the future, another way to handle this is to address needing a plan in the moment. You offered two dates and he said either could work, then dropped it. But you dropped it too. Next time this comes up with, you can say, “Which day works best, so I can put it on my calendar?

      Now he knows you want him to nail down the date without sounding high maintenance by being direct and saying that. And if he doesn’t pick up on this, he could simply not be the right man for you.

      These softer approaches are more feminine energy and go over better than being direct, especially at the very start of getting to know someone. There are times when being direct is the only thing you can do and is appropriate. But men don’t love it, so use that method sparingly.

      Have fun with him! The best way to get a second date is to be an enjoyable first date.

  5. A guy at work asked me out at work! We had a connection, but he smokes and parties. I was willing to give it a cautious shot. He said we’d go for a drive on Saturday. He checked in via text if I would still go with him. I said yes. Then he went cold on Friday. His friends said weekends were their party days. I messaged him at 10 to confirm and he said he wanted to do lunch instead. I asked for the time and restaurant – got no response. The entire night my gut knew the truth. The next morning I texted him, “I’m not going on a date with you. I’ve made other plans.” Two hours later he called twice and texted. As I thought, he had gotten drunk. I didn’t accept his excuses, told him he was wrong. He had days to plan and he is responsible for drinking. I made the right choice to not go even after he said, “I’m not like this all the time” until he finally accepted his fate. How can I improve for the future?

    • Hi Azucena, Good for you for not keeping the date – that is honoring yourself – yay! Now to answer your question on how to improve. 1) Don’t give men who don’t meet your criteria a chance. Why bother? 2) Too much info leads to arguing. If you want to cancel with a man you decide is not worth seeing, cancel without making the guy wrong. Otherwise you’ll cause a man to prove you wrong which is what this guy did. Just say, “Can’t make it today, sorry.” Simple is better. 3) You don’t need that last communication. If I guy you don’t want to date contacts you, block him and be done. Why put energy into explaining yourself or fighting? That’s just a waste of energy.

  6. Hi Ronnie, I met a guy at university and we ended up talking. When class ended, we walked part of the way back and he asked for my number as we were saying goodbye. Later he added me on whassap. I had sensed a good feeling between us so the next day I asked him something about the class just to see if he’d start conversation. He didn’t and I moved on. Later I found out about some important information about the course we’re taking and I reached back to tell him about it. Then, he started asking me personal questions and ended up asking me if I wanted to meet next week. I told him I wasn’t free until the next week. He said, awesome and we would talk to settle the date. This was 4 days ago, and he hasn’t reached out. There is still a week to go before the time I told him I am free. Should I let him be the one to reach me and forget about him if he doesn’t? Or should I say something to him? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Rose, This is a great question because it offers a chance to talk strategy. To see how genuinely interested he is, let him reach out to you. If he doesn’t set up the date, then you know he’s not interested enough. This is a great way to not get wrapped up with some guy you have to chase to see. You want to be with a man who is invested in seeing you enough that he set’s up a date and keeps it. Then asks you out again and stays in touch in between. This guy might not be a bad person, but he might not be ready to date or serious about finding love. Best to let that sort of guy go, then push and be the one to initiate which only leads to heart break.

  7. Thank you, Ronnie for this article it was very helpful. Dating can be exhausting but like you said, weed out the bad, flaky ones to find the good ones. Sometimes I think it’s easier to date someone in person rather than online, but not sure. I feel men are too comfortable with talking you up to not follow thru. I want to be pursued, so it’s been tough. Still trying. Thank you again for your advice!

    • Hi Victoria – thanks for your thoughts! I believe dating is the same no matter how you meet Even if it’s a fix up from a friend, you still have to get to know the person. I also agree with you about letting the guy pursue you. Just don’t lean in to make it happen or take over. See what he does to win you over and spend time with you. That’s how you can gauge his true interest. Glad to hear you are still working at it! You can find the one special person so don’t give up!

  8. Hi Ronnie. I met this guy on a dating app. We went out then agreed we to just be friends and see if things go further. He randomly messaged a month later asking if I’m free to hang out, he wanted to watch a movie. I said ok then heard nothing. I asked if we were going or not because I need to manage my time and he didn’t respond again. I know I didn’t do anything wrong. I was assuming we are going out as friends and see where things go so I’m not taking him seriously. My question is why doesn’t he say he can’t hang out instead of ignoring me? I’ve been online dating for two years and meet the same type of guys ghosting, not serious, playing games, and disrespectful. I don’t put up with any of that. I’m not sure what is going on. This has been exhausting. I decided to figure this out why this keeps happening. What are your thoughts on this. Thank you for your article!

    • Hi Katie, You say you don’t put up with the disrespectful behavior, but in a way you do. If you want to find love, stop dating men who say, “I’m not looking for a relationship, I just got out of a relationship, let’s just be friends (etc.) and see where things go. That is your CLUE he’s not into it. Some men don’t want a woman to have any expectations and this is the language that lets you know. Then they act flaky, rude, and disrespectful. It has NOTHING to do with you and you did nothing wrong except be open to his supposed friendship.

      The purpose of dating is to weed out the wrong men to find the right one by observing behavior and actions. In the future, when a guy says this, you’ll know not to bother. When a man leaves you hanging ONCE, move on. This is how you know who is worthy of your time. Don’t worry about being nice, patient, or understanding. Instead, see this behavior for what it is and move on to the next guy. If you follow this advice, you’ll have better results and attract better men. This is super common and don’t take it personally. Everyone goes through it, but now you know how to cut your losses faster.

    • I totally get your frustration . This happens to me all the time. I have had guys do this to me over and over and then when I snap and scream and say something awful suddenly I am the bad person and he is a saint. I am sick and tired of being told I should just accept it and move on and not get angry, I don’t care about the guy not showing up, I care that he has been disrespectful and wasted my time .

    • Hey Lou, When a man stands you up or leaves things vague, he’s not a saint. And you are not “bad” for yelling at him. The point is to learn how to roll with the disappointments of dating and not take each incident to heart or so seriously. This is normal with men (and some women too) and yelling will not change him. However, the anger can build up inside you over time. Then it becomes hard to shake off and can become a deeper wound.

      My goal is to help you navigate dating with greater ease. Don’t be surprised when a man doesn’t follow through at the start of dating. Just let it roll off, not because he’s a saint, because why would you let a man you don’t know steal your power and make you unhappy? Chalk it up to his loss and move on. That’s the point.

Leave a Comment