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.

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. So, she made a few tweaks and then dated 30 men in 15 months to meet her adorable husband Paul. Discovering the keys to midlife dating, she founded It’s Never Too Late for Love to help other smart, successful women find love too! Her mission is to share her proven dating advice  and keen insights about men with women everywhere who are serious about finding love with the right man. Ronnie Ann Ryan, MBA, CCC is a Certified Coach who has helped 1,000’s of midlife women with her Love & Dating Coach services. She’s been featured on BBC’s 5 Live Radio, NBC, ABC, and Fox News, NPR, eHarmony, MSN.com, MORE.com, Connecticut Magazine among others around the world. An established author, you can find her 6 books on Amazon.

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

  1. I met someone online recently, and we quickly made plans to meet. We had an amazing first date, and he asked to see me again the next night. I heard from him often, but everything revolves around his schedule. He has a demanding job, and when he did have to cancel, it was always with an apology and few hours notice. He came on very strong at first, but started to feel him slipping. Less communication, not much free time, and always vague, last minute plans. We were supposed to go on our 6th date, and again very non committal about when/where. Day of, I did not hear a peep from him. At 7pm, I text him “You are unbelievable.” He text back in two minutes, saying he was at work and had an awful day. No apology, no offer to make it up to me, and honestly I am not even sure he was at work. I never responded, and he never reached out again. We had a great time when we were together, and an amazing chemistry that I haven’t experienced in a long time. I just wonder if I overreacted? I think he should have had the courtesy to give me a heads up or an apology. I shouldn’t have to train a 50 year old man on dating etiquette. But still, I have this empty, sad feeling that I did something wrong? How are they so great at manipulating the guilty card?

    • Hi DeeDee, The man is rude, doesn’t respect you enough to cancel, does everything to meet his own needs and you are worried YOU did something wrong? It’s time to build some confidence girlfriend because this man doesn’t you treat you well and you take the blame. Don’t blame the man for playing the guilt card – you allowed it!. Maybe you’re sad because he didn’t treat you right or because you want a good man and he’s not the one. Maybe your sad because you need to value yourself more and know your true worth as a woman! I say count your blessings if this guy is gone and learn how to be a high value woman who doesn’t put up with this sort of behavior. I think you called him on his stuff and that is a good thing! There are more and far better men out there – hold your head high and be proud!

  2. Great article! I work with a man I dated briefly in college over 30 years ago. He’s mentioned getting together soon and last week he asked me out. We could go because the restaurants are closed in my state due to Covid-19.
    We talked this week by phone a couple times and he said, “I’d like to get together this weekend.” No actual date/time.
    I didn’t hear from him and I’m not sure where we would have gone due to pretty much everything being closed. Is this a red flag? Flakiness?

    • Hi Karen, Well it could be a red flag that he might not be serious. But with the shut down everywhere, he could just be distracted. This is one time you can give a man the benefit of the doubt, something I rarely suggest. Why not offer a Facetime date if you have an iphone or try skype or zoom? Hangout and chat with him through one of the visual methods and see how it goes. No one should be getting together right now anyway, but this is how you can spend time together and get reacquainted. If he flakes on you for this – then you know he’s not serious enough.

  3. Hi Ronnie,I’ve known this guy for 8 years. We’ve always been friendly and have great intellectual conversations. He has asked in a not so obvious way to go on a date. I’ve said “maybe or yes that would be nice in the past) although it’s not been arranged mainly due to him being my neighbour. When I first met him I thought he was arrogant, sexist and egotistical. But now we get on very well. Last week he asked me and my kids if he could take me out for dinner when his car is fixed I said yes so did the kids. That was last Thursday and then he came over Friday for another catch up and drinks ( nothing sexual has happen. I hasn’t set up an actual date or just a message saying hi, I’m thinking he’s flaky and just wanted to conquer getting a yes so now that I he’s done trying. But also thinking he knows I’m a single working mum and is just waiting for when I’m free. What do you think? P.s I am already on the mind of if I don’t hear nothing by tomorrow, I’ll on accepting other dates.

    • Hi Lisa, Okay he’s had 8 years to take you out on a date. Hasn’t managed that yet. Pretty safe assumption he never will. Asking your kids is weird. He definitely has some kind of intimacy issues, so YES PLEASE date other men. This guy might prefer the convenience of your neighborly friendship which you can still have if you like, but he is not a serious romantic interest.

  4. Hi Ronnie,
    So me and this guy in my workplace often run into each other either on the stairs or the hallway, at first every time i saw him he would have this stern look on his face and would never say anything, me either. As time went on we would still see each other often but still nothing from him. on the other note now when he sees me he smiles most of the time and he held the door for me a few times and was nice. I’m stuck not sure if he’s just being nice or maybe it could be something else. I think he cute this has been going on for over a year we still see each other ??? confused

    • Hi Cassandra, It’s great that a man is finally smiling at you after a year, but that doesn’t mean anything. Perhaps he had some issues that cleared up. It doesn’t mean he’s interested in you. When a man is interested, he talks to you, gets your number, and takes you on dates. If it took a year just for this man to smile, who needs him? If you want to find love, you need to take action. Learn to flirt and TALK to men. Get online and start dating.

  5. Met this guy on a dating app, and he has been asking to meet up for 3 months and i always said i didn’t have time. Then I said Okay I’ll just do it and met him for lunch. We went to a museum and after that he kissed me two times. He asked me when he could see me again and I said maybe next week. He also texted me later that day saying he had a great time. Now he suddenly starts to snap me less and open my snaps without replying. I have done the same a few times but he always responded me. He worked so hard to get that date with me so why is he responding less after he finally got it?

    • Hi Hanne, I know this is confusing. What you just experienced is how resistance works. Perhaps he felt challenged by your unwillingness to meet him, so it became like a game. “Can I get her to say yes? How long will it take?” He wanted to win by seeing you and now that he got the chance, where’s the fun? He may still see you – you never know. But if he disappears, you’ll know he was not the right man for you and never was. You couldn’t have been that into him any way resisting for so long. If you had said yes sooner, he probably would have pulled back sooner. Dating is a bit of a game and it can be confusing. This is why I suggest meeting lots of men because you never know who is serious and who will call again. Whatever you do – do not take this personally! I’m quite sure it’s not about you but instead his own problems with intimacy.

  6. Hi Ronnie, Facebook now has dating and i signed up. Started chatting with a guy for two weeks. He asked me what was I looking for and I said I’m just seeing where things go (which is true). He said he’s the same and wanting to have fun (possibly a jerk), so I replied that I’m not looking for hook ups. Can a girl just go out, meet new people, have drinks without anything getting complicated or sex being involved? he replied saying neither is he and continued to message me. He asked if I go to church and we have that in common. He wanted to meet up to get something to eat. I told him sure we were supposed to meet that Sunday around 8-8:30. We were chatting Saturday and had the time and date, but no location which I asked for. I never heard. Sunday at 8 I messaged asking are we still meeting? Never heard from him until Monday he said that he got into a wreck and gave me his number to text him. I’ve never chase men – I actually just move on. I agree with you that he’s just probably not really interested. Should I mentioned this or just leave it and don’t text him?

    • Hi Cassandra, I think you’ve got it – he’s not genuinely interested. Maybe he’s just lonely and wants to message – who knows? You gave him more than enough chances – stop texting, block him and move on. My advice is not to say you just want to see where things go. That strategy isn’t good for a woman to make clear. I think it attracts guys like this. I’m not saying you need to be serious. If you want to be casual – that’s fine. Just remember, if you meet a casual man and you decide you want to be serious, he might not be open to shifting gears to serious. You can go meet men and have a drink with no expectations of them, just don’t say that. Instead, if a man asks what you are looking for, say I’m looking to meet new people – that would be a better approach. It sounds like you value yourself more. By the way, the Facebook dating app isn’t so hot for dating – I hear these “go nowhere” stories all the time. Better to try Bumble

  7. This is great! I met a guy at a friend’s party and we hung out the rest of the night dancing and talking and going to other parties that night. I asked for his Instagram and he asked for my number, we exchanged both. Then the next night he texted saying he had so much fun meeting me, I would be down to check out Santa Monica this Friday? I texted him after studying saying I had a blast and would love too. Yet friday was is in 2 days and he didn’t text back until Saturday! So it’s been 4 days of no contact yet he watches my instagram stories. Do you think he isnt interested? This is literally the 1st time a guy doesnt text me back after asking me out. I am just confused. I thought he was shy or inexperienced maybe but after reading you blog I feel like I shouldn’t make excuses for him. Do you think he is just not into me fully? He is 2 years younger than me and we go to the same university.

    • Hey Kelly, He might be concerned about you being older but what is far more likely is that he doesn’t want to date. Not just you – perhaps date any woman right now. Liking you is not really the issue. So he may have gotten ahead of himself asking you out thinking how great it would be. Then something came over him and he decided it wasn’t a good idea so he never followed through. I”m glad you caught on not to make excuses for him! Don’t make excuses for men! Let their actions and behavior be your guide so you are clear that a man who doesn’t follow through is just the wrong man and leave it be. You’ll meet other guys easily if you are at a University – no time or place is better than that!

  8. Hi Ronnie! I matched with this guy on tinder and we sent a few messages over the course of a week, and then one night we properly got to talking, found out we had a lot in common, and agreed to go out sometime. We tentatively set a date for the next weekend, and he mentioned that he had some ideas of where to get lunch, but we never made specific plans. We messaged back and forth a few times that week, but never held much of a conversation. The day before our potential date I asked again about where we should go and he said he had to reschedule, but when I asked when he was free he said “not this week, maybe the week after?” Whenever he talks about us going out he sounds enthusiastic, and we seemed to hit it off when we were properly talking, but now he hasn’t responded for 3 days and I wonder if he’s just stringing me along. Should I keep waiting to see if he’ll set up a date or move on?

    • Hi Maria, Glad to see how fast you catch on!. Sadly, yes he is stringing you along. Who knows why people do this. Loneliness, boredom, ego building, etc. Just block him and move on – he’s only going to waste your time. When a man is genuinely interested – they don’t play games, waste time, or put off meeting you. A man who is interested does what it takes to spend time with you in person. That’s the kind of man you deserve – this is a place not to settle.

  9. Hi Ronnie, I met with this guy on tinder from the same town. He asked me after a week of texting if ”want to meet some day during summer” (which is quite vague), To which I answered ”Yes, let’s just see that we both can”? He just said ”Yep”. This was the first time when he did not proceed actual plans. He asked me later to come with him and go to on restaurant he mentioned, to which I answered ”sure why not!” And he just answered with heart-eyed emoji. Later he asked me to go on a ride with him, I said ”sure when you can?” He said ”whenever!”. Again vague. I’m confused, why would he ask me but then not continue to make plans?

    • Hi Pearl, Sadly this man is playing with your head. He has NO intention of getting together. But he enjoys asking you out and the fantasy perhaps of what it would be like if you did go out. It feels good when you say, “Yes!” But you won’t be going out with him because he’s not making any real plans. Just block him and be done with his little game. There are better men out there and waiting will not make this better. He’s not looking or ready for love so move on to find a man who is.

  10. I have a man who calls me sexy, hot, adores my sense of humour and just being around me. We don’t get to see eachother a lot as it’s a long distance situation. He’s really opened up over the past few months and tries to see me when he can, but lately he has canceled last minute . Or he says work is hectic and he’s doing OT (he’s in the medical field). My last relationship was with a man who cheated on me so I have trust issues and I’m worried that I am over thinking this. If he says he wants to see me and says I turn him on, I need to take it as a compliment and roll with it right ? Or should I be stern about having him see me more ?

    • Hi Ricolla, If you want to find lasting, committed love, comments like “you’re hot and sexy” are not indicators. Just because a man is attracted to you doesn’t mean he wants a relationship with you. Add his recent cancellations with basic excuses like “hectic at work”, and I’d say he’s not seriously interested. And he’s stringing you along because he’d sleep with you given the chance. If you are serious about finding love, drop this long distance thing and look locally. You want to see a guy a couple of times a week (after the first week or two) if you want to build a healthy relationship. LDRs will keep you single or connected to some guy who is never available. Sometimes women choose LDR without realizing they are keeping love at a distance. That might not be true for you, but my advise is to think it. LDR keeps you safe if you don’t trust men because he’s too far away and always busy.

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