Dates are planned, but they never happen

Chat at 1 p.m.

Dear Meredith,

I am writing this letter to you on a lonely Saturday night. I made plans to have a date tonight and I was really excited. It was my first one in a few months. But just like the last couple of dates, I got stood up. Every time a date is planned, the day arrives, I pick out an outfit, I shave my legs, and I do all other maintenance things in anticipation. I send my "good morning" text as a subtle reminder. I never hear anything the day of. Today was different because I made plans with a friend and it distracted me. I sent (lets call him Mike) two or three texts. He mentioned he should be done with his family party around early afternoon. We were still deciding between coffee and a drink, and I figured since we were on standby, a drink was better suited. The texts read: "Good morning Mike." Second text around 2:30 p.m.: "Hey are we still on for today?" Last text at 8:46 p.m: "Hey, is it safe to assume we aren't going out today?" I know the answer. I am looking for some common decency, I guess. We both discussed how excited we were to have a date today. We were looking forward to it, or so I thought. I put my cute dress back in the closet once my friend left.

When it comes to my dating life, I attempt to put myself out there. I know that I want something great, so I go to the bars by myself. I do workout classes by myself. I do things with friends. After a long week of work and a mixture of other responsibilities, the last thing I want to do is make small talk on an app or sign up for speed dating, but I do it. I even take breaks. But I am wondering where and when does it end? I am 30 this year. I live in a relatively large city. I have a good job. I am educated. I work hard to keep myself looking good. I know I am confident. But I am tired of remaining positive when nothing happens or changes.

My trainer mentioned a different app for me and I am getting some traction, but this issue isn't traction, it's maintenance. My ex would love to be with me, but after years of drama, there is nothing I want less. I am this close to saving money for a matchmaker. I cannot believe it is this hard to find someone to eat pancakes with on a Sunday morning.

– Pancakes

I wish I could explain why people cancel (or don't even bother to cancel), why app dating is so unnecessarily exhausting, and why there are so many single-and-looking people out there who can't seem to find each other.

What I can tell you is that you planned your Saturday well. Instead of scheduling your entire day around a date that wound up not happening, you made plans with friends. That's the best way to do it. Design the day you'd want to have without a date on the horizon. Then squeeze in that date wherever you can make a little space. If someone wants to be your primetime plan, they have to earn it by showing up a few times first.

I do believe that at any given moment, some apps feel better than others. People are going to cancel no matter what, but sometimes a new app can inspire different behavior. Your trainer's app of choice sounds promising.

You already know you can take breaks, and you're doing all of the (exhausting) things to find a partner. Take deep breaths and remember to be kind to yourself. Eat pancakes when you feel like it. It's part of the process.

I'll do my part by asking everyone who happens to read this column not to cancel on someone without actually canceling. Send the "it's not happening tonight" text. Try not to suggest you're excited about a thing if you aren't. There's no need to tell someone what they want to hear if you know you can't deliver.

– Meredith

Readers? Any suggestions? Can one app be different than the next?