It's happened to the best of us. A friend flakes on you, a coworker fails to make it to happy hour or a sibling simply forgets you had plans. When it comes to people we deal with on a day to day to basis, it can be easier to forgive and forget when it comes to being stood up.
But what happens when you are stood up by someone on a first date? Do you allow them the same forgiving courtesy as your friends or do you hold them to a higher standard that comes with sharper penalties?
Rather than sending out a firing squad or spending the night in the bathroom crying in disbelief, choose not to react. It may be easier to respond with a heated head but taking the high road is better for your heart. Instead, STOP. THINK. DO:
- Give the benefit of the doubt. There is a 50/50 chance that you were stood up for a good reason. Taking a chance on love also means taking a leap of faith. There could be a very logical explanation as to why you were left sitting alone, and not one that necessarily comes from your Missing-in-Action date. Trust that the stars are aligning for you the way they should. This person just may not be the one.
- Wait to cool down before making contact. If you find yourself seething or angry, do not immediately send a text, leave a voice mail or compose a nasty email. Allow some time to pass before you make an attempt to say your peace. What you say when you are angry will have far more permanence to the situation if indeed there was an emergency or tragedy. Vent to your friends or to the bartender. Put the phone down and keep your head up. Patience may bring you the peace you need.
- Decide what reason would be forgivable and what excuse is not. Everyone has dealbreakers. Consider which ones are yours in this situation. What reasons are not just forgivable but ones that are livable - ones that you can accept and allow you to move forward? Flat tire, dead cell phone, parent in the hospital? There are reasons and there are excuses. Allow yourself to know the difference.
- Realize it was their choice and nothing you did. Do not beat yourself up asking "Was it something I said" or "Did he show up and see me and bolt?" This was their choice, their issues or even their mishap that caused them not to meet you. You are still the same wonderful, fabulous and love deserving person you were when you arrived. This is not a reflection of you. It is an expression of their insensitive behavior.
- Accept it. You may never hear from this person again. You may never know what happened or what changed or why this or how come that. Pat yourself on the back for putting yourself out there and write this person off as a loss. Letting it go and moving on is the best way to keep yourself optimistic for the next person you meet.
Being stood up is never a pleasant experience. It can leave you feeling vulnerable and insecure and it hurts your feelings. Allow yourself to go through whatever emotions you may need to but try not to hold on to it. Sometimes life shows us things that we need to see. If someone does not value you enough to have the consideration to cancel the date, they probably do not deserve your time, energy or your heart.
Contributed by Kimberly James, MatchMaster & Dating Expert, www.findyourplusone.com