When A Guy Cancels A Date – 5 Common Scenarios And What You Should Text

Dating experience | | , Writer
Updated On: March 28, 2024
How to respond when a guy cancels a date

When a guy cancels a date, a thousand questions run through your head. Was it something you did or said? Was it that his friend or sibling gave you a pass? Does he not find you attractive enough? Was he not interested to begin with, or did you do something to push him away? Are your manners not right? And all of this is cruel, as it takes away your peace and sanity. Not to mention its effect on your self-esteem. A canceled date can truly feel brutal.

Besides, what about all the time you spent mentally preparing yourself for the date? The outfit and shoes, thinking of the right café, maybe you had already bought a new perfume for this. You feel lost and stupid. And you struggle to understand the “why” of it. Dating is confusing, and a guy canceling a date is demeaning unless it is accompanied by a rational explanation.

“He canceled on me. Does it mean things are over between us?” Your mind can conjure up all sorts of worst-case scenarios, especially if a guy cancels plans last minute. When a guy initiates and cancels a date, know that this is not a statement on you, at least do not assume so. It could be something at his end, some emergency, something the family asked him to do right then that he couldn’t wiggle out of.

Give yourself the benefit of doubt and think about your plan of action. What can you text when he cancels on you? You want to show that you’re cool about it but also want to know whether he is going to reschedule. You don’t want to come off as clingy or desperate but you don’t want to be left hanging either. You also want to ensure he is not ignoring you for someone else.

So what can you do? What are your options? What are the right texts to send when the man cancels on you? Let’s put your mind at ease by finding answers to the many questions running amok in your mind with these 5 common scenarios when a guy cancels a date and what you should text.

When A Guy Cancels A Date: What You Should Text

When a guy cancels a date, how should you respond? Cindy, a reader from Ohio, had the same questions. “Once he said he couldn’t make it to our date, the only thing I had in mind was, what next? How long should I wait for him to reschedule the date? And if he does, how to respond to a rescheduled meeting? I think I was more nervous about what he was going to text me after canceling than I was about going on the date!”

Responding to a canceled date can be tricky. But you at least have your privacy going for you. Remember the receiver can’t see your expression or how disappointed or sad you were about a date canceled last minute, so you can act cool even if you feel like a mini wreck inside.

Even so, you may be confused about what he really wants. You can easily show that you are okay with him canceling the date at the last minute. All you have to do now is send the right text to convey what you want him to know. But what qualifies as the right text? Honestly, there is no clear right or wrong answer to this question.

The best response to a canceled date depends on the circumstances, the stage your relationship is at, and his past behavior patterns. It all also depends on whether the guy bails an hour before the date, whether a guy cancels the date without rescheduling and other factors. Based on these parameters, here are five scenarios leading to a canceled date and what to text when he cancels on you:

Related Reading: What Are Some Good First Date Questions To Get To Know Someone?

1. How to respond when a guy cancels the first date?

First response: Okay. Thanks for letting me know.

It is a big blow to the ego when a guy cancels the first date. And even more so if a guy cancels plans last minute. But he informed you instead of keeping you waiting at the restaurant. That way he followed first date etiquette. One girl wrote to us about how she got stood up at the Italian restaurant which she had picked and she waited for 45 minutes before realizing he wouldn’t turn up.

She couldn’t help but notice the sign of pity in her favorite waiter’s eyes and felt embarrassed. So give your guy points for at least not putting you through it. And then give him as we said before, the benefit of the doubt. He may have had some genuine reason for canceling the date. 

The above text response shows that you are cool about it and appreciate that he informed you. Canceled date but still texting? Then, you definitely need to not just play it cool but also rest assured that he has got a genuine reason behind canceling on you. When that happens, perhaps your next question should be, “How long should I wait for him to reschedule the date?”

How to respond when a guy cancels on you
How to respond when a guy cancels on you

Second response: Okay cool. Let me know when we can reschedule.

The previous response is a little distant. If you feel more confident about him you can even text, “Let me know when we can reschedule.” This shows your interest in him but in a chill manner. You’re striking a fine balance between being understanding but still seeming interested in taking things forward. This is the best response to a canceled date if you know his heart is in the right place.

You’re letting him know that you are still looking forward to meeting him, and that will surely make him feel less awful about a date canceled last minute. Leave the message at that. Don’t start planning the next date already. Now the ball is in his court and you have to wait for his next move. And if he canceled the third date, just wait without fretting.

2. What to text when a guy cancels a date but reschedules?

You may be totally free on the date and time he reschedules it but you don’t want to give him the impression that you are waiting for him. You need to show that you have a life too, even if the date at that point is the most important and exciting thing in your life.

After all, even if you understand that he may have his reasons, you’re bound to be somewhat hurt by the “He canceled on me” thought. So, it’s all right to play hard to get when the tables are turned. Don’t immediately give a nod when he reschedules. In fact, we would go as far as to say that even before you read the message let some time pass.

How to respond to a rescheduled meeting? The aim here is to make sure you don’t sound too desperate. Take your time to open the message. But do respond to the message within 15 minutes of having read it.

Once you have responded with the above, take a few hours before you confirm the rescheduled date. Nothing is more attractive than the wait or the tiny apprehension of whether you will say yes or no. Welcome to the dating game, girl! When a guy cancels a date this is exactly how you should respond. Ignore the ones you are attracted to, and you’ll see them come back to you.

Second Response: I’m sorry, I’m busy that day. How about next week?

If you are the kind who likes to up the ante, add a little more zing to this. You can pretend that you are busy on the day he suggested and reschedule on a day of your choice, perhaps 2-3 days later than he suggested. That way you convey to him that your free time is not easy to come by.

Two things may happen, either he will find you even more desirable or he may think this is too much to pursue. What you pick is up to you. Either way, this is the best response to a canceled date if you want to let him know that you’re no pushover. The positive side of taking this route is that he will get the message and not take you lightly (if he did so the first time around) and this is a nice practice to set for any relationship. In a way, you are setting healthy relationship boundaries from the get-go.

Also by making him reschedule on a date given by you, you are taking control of the situation and making him adjust his schedule for you now. This may be especially helpful when a guy bails an hour before a date, that way you’ll let him know that he has made you upset. He’ll rethink about canceling again. This way you make him realize your worth, as most of us tend to take our loved ones for granted and knowing-unknowingly, end up hurting them.

How to respond when a guy cancels on you
It’s okay to keep him waiting before you agree to reschedule the date

Third response: Friday sounds great.

Sometimes if the guy has rescheduled for a genuine reason, if this is what your instincts tell you, then do not act pricey. Maybe you can casually ask around (without it getting to him) or even if your guts tell you that his canceling was genuine, we would recommend you go with it.

For instance, in a “canceled date but still texting,” kind of a situation, there is simply no ambiguity about his interest in you. Besides, since you two have been talking, chances are that he would have told you what led to the canceled date. So, let bygones be bygones, and treat his plans to reschedule as a chance to make a fresh start.

Say “yes” to the date. But remember do not say yes immediately, make him wait for a few hours for that. You do not want to give the impression that you are really into him even if you are. It’s important to play hard to get.

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3. How to respond when a guy cancels a date twice?

First response: Seriously? You gotta be kidding me.

You have every right to be mad that he has canceled on you, again. This shows that he’s not serious about you and you need to show him that you’re not okay with it. If a guy cancels a date without rescheduling, that too two times in a row, you have every reason to be upset and skeptical.

You need to show him that he can’t behave with you like this. Show that you are angry through your texts and make him rethink what he has done. When a guy cancels a date by text twice over, feel free to give him the silent treatment after you’ve made your displeasure apparent.

Second Response: It’s better you don’t text me again.

It’s unacceptable if a guy cancels a date twice unless he seems very keen on making it up to you and has proper reasons for canceling both times. It’s better to call it off if this guy keeps on canceling on you. Think about it, how seriously he should have taken the reschedule, and the fact that he did not is a sure shot sign that the guy is not into you and this will not go anywhere.

However much you may like him, he is not worth your time and effort if he cancels on you the second time around. Farah wrote to us about how she had a crush on the college hero for close to two years before he asked her out. She was ecstatic and he canceled on her, rescheduled, and canceled again.

She said, “Maybe this was the closure my silly crush needed and I thank him for canceling on me twice which actually helped me move on!” A canceled date can turn out to be a way to dodge the bullet, provided you can spot and acknowledge the red flags.


4. When a guy cancels a date and doesn’t reschedule

First response: Do you forget to reschedule dates on all girls you date or am I just too special?

When a guy cancels a date without rescheduling, it’s bound to sting. Even more so, if days have passed and he’s still not so much as suggested going out for coffee. Use a mixture of sarcasm and humor in your texts to let him know that it is not acceptable. This will definitely make you come across as a woman with mettle and wit.

Plus, he will realize his mistake. If he keeps giving you excuses and doesn’t reschedule, it’s best to say goodbye. If he realizes his mistake and reschedules, you got yourself a first date! No matter how it plays out, this is the best response to a canceled date if he hasn’t shown you the courtesy of rescheduling.

Related Reading: 13 Tips To Date Online Successfully And Find Your Ideal Partner

Second response: You owe me a date.

If this guy cancels a date without rescheduling but you really really like him, use this line on him. Why do guys cancel dates? Usually, when a guy cancels and doesn’t reschedule, it means that he doesn’t want to see you. But if you think that the guy genuinely forgot to reschedule, give it a try. Life is all about taking chances after all. See how fast he responds to your text.

That also shows whether he’s interested in you or not. What he replies next will give a clear idea about how he feels about you. “He canceled on me” isn’t a good enough reason to give up if you truly believe you have something special going with this guy. Give it a final try before you bow out. That way, you’d know for sure that you tried your best but it just wasn’t meant to be.

5. Guy cancels a date due to a family emergency or calling in sick – what to text?

First response: It’s okay, take care. Let me know if you need anything.

When a guy cancels a date by text telling you that he’s had a family emergency or fallen sick, it can try to figure out an appropriate response. On one hand, you’re bound to be disappointed over your canceled date, and on the other, you risk coming across as insensitive if you let your displeasure known.

So what is the best response to a canceled date in this situation? Well, if a guy cancels on you because he’s sick or someone in his family is and he had to help with that, express concern and ask him if you can be of any help. In fact, you can go as far as to check on him again after 24 hours even if he stopped texting.

Check on him and offer help. “Hope things are better” is a safe and warm text which shows concern. This will also show that you are a caring person.

Related Reading: 21 Questions To Ask On A Second Date

Second Response: Be with your family and take care.

When a guy cancels dates for a family emergency, there’s nothing you can do about it. All you can do is tell him to take care and you’re there if he needs someone to talk to. Don’t bring up the family too much as it may seem like you’re overstepping too soon.

In case of family emergencies, it usually takes time for things to get back to normal so expect your waiting time to be high. There is a chance that he forgets about you, depending on how grave the family emergency is. Be prepared for the worst.

How many times the guy cancels dates says a lot about that person. If a guy cancels a date but doesn’t reschedule, it means that he has other things as his priority. If a guy cancels twice, it either means that he’s really unlucky when it comes to dates or he’s taking you casually.

Family emergencies are unavoidable and you need to give him the benefit of doubt for that. But make sure that he really has a family emergency as guys use it as an excuse to avoid you at times.

If a guy cancels but makes it a point to reschedule, it means that he takes you seriously and is looking forward to meeting you again. You now know what to text him when he cancels on dates. Just remember, don’t panic, and keep these pointers in mind to avoid making mistakes that can kill your dating game.

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1. What does it mean when a guy cancels a date?

It means that he is polite to let you know beforehand and didn’t make you wait at a restaurant. It could mean he has a genuine reason to cancel such as an emergency or work meeting or it could also mean he is avoiding you but can’t say directly.

2. Is it rude to reschedule a date?

If there is a genuine reason to cancel a date and reschedule it, it is not rude at all. This happens all the time and you should take it in your stride.

3. Who should reschedule a cancelled date?

The person who cancels it should reschedule it according to both partners’ convenience.

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