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Why do men call and make plans and then not show/call (repeatedly)?


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Old 20th March 2005, 1:30 PM   #1
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Why do men call and make plans and then not show/call (repeatedly)?

For any of the men that were offended by the title, I'm sure that women do this to men too, but I'm a woman, so hence the title...

My ex used to do this to me all the time, hence one of the reasons that we are no longer together. But a lot of his issues were tied to alcohol and drugs...

Regardless, I just don't get it. Don't say that you are going to do something and then totally blow the person off! I've tried to think about this objectively. How would I feel if a friend did this to me? I would be pissed. Have I ever changed my mind about going out with one of my friends? Yes, but I would always call. I just don't see myself doing this to anyone.

The new guy (that I went out with four times) called or emailed 3 times in 2 weeks and he suggested that we do something...
---Twice that he'd meet me somewhere where I was and then he didn't show, nor did he call to tell me that he wasn't showing.
---Third time he suggested that we get together on Friday. I write back and say, yes, and I suggested something to do. We talk Thursday night and confirm it. Friday rolls around, no phone call. I call and say that I just returned home at 7:00; it turns into 9:15, so I go out with one of my girlfriends.

Not going out with him again. I, again, don't get this. Why does one do this to someone else? Why would you make plans, inititate the plans in fact, and then not show or call?
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Old 20th March 2005, 2:04 PM   #2
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Not acceptable on any level and for any gender. If it's a 1st date or if the dating thing is "early stage", that's grounds for "moving on".

If it's serious dating and this happens all the time, I'd sit him/her down for a serious one on one. Being stood up is a huge deal. The least one can do is call and say "I'll be late" and then be fashionably so.
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Old 20th March 2005, 2:10 PM   #3
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Thanks Sckott for the confirmation! I'm glad that a guy thinks that being stood up is a huge deal.

The ex is way outta here. The new guy is gone too: it's the early stage, so I'm done.

Any insights on why a person would even do this? I mean, why would you call, make plans and then not show?! 3 times in 2 weeks! I can forgive a one time, especially when I'm already out with my friends, but 3? No way.
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Old 20th March 2005, 3:21 PM   #4
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There is no excuse and it is totally unforgiveable. Even if you are out with friends and he plans to meet up with you guys - if he doesn't call and you still expect him to show, you would be stuck waiting for him.

Sorry dear - this one's a loser and you need to move on NOW.
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Old 20th March 2005, 3:38 PM   #5
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Actually, and I know people will roll their eyes at this, but he could be AD/HD. Some fairly common symptoms of AD/HD are chronic (and I mean CHRONIC) forgetfulness and lateness. It drives spouses of folks with AD/HD right up the wall. People who don't have it or who never have known anyone with it will say these folks are jerks, but actually the 'executive function' control in their brains is awry and time sense and short-term memory are executive functions.

Did he ever offer any explanations for his no-shows? Did he apologize when you asked what happened?
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Old 20th March 2005, 3:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughts, curiousnycgirl. It certainly did suck that he did this. I was bummed!

Moi, interesting thought. The first time the new guy did it, I didn't say anything about it except that I missed seeing him that day. He brought it up again a couple of days later, saying that he couldn't even remember what he was doing. The 2nd time, he apologized, saying that he got caught up in what he was doing at home and I suggested getting together later on in the week, hence Friday's plans. I haven't talked to him since. I was also a bit mean... I called back at 9:15 and said that I guess he forgot about our plans and that he was just a flake. Mean, I know. But god, was I pissed! 3 times in 2 weeks? What the hell?
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Old 20th March 2005, 4:24 PM   #7
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He brought it up again a couple of days later, saying that he couldn't even remember what he was doing
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The 2nd time, he apologized, saying that he got caught up in what he was doing at home
Yup. Classic. It's actually a type of hyperfocus. They get so wrapped up in what they're doing that the rest of the world disappears. It's not deliberate. I'm a bit like that. I don't forget appointments but I won't notice time passing and, if my 'to do' list has ten things on it, I might get so involved in Thing 1 that I forget Things 2-10 need to be done.

If you liked the guy otherwise and wanted to continue with him, you'd have to take over the task of managing appointments, meaning that you'd end up having to remind him several times and call to confirm every appointment. It's just one of those accommodations one has to make if somebody's got problems. There are actually watches that people buy with multiple alarms and reminders on them for folks who have just this sort of problem so it's something that's not at all uncommon.
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Old 20th March 2005, 4:37 PM   #8
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Hi Moi,

Thanks so much for the thoughts. You know, after your first post, I decided to write him a short email apologizing for the rude phone call. I explained that it hurt my feelings that he didn't show the first two times and that I should have said something about it. That I was upset on Friday when I made the phone call and that I shouldn't have called him a flake. Told him that I have enjoyed our time together. I also asked him why it happened. I'll see if I get a response. If I don't, then I guess that I'll have my answer, eh?

It's funny that you mention about the phone call thing re: the reminders. On the night of our second date, he called me at exactly 7:30 (when I was supposed to meet him) to confirm again. After we had already talked that day! Twice! I was one or two minutes late...

I know that he sees a therapist too (I do), but I haven't asked him why yet. It's still pretty early on. It's not like I can say, "So hey, do you have AD/HD?"

One of my friends suggested, OTOH, that he doesn't like to be the one to break things off, so he did it so I would end it. So he could be the martyr, saying, "Well, she stopped seeing me." What do you think? Are men (people) really so strange?
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Old 20th March 2005, 5:08 PM   #9
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Yes Shamen, this is maddening!!

Shamen, I feel for you....this is truly maddening....I too have been dealing with someone who has consistently flaked on me....being divorced, I have abandonment issues...meaning that when someone that I am used to talking to 2/3 times/day suddenly "disappears" for a couple of days, I freak.....react, get mad and have also left the occasional mean message out of frustration....I keep telling the guy, just don't disappear on me and call me back within a decent period of time (i.e. not four hours if we have plans to get together and I am waiting to hear back from you to finalize...)......He now has said that he wants to play our relationship "by ear" as he thinks I get way too mad about silly stuff......Funny thing is...I am an extremely easy going person, but the fact that this guy has continued to do this to me after months and after us becoming intimate and what I felt was more like a "couple" really hurts....I definitely think he is ADHD....we talked a little about him as a kid and he said he definitely was....so, where's the line....do we excuse this because they have ADHD...I mean, if you care about someone, can't you "learn" to become more reliable if that person truly means anything to you? I have told him that I know that I need to work on my abandonment fears and that I am truly trying, but that I need for him to help me (i.e. us to work as a team) by not blowing me off......I now feel as if I am being punished by him saying that he wants to play the relationship by ear......When he and I hang out, it has always been great and this is the only issue that has been a problem....seems silly to let the possibility of someone good get away because of something so silly as this......

It's also important for me to mention that in the past, he has consistently become more flaky on the weekends....he works where I live, but lives about an hour away, so on the weekends, he is further away and it has seemed strange to me that he always "disappears" on the weekends....Most of my friends say he has someone else and when I have brought this up to him he says that I always think the worst of him or read too much into things...but, the pattern of disappearing on the weekends continues....he will occasionaly return a call on the weekends, but then I call him back, leave a message and don't hear from him until Monday.

He was with his ex for 6 years and they were engaged. He told me that part of the reason that it ended was that he would take off for the lake with his buddies and if his ex didn't want to go, he would still go......and she got tired of this.....so it sounds like he has this habit of doing what he wants, when he wants, irregardless of the feelings of his girlfriends......yet, he says he wants a family, etc.....

Do I give up on this guy? I have talked to him about it until I am blue in the face...he knows how I feel, but now, I am the "bad guy" because of my angry reactions....Apparently, he just expects me not to notice/react to this continuing inconsiderate behavior....I am considering pursuing someone else and just moving on with my life.....I have done this before in the past and he kept calling.....so, if he keeps calling, he must care, right? Guys, please help, I don't get this!!!
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Old 20th March 2005, 5:08 PM   #10
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I also asked him why it happened. I'll see if I get a response. If I don't, then I guess that I'll have my answer, eh?
Yup.

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What do you think? Are men (people) really so strange?
Also yup. How long have you been reading LS? A lot of people are messed up. A lot of people are incapable/afraid of being honest in relationships. The older I get, the more I realize how uncommon 'normalcy' actually is.

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where's the line....do we excuse this because they have ADHD...I mean, if you care about someone, can't you "learn" to become more reliable if that person truly means anything to you?
Actually, no. No more than a blind person can 'learn' to see. The ability to do it isn't there. Now, he can learn accommodations and practice techniques if he knows he's got a problem and is seriously dedicated to overcoming it. But some folks hate the idea something is 'wrong with them' and try to pretend it doesn't exist. None of which has anything to do with you whatsoever.

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so it sounds like he has this habit of doing what he wants, when he wants, irregardless of the feelings of his girlfriends
Very much AD/HD. Driven by impulse, many of them, their immediate desires are what they want. Others aren't part of the scenario. Again, not deliberate. It's just that you're not present in his brain becaue that's the way his noodle works. Still, I think you deserve an explanation. Does he tell you what he does on the weekend or is it a secret?

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I am the "bad guy" because of my angry reactions....Apparently, he just expects me not to notice/react to this continuing inconsiderate behavior
He doesn't 'get it'. They don't. No idea why people would be upset with them. What's done is over and therefore unimportant. All these are common complaints of AD/HD spouses. 75% of AD/HD relationships break up according to those who've surveyed this.

Still, if he's going off on weekends and not telling you what he does, that's a red flag to me. Sometimes, their doing what they want when they want includes having multiple partners. You need to at minimum have a guy who's willing to be honest with you.

Last edited by moimeme; 20th March 2005 at 5:16 PM..
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Old 20th March 2005, 5:29 PM   #11
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Hi snilljente,

I feel your pain, girl, I really do. It's very annoying! The mean message thing I am pretty embarrassed about. Wish that I had been the bigger person and not done it. Maybe that's something that you need to let go of, ya know? Just tell him how it makes you feel instead, it would make life a lot easier for the both of you. I don't think that you should not bring up how you feel. That's crazy! If he's still calling, he's interested. At the same time though, if he feels that he can do whatever he wants all the time, regardless of your feelings, there's got to come a point where you have to decide for yourself whether or not that's something that you can put up with.

You're right, Moi. I have been reading LS for a while! I should know better.

Strangely enough, as I was typing here, I received a call from him. He immediately apologized for Friday, saying that he left from work on Friday, went out of town, and left his phone here because he had had such a bad day at work. He just got back into town, got his phone and deleted all of his messages because he didn't feel like dealing with all of them (hadn't even heard mine)! So, I told him that I was hurt and he again apologized. Wants to see me tonight.

Just goes to show, you get all worked up about something and it doesn't even matter. Now that I've said how I feel maybe he won't do it again. We'll see! Off to the gym!
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Old 20th March 2005, 5:34 PM   #12
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"Actually, no. No more than a blind person can 'learn' to see. The ability to do it isn't there. Now, he can learn accommodations and practice techniques if he knows he's got a problem and is seriously dedicated to overcoming it. But some folks hate the idea something is 'wrong with them' and try to pretend it doesn't exist. None of which has anything to do with you whatsoever."

I'm a School Psychologist and more than understanding about peoples' various "handicaps"...we all have at least one thing that we need to work on, I just need to know that he cares.....he has never come out and said, I care about you, I want to be with you, I don't flake on you to intentionally hurt you and I am going to work on trying to become someone you can count on...at least to the degree that I am able....NOTHING...just that now because I have responded with anger which he has labeled as "not the way someone my age should act/respond".....our relationship is on hold....which is something else.....Everything about this relationship has always been on his terms....when we first started dating (we met months ago, but didn't start dating until about 2 months ago)......when we see each other...whether he decides to call or not....whether he decides to follow through on tentative plans or not....I have really had no say in anything.....not that I need to control, but it's been on his terms and I feel like I have really been flexible in that area...and now....Ugh! I don't get it.


"Very much AD/HD. Driven by impulse, many of them, their immediate desires are what they want. Others aren't part of the scenario. Again, not deliberate. It's just that you're not present in his brain becaue that's the way his noodle works. Still, I think you deserve an explanation. Does he tell you what he does on the weekend or is it a secret?"

I grew up with a very ADHD brother who now has a family and is a responsible guy...he is occasionally slightly impulsive (i.e. with spending $), but not to the degree that others are not part of the scenario in his brain......Obviously, his wife and family are important to him and he has made a point of not acting impulsively to jepordize (sp?) their well being/feelings.....I wonder if because this guy lives out of town, if because I am "out of sigh physically, he "forgets" about me? It's weird and hard to relate to for me.....Yes, he tells me what he does...if I ask (which I don't always do), but how do I know that he is telling the truth...I dated someone last summer who was a master deceiver and a great liar and had someone else on the side.....so, you never know.....especially when that person consistently chooses not to spend any of their time on the weekends with you...

"He doesn't 'get it'. They don't. No idea why people would be upset with them. What's done is over and therefore unimportant. All these are common complaints of AD/HD spouses. 75% of AD/HD relationships break up according to those who've surveyed this".

You're right....he does seem like he doesn't understand why anyone, let alone me, would get upset at this issue....which just makes me even more frustrated because it's so obvious in my eyes....

"Still, if he's going off on weekends and not telling you what he does, that's a red flag to me. Sometimes, their doing what they want when they want includes having multiple partners. You need to at minimum have a guy who's willing to be honest with you."

He has never come out and said, there's no one else...he says he is very cautious about relationships....so I think for him to say that we are exclusive would be a big deal to him....BUT, I do feel that after becoming intimate, it's not too much to ask where you stand....but he avoids this subject......
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Old 20th March 2005, 6:01 PM   #13
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Two separate issues. One, AD/HD.
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I'm a School Psychologist and more than understanding about peoples' various "handicaps"
With all due respect, there are plenty of psychologists, school and otherwise, who have not had courses on AD/HD and therefore aren't acquainted with all of its issues.

Quote:
grew up with a very ADHD brother who now has a family and is a responsible guy...he is occasionally slightly impulsive (i.e. with spending $), but not to the degree that others are not part of the scenario in his brain......Obviously, his wife and family are important to him and he has made a point of not acting impulsively to jepordize (sp?) their well being/feelings.....
While there are many symptoms which are common to AD/HD, they vary in degree among people. And, as I mentioned, some people with AD/HD work very hard to learn ways to manage their problems and others do not. Your brother is one of the former and his family is lucky. However there are many people not so lucky.

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II wonder if because this guy lives out of town, if because I am "out of sigh physically, he "forgets" about me?
Very possible if it's the AD/HD to blame.


Two - your relationship

Quote:
he has never come out and said, I care about you, I want to be with you, I don't flake on you to intentionally hurt you and I am going to work on trying to become someone you can count on...at least to the degree that I am able....NOTHING.
Not so good. Unlike your brother. The ones who can't be bothered or are unwilling to work on their issues are - obviously - much harder to deal with.

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It's weird and hard to relate to for me.....Yes, he tells me what he does...if I ask (which I don't always do), but how do I know that he is telling the truth...
Is he truthful about other stuff? Have you caught other inconsistencies?

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especially when that person consistently chooses not to spend any of their time on the weekends with you...
Have you ever asked him why he doesn't want to ever see you on weekends?

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( didn't start dating until about 2 months ago)......when we see each other...whether he decides to call or not....whether he decides to follow through on tentative plans or not....I have really had no say in anything.....not that I need to control, but it's been on his terms and I feel like I have really been flexible in that area...and now....Ugh! I don't get it.
Well, you've kind of also sent the message that whatever he does is OK, too. Still, two months and no weekends is not much of a relationship at all, even if you have been 'intimate'. It sounds very much like casual dating to me.
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Old 20th March 2005, 6:34 PM   #14
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Because they can and we let them and forgive them for it.
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Old 20th March 2005, 7:21 PM   #15
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Simple

The answer is quite simple here . Lets assume he does NOT have this illness and is truly vague and late and not showing up .

If he says he wants to go out on friday nite, you tell him this " Okay then call me by 4 pm to confirm our 6 pm date, so I know to get ready . If I dont hear from you by 4 I will assume you have made other plans". Do NOT get ready for the date ! Do not wait passed 4 pm. You can now assume that you can make other plans for that nite .

Its simple and its saves you grief, wasted time, wasted gas, wasted energy.

With enough practice this can be applied to ANYONE , not just him. Any new dates you may develop , then this is applied. You also need to add that if anything changes , that you would appreciate a call.

As for saying he will call...Ask him directly " Okay when should I expect you to call back ? " If he says I will call you at 4 and its now 6 , and he does it regularly ( not calling when he says he will ) then you can mark him down as someone who cannot be relied on to call when they say they will. So the NEXT time he says I will call you at 4 ( and knowing all that you know so far ) if he says he will call. just say" Oh Okay " Then go about your business and dont expect a call because he has shown he does not call.

Now my best friend does this. I love her but she will say " I will call you right back " Right back could mean hours or the next day. So as I learned about her I knew to NOT wait by the phone so to speak. I did adapt...BUT you may have someone who just enjoys playing games with you...being late...not showing up at all.

Now lets assume he REALLY has this illness. Ask him to seek medical treatment and see if thats his real diagnosis. I personally would go NUTS if I had to deal with all you are dealing with. Thats a big pet peeve of mine..

So he is diagnosed and now you decide you want to work with him because you love him....It does not sound like he loves you though....Am I assuming wrong ? Does he truly care about you and your feelings ?
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