When A Guy Stands You Up, What Does It Mean? (11 Likely Reasons He Didn’t Show Up)

When we talk about the peaks and valleys of the dating experience, getting stood up is about as low as it gets. You don’t see it every day, so it tends to hit deep when it happens. That explains why even though it feels so familiar, only 21% of people have admitted to having been a no-show on a date at least once.

For context, its fellow disappearing act, ghosting, has happened to virtually everyone who’s ever been out there. A 2016 study put the number at 78 percent, but it feels even more rampant today. I digress.

In any case, the prevalent culprits here are guys. The above research on the subject estimates one in four men has admitted to being guilty of standing someone up. And that doesn’t include those who aren’t proud of the act enough to own up to it.

The point is, as a straight girl in the dating scene, there’s always a chance you will match with a guy who will leave you hanging for no apparent reason. Since you’re here, I take it it’s already happened, and you’re looking for something, anything to make it make sense. On that note, here are some possible meanings when a guy stands you up.

11 Possible Meanings When A Guy Stands You Up

1. He got cold feet

Very few reasons, if any, can justify that moment when the attendant asks for the hundredth time if they can take your order now and you realize your date isn’t just running late. However, it’s not in every case that the person who caused that awful feeling originally had malicious intent. 

The odds are, they anxiously paced over it for a while before finally deciding to succumb to their chicken side and not show up. Why might this happen? Maybe if a guy asked you out to see if he’s still got it without exactly planning past that stage, and you say yes. Or when he likes you so much he’s not convinced he measures up just yet, and his nerves eventually get the best of him.

2. He's trying to avoid a conflict

Alternatively, some guys end up standing a girl up when they realize after setting the date that it’s not going to work out after all. Perhaps, from going over your previous interactions or his interests have changed since last you talked. Unfortunately, where the right would have been to cancel or reschedule, they decide to go the other route to avoid possible conflict.

This can be because they are confident you wouldn’t take it well if they asked or are too soft to bear the disappointment their news would bring. So, they pick the third option and let their absence pass the message.

3. He had an emergency

Maybe he’s a firefighter or a surgeon who got called in on his day off. Or an exam or presentation he had got moved up and he was so late he couldn’t even leave a message. Or any other situation you can think of that might necessitate a non-asshole flaking on an agreed-upon plan to meet up.

However, whether that happens on the first date or fourth, the emergency card only counts if he calls to explain and make up for it afterward. And by that, I mean as soon as the life-or-death part is over, not with a “Wassup…I was busy the other day” text three weeks later when your picture crosses his timeline. Bar that, he probably just doesn’t rate you, urgent matter or not.

4. He's not ready

If the guy is a widower, still not over his ex, or has been single for too long, standing you up might mean he’s not ready for a relationship. Or, maybe he’s been aware he’s not there yet all along but fixed the date with you anyway because his friends coerced him into it. 

Hell, they could have even set the whole thing in motion, like in sitcoms. From setting up the dating app to sifting through potential dates, so basically all the guy has to do is show up. If that’s the case and he still doesn’t make the date, then it’s a blow you should be grateful came early on.

5. He's flaky

hes flaky

Sometimes, a man stands you up for no other reason, he’s just flaky. Not just with romantic relationships, some people are so bizarre that even their friends only believe their yes to invites when they see them show up.

These are the kinds of people that end up ghosting you if you manage to make it past the first date. The type that asks you out of adrenaline rush or something but later decides against the date when they recalibrate to their usual setting. 

Maybe it boils down to nerves, too, or some other profound psychological reason, but the point remains, a person standing you up suggests they are unreliable.

6. He's not that interested in you

Meanwhile, there’s also the issue of interest. It’s naturally one of the top two things that come to mind for most when guys stand them up. And that makes sense because they tend not to make people they like wait. You’re probably wondering why bother to ask you out then? Well, maybe he was initially interested, but things changed.

We pursue dates for different reasons. Where A might be looking for love, B may just be trying to fix a steady buddy to hook up with when he’s in the area. Maybe he’s seen enough to know what you want don’t align and is a coward who can’t bring himself to say it, so he opts to stand you up instead.

7. He's emotionally immature

Some guys who tend to stand people up know from the onset that they don’t want to date you but aren’t bold enough to say that to you. They go along with the plans to save face, conform, or just to spare your feelings. So, when the day comes to go out, they are torn between putting themselves through something they don’t want or ripping the band-aid off.

Of course, they still can’t bring themselves to do it the right way because that might be too final. But they also know if you go out once, there might actually be a next date, and that just pulls them in deeper. Hence the original nice act that must have felt like the easiest option at the beginning becomes that much harder to keep up with.

Since they are not emotionally mature enough to realize that their “nice” choice may actually affect you worse than the truth, they defer yet again, then make up some lame excuse afterward.

8. He's insensitive

As Natasha Bird puts it in the psychology behind standing people up, a lot of people these days are too stuck in their own heads to consider how their actions affect others. Perhaps, due to narcissism or a glass-half-empty mentality where they think you’re so out of their league, the insecurity makes them play a waiting game to preempt being taken for granted.

Or maybe they’ve just about lost hope in love and didn’t see the need to take the pains to cancel. Reasons notwithstanding, it’s safe to conclude you dodged a bullet if you get stood up by a guy like that. How healthy of dating life can one expect to have with someone so thick-skinned they are unconcerned by the idea of wasting your time?

9. His manners suck

Then again, there isn’t always some hidden meaning to this awful act other than the guy has poor manners. There’s insensitivity, and then there’s downright disrespect, although one person can very well have both qualities. Someone who isn’t lacking in social etiquette knows it’s rude to cancel last minute, let alone leave a lady hanging indefinitely after agreeing to a date.

And while it might seem logical to go Bird’s way and blame it on whoever raised him, a growing/grown man owes it to himself to retrain himself. As far as I’m concerned, leaving a date stranded reflects poorly on no one but the person who does it.

10. He forgot

he forgot

It could also be that things suddenly got crazy for him, and he was so swarmed he forgot to cancel. This is even more plausible if you know the guy to be a typically busy person who’s done his best to be open with you about his situation.

It’s easier to believe he actually did forget coming from someone who has been consistent with you so far as opposed to, say, Mr. Mixed Signals who’s a repeat offender.

11. His crush said yes

Finally, another possible explanation to a guy standing you up is that someone who checks more boxes on his list took your spot. Like when it happens with someone you just got talking with and seemed to get along well. It’s easy to chalk it up to “win some lose some” if there was no chemistry, but it makes you wonder when by all indications, they were as into it as you were. 

Perhaps, he made plans because the person he really wanted to be with wasn’t available, and when a chance opened up with them, offending you felt like a small price to pay. Or maybe he’s a bad-mannered, cheating married man and his wife is on to him. In sum, it’s either you were never a priority to the said guy, or something he values more popped up.


What to do when he stood you up?

It depends on your relationship with the guy and how reliable he typically is. If he’s usually not one to flake, check in to make sure everything is okay with him, but try not to call or text repeatedly. Otherwise, just cut your losses and go home. Anyone worth their salt should at least call to explain later. And if he doesn’t, call it a close shave.

What to say to a man who stood you up?

You can ask about their wellbeing, and if all’s well, proceed to ask for an explanation as to why he thought it was okay to keep you waiting with no heads-up. Especially if your relationship/rapport with him was smooth before the letdown. If not, you can decide to go his route after confirming he’s okay and stay mum until he brings it up.

What does it mean when someone is stood up?

It means someone who set an appointment with them refused to show up without canceling or rescheduling beforehand. In a dating context, it’s when someone agrees to go on a date but then leaves you hanging.

Should you forgive a guy who stood you up?

It’s entirely your prerogative whether or not to forgive a guy who stands you up. However, before permitting a do-over, consider his level of sincerity and whether or not his excuses add up. Also, the frequency of occurrence; If he’s done it before, it’s likely to happen again.

Is it rude to stand someone up?

It’s beyond rude to stand someone up. Even if you have a perfect reason not to make an appointment, the appropriate thing to do is inform them beforehand so you can reschedule or cancel. Barring that, you’re basically telling your date you don’t care and that they can leave when they get tired.

To Summarize

Men run. It’s what they do, maybe not all, but it’s no news that a good number of them are hard to pin down when it comes to dating and relationships. It doesn’t feel good, I know, but the only person that can make sense of standing you up is the culprit. The next best thing is the averages, which is what I had to work with here.

So, remember that these aren’t the only possible reasons why a man might stand you up, just some. And in case you didn’t find your answer here, I 100% recommend that you stop thinking about him because does someone like that really deserve another second of your time? Anyhow, let me know what you think in the comments, and share the post if you liked it.

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