Power Dynamics In Scheduling

Scheduling is a huge dilemma in casual dating or in the courtship phase of a relationship. It’s frustrating because you might be in the mood to hang out and have fun, then he is “sick,” or he bails at the last minute. So, you ask the other guy….no dice. After you go though your entire contact list and Tinder you realize you can never hang out with men on your schedule. It’s never when your makeup is perfect and your hair has a beachy wave. How do you gain back the power balance and have a schedule on your terms?…..

Should you be reaching out at all?…..

Just because it’s casual doesn’t mean you should be casual. I always thought, “It’s not going anywhere, I can ask to hang out.” This resulted in having broken plans and mostly a lack of urgency to spend time with me. I didn’t keep him on his toes and I created a stable pattern. Yes, you should respond if he reaches out, but still curb your enthusiasm slightly. Wait like 30 minutes to an hour to respond to the text or DM. Let him sweat it out a bit.

Make a habit of turning him down occasionally….

Even if you aren’t doing anything better, it’s good practice to turn him down occasionally. Hopefully, you will be naturally busy. Especially, if he isn’t asking to go on real dates. Again, if he doesn’t know if you will say yes or no you have more power.

If he isn’t keeping up with you, move on….

You might not realize your casual thing is on the decline. If you are the only one keeping it alive, you need to take a step back. You will realize that he never reaches out or invites you over anymore. This can happen in a budding relationship. You might be showing up at places where you know he will be. Once the pattern is set, he knows he can just catch you next time. It’s sort of like a 24-hour Walmart versus an Indie boutique. You value the Indie boutique more since you have no idea if they will randomly close for maintenance. The 24-hour Walmart will always be open so you can save it for another time.

If he would rather do a boring thing than hang, it’s a huge insult….

This has happened to me with two separate guys. If he is saying he would rather sort his sock drawer than hang out, it’s a slap in the face. You should not take it lightly. If anything, you should do it back to him next time he decides he wants to see you.

How do you gain back the power?….

Sometimes you can save it by majorly pulling back. If you are always the one to reach out and plan things, then stop! Now is the time to make him nervous that you found someone else. But… you can’t just run to him the second he texts you. You have to follow though and really make it difficult to have access to you again. Meet new guys, go on dates, keep up with Tinder. Stop hanging around the regular watering hole. If he doesn’t contact you within two weeks, move on. This is hard to accept, but if he isn’t worried about not seeing you again, then he didn’t care in the first place or he met someone else.

Being lonely and drinking will result in bad decisions….

You aren’t tempted to send that text during the day. After the third glass of wine you figure what’s the harm? It’s super important to resist contacting him. (This is why it’s a good idea to not save numbers. Social media can be the most tempting to reach out. Try to avoid giving him access to your Instagram or Snapchat). It’s easy to get into mission mode and contact every man you have ever met. It won’t work. Men will never drop everything to hang out. A date or hang-out has to be his idea or it won’t happen. Annoying…but that’s just how things go.

Coffee shops / bars, work, and school can be tough for the mystery….

Any place you frequent once a week or more should not be a place to pick up guys. Sometimes it does happen that a barista will start chatting with you and you read too much into it. There are always other coffee shops and bars. If you are getting the sense you have worn out your welcome, then stop going to that place. Change your regular hang-out spot. It’s tougher if it’s a classmate or co-worker. This is when it becomes a tricky situation. Before you get into deep, think if there is an exit strategy. Quitting your job or dropping a class is a regretful decision to make over a dumb crush.

So when can you see him?…..

There is a reason that you should be seeing a couple guys and going on new dates while switching up your location. You don’t want any man to pick up on a stable pattern. He is needs to be texting you he misses you and can’t wait to see you. When he doesn’t know the next time he can see you then you have more leverage.

Bottom Line…..

It’s hard to know how much access you should give a casual guy or in the courtship phase. Short-term wise you think it shouldn’t matter if you reach out in a casual thing. But then you realize you are the only one keeping it alive. It just feels so much better to be desired and chased. There needs to be a sense of urgency to see you. When he gets too comfortable, he figures he can see you anytime, why see you now? This is when the power balance shifts in his favor. He is more likely to break plans or worse, turn down seeing you. Overall it makes you feel cheap and undervalued. Keep yourself busy with friends and new dates. Pull back if you get a get a hint of lack of urgency. The sooner you do this, the more likely the relationship can be saved. Never be the girl who invites herself to things or is lurking around the corner. Be a mystery and never create stable patterns.