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How Long Should You Wait For a Date To Show Up?

How Long Should You Wait For a Date To Show Up?

1960s Clock We can imagine this already:  You--yes, you the reader--are sitting at the table reading this article, with lots of time to kill because you are waiting for your date to show.  Don't put in for that second order of bread and Prosecco, because if you have to ask, it's already too long.  To elaborate, let's begin with a real-life scenario that we witnessed last night.

Is This The Longest Wait On Earth Or What?

We were at a lovely, outdoor restaurant overlooking a marina, the summer sun was gradually dipping down past the snow-tipped mountains.  At a perfect two-top table next to the railing sat a man by himself.  This man was so much a dead-ringer for Don Cheadle we're not even sure it wasn't him.  Handsome guy.  Well-dressed.  The opposite of the kind of guy who doesn't get a second date.

He waited at this two-top forever.  Waited and waited.  And then waited.  Minutes dragged into half an hour.  That half-hour slid into a full hour.  He occasionally checked his phone.  He drank water and nibbled at bread.  Not once did he bellow into his phone, "Where the **** are you?"

This hour became an hour and a half.  Finally, a woman showed up, and he got up to meet her, and both of them were all smiles.  While they seemed happy enough, we do not predict good things for this relationship (Don, if you're reading this, contact us and we'll set you up with someone better).

Rule Of Thumb #1:  As If Waiting For Friend

How long would you wait for a good friend to show up for a lunch date at a rather fancy restaurant on a work day?  Your work allows you 1 hour for lunch.  The place is expensive enough that you would only dine there with someone else; alone, you'd rather grab a cheap sub.

The reason you need to think in context of a good friend is because it eliminates the possibility that you are being influenced by other factors, such as the other person's higher sexual market value.  You feel comfortable with your friend and can leave when you feel you've waited long enough.

The reason you need to think of the "1 hour lunch date" limit is because it forces you to remember how precious your time is.  Our friend Mr. Cheadle was waiting on a Saturday evening, when time seems limitless.

Rule Of Thumb #2:  15 Minutes

For a pre-date:  wait no more than 15 minutes, if you receive no intervening phone call from the other person.

If you get a call, add another 10 minutes.  Let that be your limit.  No person is worth waiting for past 25 minutes.

You should not budget more than 1 hour for the entire date.  So, by the time you reach 30 minutes of waiting, the date is already half-over.

Acceptable Excuses

Few excuses are acceptable if you wait that long.  "Traffic was bad" is not good enough, because the person should have added buffer time for traffic.

I once went on a date where I pushed through 5 pm rush-hour traffic, across a bridge, traversing several metro cities and neighborhoods, and parking on a city street.  Entire trip:  1.5 hours.  I got to the place on time.  The date was late by 30 minutes.  I was in the process of leaving when she showed up.  Excuse:  traffic.  But here's the thing:  she lived in the same neighborhood as the restaurant, no more than 10 minutes away.  The date was over before it even started.

The only acceptable excuse is one beyond his/her control that he/should could not have known or predicted in advance.

Traffic, sporting events, routine childcare events:  not acceptable.

Sniper on the freeway:  acceptable.







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