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Five tips for getting past being stood up for a date

Actress Meg Ryan attends the Chopard 150th Anniversary Party at Palm Beach, Pointe Croisette during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2010 in Cannes, France.
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In the 1998 film "You've Got Mail," Meg Ryan's character Kathleen Kelly thought she was stood up for a blind date. She checked her mail, didn't hear the popular AOL greeting, wondered what went wrong and jumped into bed with her shoes on. How would she know that her online dating interest -- Tom Hanks' character Joe Fox -- found out who she was and why he didn't want to admit she was his date?

In real life, it doesn't always work out like that. The reasons for standing someone up for a date are endless, usually cowardly and rarely result with a happily ever after. Of course things do happen. There really are deaths in the family, car accidents, flat tires and sick kids that throw off plans for a night on the town. But there are just as many people who back out of a date because they're nervous, uninterested, not attracted to their dates or just plain irresponsible.

Kathleen immediately assumed that Joe must've seen her sitting in the restaurant and purposely walked out. But her co-workers were there to create grand stories about subway accidents and a mystery man arrested in the paper. Great friends will try to find any kind of way to cheer a person up after being stood up. That's why they're the number one tip for getting over being stood up for a date.

Tip one: Reach out to funny friends. If you're lucky, you have a friend for all occasions. There's the ride-or-die friend who will let you vent for hours and won't judge you for being mad. There's the logical friend who will keep you out of jail (but have bail money just in case). There's the business friend who is great for networking and going to business conferences. And then there's the funny friend -- the one you want to work out with because she makes exercising fun to do, that boring night at a club a great time and is the life of the party. She'll be the one to make you smile through the disappointment of being left alone.

Tip two: Don't lose your cool the first 24 hours. Twenty-four hours are a reasonable amount of time to give a person to explain himself. If that person really cares, you'll get a cell call, a text, an email or even a messenger to drop by the place and let you know what happened. On a blind date, exchange emergency contact information. Even Quinn showed up to turn down her blind date with Harrison on "Scandal." She didn't even realize her "date" was actually a job interview. Give your date a chance to explain himself. If there's no response in 24 hours, by all means, unfollow him on Twitter and Pinterest, unfriend him on Facebook and block his phone number. Do whatever it takes to avoid a repeat of someone being a jerk and thoughtless about your time.

Tip three: Don't give up on dating. There are moments when dating is a bit like job interviews. Both parties are looking for the right candidate for the company, and sometimes what looks good on paper is a nightmare in person -- both the hiring manager and the applicant. It happens. But you wouldn't decide, "That was a terrible interview. I'm never working for the rest of my life." Same goes for dating. Don't throw the towel in just because of one person. Wait until you're fully over being stood up before trying out another date. But if someone stood you up for a first date, then that means you probably didn't get to know them much at all anyway. No love lost there. You may have dodged a bullet.

Tip four: Revisit your own contact information. This may be a bit of a stretch for most people who get stood up, but there is the possibility that maybe it was you who got the date, location or time wrong. Make sure to revisit those texts, emails, direct messages and/or stat updates. If a friend arranged the date, contact the friend to make sure a third party didn't screw up the date night. Are you sure this was the time you both agreed on? If there was a miscommunication, it could be you who owes your date an explanation.

Tip five: Find something fun to do if you're alone. Is there a book you really wanted to read? Crack it open or head straight to a bookstore or library to find one worth reading. Have you been meaning to buy a better looking dress than the one you wore on the date? Head to a department store or boutique. Is there a delicious food you have a taste for? Eat it. Would pounding on a punching bag do the trick? Head to the gym and imagine the bag is your date's body. Is your TIVO queue jam-packed with TV shows you've been meaning to watch? Click the antenna button and "bloop bloop" away. Find an enjoyable distraction. Do not sit in your apartment or house wallowing in self-pity, staring at your computer or phone, and blaming yourself. Never give anyone that kind of energy who doesn't care one bit about your own time.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest Chicago dating, sex, marriage and work relationship entries, or subscribe to her Chicago Relationships channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her "Let's Talk About Sex...Health" Pinterest board.

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