That awkward moment when you show up somewhere, expecting someone else to also show up … and then they don’t. Whether it’s that friend who “accidentally” flaked (“oh, haha, I forgot,” she texts) or a blind date/SO-hopeful who’s got you going full-on Ross Gellar with the wait staff taking bets about how long you’ll sit there in phone-twiddling shame, it’s happened to all of us, and, yeah, it stings. Groannnn.
What was supposed to be a good time filled with coffee and soul chatter suddenly devolves into you side-eyeing everyone in the place to see who’s judging you the hardest for your obvious (at least, in your mind) isolation insult, and, boom, there goes your whole flippin’ day. Or maybe not?
Since you’ve suddenly found yourself in an unplanned solo situation, there are definitely ways to make the best of it and keep your self esteem at peak levels all the while because, hey, you’ve still got you, and that is not too shabby of company at all.
First thing’s first: DO NOT SELF SHAME.
It’d be so easy to sink into a ball of sadface self-doubt over what has just happened to you and target-dart yourself with a million reasons why this is all your fault and you should feel badly, but NOPE. You had plans, you followed through, and for whatever reason the other guy dropped the ball. You did your part. This is on them, squarely, and you gotta give yourself the R-E-S-P-E-C-T you deserve for not being that guy. Brush those shoulders right off and keep your chin held high because, to repeat, you did zero wrong here.
Capitalize on the sitch.
OK, so your original plans have fallen through, but does that mean you’ve gotta tuck tail and go home? Heck no! Chances are, your meeting locale of choice still has some peak funtime potential to offer. Whether it’s grabbing the newspaper on top of that iced latte you wanted and unexpectedly digesting the day’s 411 or turning that table for two into a therapeutic lunch with you and your thoughts (and/or a book, which is reason #53842 you should never leave home without one) or waltzing right on into that movie theater and knowing full well that you’ll still enjoy the flick without anyone creeping on your popcorn, there’s zero reason you can’t go right on and treat yoself.
Depending on where you are, this might just present an opportunity to make a new pal. Maybe you’ve been off the friend market for a while, but obviously your current crop needs to check themselves for their rude behavior anyway, so maybe this is the perfect chance to branch out a bit. Buck up and introduce yourself to that crew who’s having a blast on the foosball table—they’ll probably work you right on in. Or say “what’s up” to the circle of pals who are putting politicians on blast; if they care enough to talk about it in public, they’ll probably love to have a fresh pair of ears hanging around, and, hey, you might even learn something new!
Whatever you do, just give yourself a chance to enjoy the moment, even if it hasn’t turned out the way you expected. It might end up being even better than it would have.
Play it cool with Mr./Ms. Lamebrain.
Nothing says “oh well, you missed out” quite like a satisfied shrug-off maneuver. Whoever ditched you, whether accidentally or not, will probably be quite surprised to find out that nope, they didn’t ruin your day one bit. In fact, as far as they’re concerned, you went on to have a smashing good time that they didn’t get to participate in because of their slackness. Cue the FOMO and regret on their end (where it belongs).
Maybe you slip a key pic onto Instagram to show the good time you and yourself went onto have without them, or maybe you keep all the sweet deets to yourself and let them wonder. Whatever you do, don’t give ’em the upper hand by letting them know they hurt you, and you won’t even have to tell them that this better not happen again because they’ll be the ones to make sure of that next time.