Is it the age or is it just us?
The phenomenon of keeping your social encounters and responsibilities buzzing are exhausting. At least at times. We will hands down admit, when someone cancels, is there anything better in this very moment? Come on, admit it! Even though it makes you feel guilty for a sweet second? And maybe even a bit ashamed as you know a little bit of being social wouldn’t hurt. The feeling of having gained some extra time for yourself is sometimes priceless. Highlighting the word “sometimes.” - not every time we get this feeling but staying in and doing your thing at home is beautiful - especially when it comes a bit unexpected.
We can’t argue, our calendars are packed, work, scheduling doctor’s appointments before and after work squeezing in errands or beauty treatments during lunch hours - it leaves you a bit stressed. So if it happens that a dinner date gets cancelled unexpectedly - it’s a bit of a blissful feeling because we feel like we have gained something .
Why am I like this you ask?
Of course things change. While in our early twenties (oh, the sweet university life) we were happy about any entertainment and every possibility to go out - it feels like we have now become more selective who we spend our precious time with and our energy on. Plus, we simply don’t feel the urge to go out 5 times a week in the evening. Plus, our apartments have probably extended, but so have our working hours. Plus, self-care got very popular and very broadly saccepted.
Why do we feel so guilty then?
Why is it that the best plans are cancelled plans sometimes? I believe that it is because we really do have less and less time with and for ourselves overall. We work more, we juggle more, we are less home anyways. Seeing people should be fun, light, inspiring and you should be able to relax with them but if it feels like another meeting or must attend thing - and it stresses you out, think twice before going. Because it will neither be a great experience nor a great memory of the evening if you are stressing yourself out, thinking of something else or not feeling comfortable.
Personally I believe it’s okay to cancel if you really not up for it and see it more as a must do. I also think it’s okay to feel relieved if the other cancels. If you are not super excited to see the other person, think twice. Also think of their time. They are excited to see you but if you are stressed or gotta leave early or are simply not feeling it, it’s also unfair. What I also think is, you can’t cancel every time (duh!) staying in too much is also not good. AND: Sometimes you gotta force yourself, yes. Sometimes nights end up being way better than expected.
Here are some tips
on how to make it easier, how to feel less guilty and what to do when it’s not you but them:
Don’t overbook your calendar: make one date per week, if this is too much, make one every two weeks - it’s fine - rather “book” less than taking a rain check all the time
Be honest with your friends: If you don’t have the energy to meet up or maybe just grab a drink instead of a three course dinner, tell them. Honesty always wins - they will respect your decision
Bundle them: This is for us cheaters. Make plans with more than one person. Throw another one in the mix (best if they also know each other and go to dinner together - it’s nice for a change
Is your friend draining you? Maybe this is the reason why you are putting off dinner dates and other plans?. If you feel like every dinner or call or meet up is leaving you with a negative feeling because he/she puts you in a bad mood, is draining your energy and positive vibe, tell them and go on a little break. (Yeah we said it! B-R-E-A-K)
Don’t force connections: not vibing anymore - keep it friendly and accept it. You have been besties in uni? Great. 10 years later you are not that close anymore, it’s okay.
No time but still want to meet your friend? (ok, this one is advanced): If you are under a time constraint - and feeling bad about it? Ask your friend to join you for your mani so you have some quality time together plus get shit done
It’s okay to cancel: Don’t give some bogus excuse (we are not teens anymore) simply be honest and tell them you don’t have the energy for the date anymore. Don’t please everyone around you all the time.
It’s okay to not see want to see people - even close ones. It happens to the best of us.
Don’t feel guilty for postponing stuff - it is okay, real friends understand
Alternatives (advanced again) : If you can’t bring yourself to actually go out and meet them face to face, suggest a call - there you at least can chat away (if you are up for that)