Flaky Gay Men are found in every city, state and country all over the world. They’re often late, unreliable, stand you up on dates, cancel plans at the last minute, don’t return calls or text messages in a timely manner, or just plain unreliable when you need to depend on them.
A Gay Flake will flake out on you in just about any situation or circumstance. Their behavior is often the result of either overextending themselves to please a lot of people, being procrastinators who are always juggling too many people, events and promises made to themselves and others or a plain old lack of consideration for anyone but themselves.
On the surface, they appear to be popular, outgoing people with tons of friends. Once you kick the tires and lift the hood you often find out that they don’t have many real friends or close relationships with actual human beings at all. Those fun Instagram pics are a façade. Many of their “friends” are actually just associates or fans, not real companions or comrades.
Gay Flakes can’t maintain real bonds for long mainly because of their own behavior and how they’ve treated others in the past. These men often blame others for their situation instead of looking within.
Sometimes this flakiness only applies to the “Gay” side of the Gay Flake’s life. I’ve been friends with closeted masculine gay men who seemed to have all the time in the world for their unsuspecting Straight friends but they were always unreliable when it came to being on time or keeping platonic social appointments with me.
What you’re reading here isn’t the writings of a gay man feeling rejected. The Gay Flakes I’m referring to are the men who actively reach out to you for friendship or companionship, oftentimes enthusiastically with lots of charm and charisma, only to break their own promises.
So while it may be easy to dismiss a Gay Flake as a person who’s just not that into you, that doesn’t explain why they often go out of their way to display a desire to keep you in their lives.
Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of this. I was a flake in the past. A big one. While I’ve never stood anyone up on a date (without a very legitimate reason), I’ve often been late to dates or appointments with friends and I can sometimes not be the best communicator when it comes to initiating text or phone conversations (for reasons I’ll explain in another essay).
I’ve been so late in the past that I’ve had friends tell me that they won’t leave their homes until I’ve texted that I’m either on the way to the meet-up spot or that I was already there. Only recently have I got back on good graces with these guys.
So as a recovering Gay Flake, I have developed a keener eye for seeing other Gay Flakes of the world…Sort of like when Roddy “Rowdy” Piper puts on a pair of sunglasses.
As gay men, we’re all either a Gay Flake or we know one. They aren’t always the popular “Instagram Gays” with hundreds of selfie likes, they can also be the reclusive “Hermit Gays” who complain about a lack of real platonic bonds as they self sabotage every potential friendship that comes their way.
I have a flaky gay “friend” who gets hundreds of social media likes on anything he posts but when I ask him about his social life he complains about being a loner without many friends. Hell, even I’m not his friend in the traditional sense, but it’s not for a lack of trying on my end.
Oftentimes the Gay Flake doesn’t know he’s a flake at all. They lack the ability to see the man in the mirror. There may be a psychological reason for this.
I’d hypothesize that many Gay Flakes are borderline Sociopaths, they suffer from Antipersonal Personality Disorder. Yes, that sounds extreme but let’s look at the symptoms of Sociopathic Behavior.
Psychology Today argues that a person with Sociopathic tendencies “has an attention bottleneck that allows him to focus only on one activity or train of thought, to the exclusion of others.” They also state that, “people with this illness may seem charming, but they are likely to be irritable and aggressive as well as irresponsible.”
Other traits of a Sociopath:
• Superficial charm and good intelligence
• Untruthfulness and insincerity
• Lack of remorse and shame
• Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
• Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love
• Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
• Fantastic and uninviting behavior with alcohol and sometimes without
• Suicide threats rarely carried out
• Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
• Failure to follow any life plan
Some of the traits could apply to many of us but superimpose that list to the people you know who are constantly flaky. Do you see more commonalities than differences?
I may have been a flake in the past but I can’t say that I was a sociopath.
To be honest, in-person I can sometimes come off aloof and unapproachable (as I’ve been often told), however once people get to know me they realize that I’m often too sociable….sometimes to the point of being needy or clingy. Also, when I have to break a date or appointment, I feel tons of remorse and guilt. Missed calls and unresponded text messages often haunt me until I have a chance to reply.
This is not the case for many Gay Flakes.
Like Gay Dating, these flakes are often only looking for self-satisfaction to their own needs, not a mutual building of a normal healthy relationship or friendship with another person that requires work, compromise and sometimes doing things you don’t want to do.
So as a recovering flake, here are some ways to deal with or outright avoid the Gay Flakes of the world.
1. Don’t Ask Questions to Slow Texters
Let’s paint a picture: You get a text message from a Gay Flake and you instantly text them back. The phone was literally still in their hand when you responded. Instead of a timely response, this happens:
Slow texters are frustrating creatures that we all have to deal with occasionally. The ironic part about them is they are often people who say they PREFER texting to talking on the phone.
By slow texters, I don’t mean the people that take 5 or 10 minutes to respond…even 20 minutes is (sometimes) acceptable if you know that the Gay Flake is working, in class or in the gym at the time.
I’m referring to the 30 minutes to 2+ hour delayed texters. Exchanging messages at that rate of time is actually slower than it took people to communicate by telegraph in the 1850s!
Look, I get it, not everyone is attached to their smartphone at the hip. However, oftentimes the people who are slow texters are the same people you always see with the cells in their hands or face up on the table/bar/desk in front of them wherever they are. A betting man would be safe to assume that your messages were being screened much like a call that the Gay Flake lets go straight to voicemail.
Either way, a way that I’ve learned to avoid frustration on a normal texter’s end is to not ask any questions at all. And if you do, don’t ask questions that you actually want an answer to promptly.
Here’s the theory: Questions build up expectations on your end for a response, which leaves you hanging. Instead, phrase responses as statements that allow for responses but could also stand on their own. This is kind of like the finale of a TV show that may not be renewed for another season: There are new storylines established for the potential next season but if it’s cancelled, it’s still a satisfactory ending for the overall series (ie: The Season 2 finale of The LA Complex).
Again, this only applies to slow texters. If this seems like too much work, the ultimate solution to dealing with slow texters is to not text them at all.
2. Force Them To Make Specific Plans
If you’re friends with a flake or attempting to date one, getting physical face-to-face time with them can be a hassle. Statistically speaking though (based on my own metrics), Gay Flakes tend to stick to plans they’ve made themselves more than the plans made by others.
These plans can’t just be vague. You must force them to be as detailed as possible because it helps to visually solidify the appointment in their minds.
For example: If a Gay Flake says “Let’s hang out on Saturday,” DON’T LEAVE IT AT THAT UNTIL SATURDAY!
You have to force him to tell you when and where you will meet, otherwise he’ll forget all about it or even accidentally make plans to do something else. If they make the plans, they visualize it in their minds. It becomes more concrete and they own it. This makes it harder for them to flake out on you without guilt. It’s similar to the thought of not showing up or being late to your own party that you’re hosting.
Until they build their “social credit” back up to a 750 score, force them to make the plans and keep them.
Something as simple as: “Let’s meet at the Taco Mac Sports Bar on Peachtree at 6pm” is better than a vague, “Let’s hang out” because he knows you will be there waiting for him to show up if he doesn’t.
What if he still doesn’t show up?
3. Don’t Accept Being Repeatedly Stood Up
Being stood up happens to all of us. It stings worse when you’re stood up by a date, especially a first date. When people think of being stood up they often imagine the clichéd scene in the movie where the guy is sitting alone at the bar as he downs drink after drink to symbolize time passing.
Being stood up can apply to any given situation. From movie dates to see a new Marvel Studios blockbuster all the way down to just meeting up with a platonic gay friend for a cup of coffee. A person cancelling at the last minute or not showing up shows you that they don’t value you or your time.
As post-college adult gay men, many of us have busy schedules where we are juggling work with personal time, gym time and a social life. Gay Flakes seem to think that they are the only busy people on the planet. When they back out of or don’t show up to a planned connection, it never occurs to them how this will affect your own schedule. How you rearranged your own plans to spend valuable time with them.
We’ve all heard the old idiom: Time is money. This is true even when actual money isn’t involved.
When a Gay Flake stands you up (especially with little notice or valid reason), they are showing you your worth to them.
Sometimes this isn’t intentional or vindictive, they’re just scatterbrains. However, many times it’s a very intentional matter of them finding something better to do (the next best thing) and either forgetting to cancel plans with you in advance or just not having the courage to do so.
When this happens, don’t forget it.
I’ve often been that person working harder for a platonic friendship or intimate relationship than the Gay Flake. I’ve also often been the person giving trusting second, third and fifth chances to the flake, only to be bamboozled time after time. For a long time I chalked it up to their flakiness as just being a part of the cost of dating them or being their friend.
Eventually I realized that thinking was actually devaluing my own self worth. Now I give one strike and you’re out.
People make time for the things they really want to do.
4. Depending on Them – Tread With Caution
Gay Flakes can actually be good in a pinch. There’s something about emergencies that instantly bump you up to the top of their priority queue. However this is not always the case. Especially if what you need them for is not in their immediate peripheral time vision.
For a normal person, giving notice for help weeks or months in advance is a guarantee for your prayers to be answered. To a Gay Flake, you might as well have put a down payment on a flying car that you won’t test drive until the year 2050.
Gay Flakes don’t do advance notice well because that requires being good at keeping appointments and sticking to plans. Remember, if they haven’t made the plan or asked you for the favor, it doesn’t become real to them in their minds.
This is especially true if they are not getting anything in return. If you ask the Gay Flake to help you move into your new condo next month, they will hesitate but eventually agree only to be nowhere to be found once moving day hits. Remember that they’re slow texters too so don’t expect a timely response to your messages asking if they’re still helping you out.
This begs the question: If you doubt the dependability and reliability of your friend, are they really a friend to begin with?
5. Always have a backup plan
If you must keep that consistent Gay Flake in your life, having a backup plan is the key to your own happiness and sanity. If he makes plans with you and his “social credit” score is a 300, it’s best to assume that he will flake out on you like always.
Have alternative plans waiting in the wings so that your day or evening will not be completely wasted and you won’t feel like a loser.
And for Heavens’ sake, have some self respect and don’t repeatedly call or text him once you get the vibe that he’s flaking out on you once again. If you do, you’ll likely get the same response that the frog did when the scorpion stung him, “…It’s my nature.”
What are your experiences with Flaky Gay Men? Are you an admitted Flake yourself? Sound off in the Cypher below.