How to avoid being bookmarked

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Bookmarking is when a guy (or a girl; but it’s usually guys) suggests meeting up on a certain day but then never follows up with a plan, leaving you hanging. It’s CRAZY annoying. But there is a cure, an easy cure. I’ll share it with you and together we’ll stamp this shiat out.

Let’s watch you get bookmarked.

John texts: Hey! Free tonight?
You: Hello! Yes, finish work at 6.
John: Great! Hey, blah blah [meaningless chat, non-date related]
You: 😂
Your best friend: Hey, wanna go see a film tonight?
You: Can’t. Seeing John. !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your best friend: OMG! 

 Time passes

You: Hey John, I’ll be out of here in 10. Still fancy meeting? xx

More time passes

John: So sorry! Work got CRAZY. Maybe at the weekend? Really sorry xxxx

You [to best friend]: John bailed! >:-(  U still free?

Why did John bail?

Many reasons. He’s lining up girls and seeing who replies; he changed his mind; work really did get crazy. Who knows.

But what’s irritating is, you never know how to react. Should you play it cool? Pretend you didn’t even notice not meeting? Oh hey – yeah my work got crazy too, er just after I text you, so wow, is it midnight already? Should you ever see this chancer again?

Here’s the cure.

I’d love to say I invented this, but in fact I learned it years ago when I was a member of a forum where women all over the world discussed dating. (We were all hopeless – we all got better.) A brilliantly wise woman who called herself Forti* invented this no-fail cure for bookmarking. (She might have even coined the phrase “bookmarking” too.)

“What did you have in mind?” is the magical bookmarking cure. You just keep saying, “What did you have in mind?” until the guy has given you a time, a day, and a venue.

Until you’ve got those three things, you do NOT have a date, you only have a bookmark.

You say, “What did you have in mind?” before you agree to anything.

Let’s see it in action.

John texts: Hey! Free tonight? 


If you say “Yes” now, then all you’ve done is told John that you have nothing to do tonight. That’s it. You’ve just waved your empty diary in his face.

Instead, you hold your nerve:

You: Hello! What did you have in mind? 

At this point, John is irked. He was just really just hoping you’d come over to his place, order some takeout and get naked before the end of Gogglebox. But as that would look kind of blunt written down, he is forced to think up a date idea.

John: I thought we could go for drinks? Unless you fancy coming to mine…?


Nope, not yet. Hold your horses, Keeno Reeves. John has offered up a date idea but without a firmer idea of the details, you’re still circling. You don’t have a runway yet.

You know what to say.

You: Drinks sound great! Where did you have in mind? 

John nearly drops his phone. Who IS this steely-eyed negotiator? Hmm, it’s kinda hot.

John: That nice little bar near your office? Maybe dinner after?

At this point you’re so excited that you can barely keep your phone in your sweaty hands, but do NOT say yes at this point! You need a time. An actual time on the clock. Because that’s the potent detail that turns a vague fairytale into a fact.

You know what to say.

You: When were you thinking? xx

I know you’re scared you’ll sound like a Facebook chatbot if you keep repeating this question. In practice, nobody ever notices, I promise. But if you’re super scared, then mix it up with a different phrase, like, “What time did you have in mind?” (I know. A world away.)

John: I could pick you up from work? About 6?


You: Sounds great! Can’t wait x

Why this works

By refusing to pin yourself down to a guy before you’ve heard his full plans, you’re keeping your power.

You’re agreeing to the DATE rather than to the MAN, and refusing to fill up your calendar with wishy-washy promises.

And that’s exactly how to play things at the very early stages.

Try it! And let me know how you get on, in the Comments.

Kate Taylor


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