‘Only Plans’ is the latest frustrating trend taking over dating apps

Written by Lauren Geall

As Stylist’s digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and women’s issues. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time. You can find her on Twitter at @laurenjanegeall.

Have you ever had someone suggest some date plans, only to reschedule or bail on you at the last minute? You’ve probably been Only Planned, the annoying behaviour which is taking over dating apps.

Name: Only Plans

Meaning: have you ever made plans to go on a date, but had the other person pull out – or disappear – before you actually met IRL? If so, you might have been Only Planned. This new dating trend refers to the growing number of us who, despite wanting to meet new people, struggle to fully commit to plans because we’re so short on time. We’re all too happy to make plans – and we might even intend on going through with them – but at the end of the day, we’re just lying to ourselves and those around us.

Origin: this one popped up in Plenty Of Fish’s 2023 trend report, created in partnership with sex and relationships expert Alix Fox. It was coined after a survey of the platform’s users found that 87% had all the intention to date but no free time to commit (mainly because they were overwhelmed by the busyness of post-pandemic life).  

That sounds like… me. Tell me about it. The last year has been pretty chaotic, and keeping up with everything has been a lot. But that doesn’t really give you an excuse to blank people who want to meet IRL, especially after you’ve agreed to it.

Wait, so isn’t being Only Planned a lot like being ghosted? It’s similar, but Only Planning is more about ditching someone before you first meet, not cutting off contact after you’ve got to know each other. In short, it’s a lot less problematic, but it can still be hurtful.

So, what makes someone an Only Planner? Only Planning can manifest in a bunch of different ways. Perhaps they’ve asked you to grab a drink, but never end up naming a place, date or time, or suggest a day they’re free but never fully commit to the plans you suggest, or keep rescheduling every time you think you’ve tied them down.  

God, that sounds frustrating. For sure, and the fact that many Only Planners may not be entirely aware of what they’re doing doesn’t make it any better.

But how do you get through to someone like that? I’m no relationships expert, but I’d say it’s all about being upfront about what you want. And if all else fails, you could always try the beelining trend and ask someone to commit to a date, time and location upfront.

That’s more like it! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

I will have to see if I have time in my schedule, though… *eyes emoji*

Image: Getty

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