1. Recognize the flake.
At first, s/he started with relatively reasonable excuses (“I’ve had a horribly depressing day at work, not tonight”) to downright offensive (“It’s raining”). When coming to the realization that the person is a flake, it may hit you in the face with a ton of bricks before breaking your shoulders and bruising your ribs. Oh my god, you think to yourself, eyes bulging, I’m dating a flake. I — HATE — FLAKES. Now please resist grabbing the closest thing to you and flinging it against the wall. Your eye(s) will probably twitch for awhile, and that tight feeling you get in your chest when trying to make plans with him/her — that’s called anxiety. Later on, when you start thinking to yourself that plans won’t go through because, you know, that person you really want to see constantly manages to think of the most idiotic excuses to flake, that choking feeling is you trying very hard not to cry or light shit on fire. At some point, you will eventually notice that these people do not follow up with a rescheduling. But, hey, maybe when they’ve started pulling this stuff on you when you’ve already said love, you’re going to try to stick it out.
2. Try to “fix” it.
Come to the conclusion that it’s not you, it’s them. They’re not being a flake because you are somehow a horrible person who deserves it. It’s one of their problems, and it doesn’t reflect on you. You may be a flawed individual but being inconsiderate of other people’s time isn’t one of those flaws. So hah! What you do try is reason with them. You can clue them in on how much it “hurts” your feelings (damnit, sometimes you wish you could just control the rage that seems to be boiling underneath your skin), and how you would really prefer if they didn’t continue to do that. Or you could give them an ultimatum and let them know that you don’t kick it with people like that so if it happens again, you’re out (but you have to really mean it so you should get all your stuff back before saying it). They’ll say, “I know, I’m sorry” (ah, such coveted words!), promising that they’ll never do it again. So you text and call them to remind them about dates because even though they haven’t flaked on you since that last time, you start to protect yourself for when — sorry, if(?) — they do it again.
3. Actually, just don’t.
Seriously, save yourself the time, trouble, and anxiety. Flakes are inherently selfish. They aren’t conscientious people who can step outside of themselves and realize how they’ve wasted your time. They think only of how they could be spending that time whether it’s with someone else or by themselves, sitting at home and staring at a blank wall. Hey man, if that’s what you wanted to do all along, that’s cool, you do you, but why couldn’t you have given me that heads up? I would have made other plans — either with someone else or staring at my own wall instead of stewing in aggravation. Start to love yourself and realize that you don’t need those kinds of people in your life. (Unless you’re a flake, too. Then you deserve each other.)