Is L.A. the flake capital of the world and are singles in Los Angeles the flakiest flakes of all?
Spectral / 123RF Photo
A friend of mine, a successful single woman in her 40s, is moving to Europe. After spending the last five years in Los Angeles, she says she’s had it with flaky L.A. people.
“People in Los Angeles say they’re going to do something and half the time, they never follow through,” she says. “A yes means maybe. Setting a time for an appointment means ‘more or less’ and there’s always a packaged excuse. I’ve had it with Los Angeles flakes.”
I have to admit, I can relate to what she says. I can’t count the number of times that people pay late, show up late or don’t show up at all – after promising otherwise. Sure, there are flaky people everywhere, but my friend wasn’t the first person I’ve heard say this. And the flakiest of all, the group that gets the fickled finger of flake pointed at them the most: single people, particularly Los Angeles singles.
Proving there must be some validity to this theory, there’s a Meet-Up group called “No Flake Singles” that started in 2007. Formed to provide a refuge for non-flaky singles, the group has 7,067 members and includes this anti-flake message in its description:
“Tired of the flaky group singles/friends scene in Los Angeles? Ever show up to a Meetup event, just to find that the organizer is a no-show and only a few other group members have bothered to attend? Please, only join if you have a strong desire to attend the events … we are trying to weed out the flaky types, there are no “MAYBE” RSVP’s. Members who RSVP “YES” and flake out on two events (or one if you are committed to a fee), will be deleted from the group.”
That tough love policy sounds like it would be effective at getting rid of the undesirables, so I decided to contact the people in charge to get more information. I left several messages for the group’s organizers. No one returned my calls. Not exactly the response I was expecting from No Flake Singles.
Jeff Daly, a filmmaker who is a SingularCity member, says he doesn’t think single people are flakier than pair-bonded people, but he does think L.A. people overall tend to be that way.
“I think the issue is multi-tiered,” he says. “There are the ambitious flakes who just seek the best opportunities and there are the jerkish flakes who don’t take other people’s feelings or time into consideration. They have no problem canceling plans if something better comes up.”
He went on to explain that these kinds of people are obsessed with “me” — how they feel, what they want and what serves them best at the moment. There’s no space left to consider how their flaky behavior has a negative impact on the people in their lives.
“When someone proves themselves to be a flake, I back off,” Daly says. “I’m unwilling to trust them. They’re not the kind of people I want in my life, not as friends or as even clients. They suck too much time and seem absolutely clueless about the negative impact their flaky behavior has on the people around them.”
Janine Cohen, an attorney and SingularCity member, agrees. “It’s common here to invite people to parties, have them say they will come and then just not show up. It seems as if people are always looking for something better to do.”
As my friend who’s moving to Europe says, flaky really means a lack of personal integrity. While it may seem that the flake is only damaging other people, they also damage themselves. “It depletes positive energy in their lives,” she says. “They have to come up with excuses, have to avoid people they’ve flaked out on, and end up losing all of their close, intimate relationships when people just decide they’ve had enough.”
Seems to me it would be a whole lot easier to just do what you say, say what you mean and enjoy the authentic self-esteem that comes from knowing you are a reliable person – regardless of your relationship status. Who wants to be a flake; someone who agrees to do something, but never follows through? Not a good way to create the kind of relationships and symbiotic community we need for a successful life, especially when we’re single.
Copyright © Kim Calvert / 2016 Singular Communications, LLC.
Kim Calvert is the editor of Singular magazine and the founder of the SingularCity social networking community. An outspoken champion of people who are living their lives as a “me” instead of a “we,” Kim oversees the creative direction and editorial content of the magazine and online social networking community. She secures contributors and is responsible for maintaining the fun, upbeat, inspirational and often-humorous tone of Singular, a lifestyle guide for successful single living.