No matter how bad you think a date can get or whether you’re in the middle of a crisis, we have to think about the people we’re involved with. We can’t just leave them hanging when we can spare the time to tell them that we can’t show up.
If you’re not interested at all, don’t agree to go out on a date in the first place. Don’t use pity or boredom as an excuse. Just tell a person that you’re not interested, before they invest any more time in something that won’t result in anything. It’s just common courtesy and it wouldn’t hurt if we could extend that to everyone we meet no matter how bad of a date they’re going to be.
How to cancel a date properly
Unfortunately, not everyone is this considerate. Simply not showing up or cancelling at the last minute will leave a bad impression. So how can you cancel a date in a way that won’t leave your supposed-to-be-date offended?
#1 Tell them at least a day before you have to cancel. If you decided to cancel some time before the date, a day before is the latest you can do it without looking rude. If you wait longer than that, it will be more awkward, and you could be forced to lie just to spare their feelings.
#2 If you have to cancel within the day, tell them several hours before they start preparing. Try to cancel a few hours before your date starts getting ready. Most people prepare about two hours before they have to leave for their date. This will lessen the impact of the rejection, since your date hasn’t set aside time to prepare.
#3 Give them a valid reason. The best way to avoid being rude when cancelling a date is to give a valid reason behind why you need to do it. Make sure that it’s really important and not just done on a whim.
#4 If you’re lying, make sure it’s believable. Sometimes, we change our minds at the very last minute. Whatever the reason, you still need to make sure that your date feels comfortable about it. Don’t make up a bogus story that can easily be called out. You wouldn’t want to tell your date you’re cancelling because you’re sick, only for him or her to see tagged pictures of you drinking around town the day after.
#5 Schedule your next date. If you still want to see the person, give them a specific date and time when you can reschedule your date. This gives them an idea on whether or not you’d still be interested in seeing them in the future.
#6 If it’s not possible, ask for a rain check. If your schedule is unclear, tell them that you’ll consider it another time. Be sincere about it, because most people think that this line is just a way to prolong the agony of rejection.
#7 If you don’t plan on seeing them ever again, tell them the truth. Don’t make a person wait for you when you have no plans of seeing them again. That’s just cruel. If you give them false hope, they’ll just end up chasing you, thinking that all you need is a little nudge.
Legitimate reasons to leave a date
Canceling on a date before it happens shows good manners, but what happens when you’re already on the date? There are many reasons why a date can fail, but it can’t be helped. It could be an emergency or a bad case of food poisoning. Whatever it is, it’s best to make a dignified exit.
There are only a few select reasons when it’s okay to leave in the middle of the date. These are:
#1 He or she is a horrible person. If you see any red flags like cruelty, narcissism, selfishness, misogyny and any other negative personality traits, you can go. Just go.
#2 Lies. If your date made themselves out to be someone they’re not, you have the right to get out of there. Lying is usually the first sign that a person can’t be trusted. If they didn’t mean to hurt you, make them prove to you that they did it for the right reasons.
#3 You have an urgent situation to attend to. I’m talking about really important things, not just an excuse to leave because you feel like it.
#4 If you’re not enjoying yourself. Sometimes, you have to call it like it is. If it’s not working out for you, ask to end the night early.
How to actually leave your date
No matter how bad the situation gets, you shouldn’t leave the situation abruptly. Even if your date was an ass, you should be the bigger person and leave the situation politely. If it can’t be helped, here are some excuses that you can use to escape a red flag situation.
#1 I’m sick. A tummy ache always works. Tell them you have to poop. That always does it. Permanently.
#2 I need to pick my friend up. Tell them your friend needs your help and if the guy’s really bad, they won’t offer to help.
#3 My boss wants me to settle something right now. Work commitments always trump dinner dates. Sorry.
#4 My parents need me to go over and help with… Uh, something. Meeting the parents? Works like a bucket of ice.
#5 My ex is back in the picture. If you think none of the other excuses are going to work, this is your last resort.
If that doesn’t work…
If they’re still persistent, which can be endearing sometimes, you can use these as a follow-up.
#1 I don’t bring my dates while I work. I mean, who does that anyway? What’s your date going to do? Twiddle their thumbs until until you’re done?
#2 I’m not ready to let you meet my friends or family yet. As far as excuses go, this is pretty legit. Most people understand that meeting your family is a big deal.
#3 I don’t bring guys/girls I barely know to my place. Truth! Any man or woman should understand the boundaries that need to be put up during the initial dating stages.
#4 I’m not feeling this. Just say it. You can get some negative backlash from it, but at least you’re telling the truth.
#5 I don’t think this will work out. Just as true as the reason above. It’s pretty honest, so you get points if you have the guts to say this outright. Your date will thank you for not making them jump through hoops for you.
Before you decide to cross out a date, make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. If your issue is their appearance, don’t judge them based solely on that. If you’re intimidated by a person, this could be your chance to test your skills as a people person. Whatever the case may be, it’s always necessary to give a person showing no signs of psychosis the benefit of the doubt.
Going on a date is the best way to get to know a person better. If you can’t spare the time or if you’re just not interested, you can use the tips we provided to get out of a commitment without seeming rude. Just remember that you’ll never know what’s in store for you if you won’t put yourself out there.