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How to End a Date Early and Politely

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Posted by Joseph on February 6, 2015
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I’ll start this with a story from my dating past. I was chatted up online by a witty, charming chap. We spoke on the phone and arranged to meet for date. Now my normal dating strategy was to meet for a coffee and a chat. However, he wanted to take me out for a meal at his favorite restaurant. I relented and agreed.
We were to meet in a bar first and then go to the restaurant. I felt OK with the date until I arrived at the bar, where I discovered he had used a photograph from at least 10 years earlier, when he had hair and his trousers had a waist size rather than a chest size.
I felt bound to go through with the date, but I felt phony as I made polite conversation and spent time with someone I knew I wouldn’t meet again. It wasn’t his age, weight or that he was follically challenged that put me off. It was that he had lied from the onset (in fairness, his online persona was far more sparky and witty than he was in real life). It was after this date I researched and put together a process on how to end a date early and politely.
These do not include clambering out of the restroom window, getting a friend to phone you with a family emergency or the sudden realization you left a pan on the hob at home. Here are my top tips:

1. Never arrange a first date longer than coffee or drinks.
If you are chatting to a guy and arrange a weekend visit/date, you could regret it and end up sleeping with someone because you feel obligated to do so. That makes my dinner date look like a walk in the park.

2. Simply tell your date you have to go.
If you have ignored rule #1 and gone for a dinner date and things are not going well, it’s acceptable to say to your date, “Thank you for arranging to meet, but I really have to go now.” Do not leave without paying your share of the bill (and if it makes you feel better, leave enough for both of you on the table). Alternatively, pay the bill before you declare your intentions to leave.

“If you find your date eyeing the
nearest exit, wrap the date up.”


3. Don’t promise future dates.
If you go through with the whole date and fake interest in his life history, don’t end the date by saying, “I’ll call you.” Do not give any false promises of repeat dates. Just say, “Thank you for a fun evening.”

4. Make it a guys night out.
You can never have enough friends around, so change the date into a buddy night out.
Use this statement: “So, how is your dating schedule going?”
More often than not, single guys are chatting to numerous guys and meeting up with a few at the same time. When you make this comment, he’ll probably realize you’re not interested in him and you can re-route a romantic situation to a friendship. That’s how I built up a social life when I’d moved to a new city.

5. Never offer more than you are prepared to give.
If you’re meeting from an online dating website, don’t offer up too much before meeting. It’s too easy to give the impression you’re going to commit to a relationship before meeting. Always frame the first date as a “coffee chat.” If you get on amazingly well, you can progress it from there.

6. The day may come when your date isn’t interested.
If you find your date eyeing the nearest exit like a hostage in a siege, be kind to both of you and wrap the date up. It’d be like investing in an ice cream parlor in the Arctic Circle — an investment that just won’t pay out.

We’ve all had bad first dates, so don’t get stressed over it. Deal with it quickly, politely and with consideration. Then shout out “Next!” How do you end a date early?




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