9/19/2012 11:24 AM
By all appearances, the pictures on his profile must have been 15 years old. Or, she’s loud and already drunk, and your entrees haven’t even arrived yet. And the two of you were still supposed to go to a movie after. Is there any graceful way to end this bad date?
It happens; no matter how well you clicked on the dating site, sometimes, when you meet in person, the magic just isn’t there. Sometimes you’ll find that your date significantly misrepresented their appearance. Others, you’ll find that the two of you are seriously incompatible. In any case, there are dates where you find yourself wanting to chew your own leg off to get away. To extract yourself from this sticky situation:
Do not just disappear. This goes double if you picked up your date at his or her house. When you strand someone out in public, you become the bad date, not them.
Let him or her know that it just isn’t working for you. Don’t be accusatory; it’s not cool or kind to sit there and rattle off a list of a near-stranger’s faults. Just say that you do not feel that the two of you have good chemistry. Wish them the best. If you drove, offer cab fare home to avoid an uncomfortable ride.
However, all this goes out the window if your date is making you feel unsafe. If you have reason to believe that your date will respond to rejection with violence or hostility, a discreet excape out the back door is perfectly acceptable. When weighing physical safety against social graces, safety wins every time.
In the future, schedule a first meet-up before your formal date. Meet for a quick cup of coffee or a walk in the park. The pre-date should be brief, no more than half an hour or so. This way, you both have a low-pressure chance to assess whether you are a match before committing to several hours together.
If the pre-date is not your thing, at least stick to one-part first dates. Don’t go for dinner and a movie, or the art gallery plus lunch. Just meet for a meal or a drink together while you are still feeling each other out. No matter how well things go while you are chatting online and on the phone, sometimes, it all changes once you are together in person.
Don’t get discouraged by bad dates. Sometimes it takes a few tries to meet the right person. If you handle getting out of bad dates gracefully, you’ll feel better about the experience, and will be ready to get back out there and meet the right one for you.