One of the most frustrating parts of single life is having to deal with bad dates. Hopefully, these are few and far between for you, but chances are you’ve experienced at least one dud date in your time.
Incompatibility isn’t necessarily a big deal. We can’t all be perfect matches. But there’s a real discomfort around bad dates because no one wants to feel rejected, right?
Some of us are naturally better at navigating this space. Maybe you can tell the person across from you isn’t your future beau after 10 minutes and so feel comfortable telling them you need to head home to feed your cat.
But many of us (hello, me) find it difficult to tackle the challenge of wrapping up a date they no longer want to be on.
If that’s you, there’s hope yet. Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science, Logan Ury shared some tips on how to seamlessly end a bad date so you don’t have to spend your Friday night sitting in a bar listening to your date deliver a monologue about their theories on why the Earth is flat (true story).
Don’t underestimate the old classics
If you’d like to wrap up a bad date that you’re currently on, you want to make sure the message is clear without hurting anyone’s feelings. Dating and attraction expert Kezia Noble told Cosmopolitan that having a few lines ready to go, or asking a friend to call mid-date are both solid moves:
“They might be cliche, but the old lines like, ‘I’ve got an early start tomorrow,’ or ‘I think I’ve got a migraine coming on,’ usually do the trick.
“The other person will probably get the message that you’re just not interested, whereas the more creative your lie, the more likely they’ll think you’re telling the truth. They might miss your hint and end up calling and texting you to pursue a second date,” she told the outlet.
While being truthful is generally going to be the preferred approach in dating, the reality is that sometimes people don’t feel comfortable turning someone down face-to-face. If you’re unsure about how the other person will react, it’s absolutely okay to blame your choice to leave on external circumstances.
It’s worth pointing out here that if you feel unsafe, that’s a different situation completely and you should either alert someone at the venue or contact someone you trust. is always available to offer support.
But don’t be a jerk
Once you’re home, if your date approaches you for a second date, don’t be rude about it. Telling a date you think they’re boring doesn’t help anyone.
But you will benefit if you’re upfront about the reality of the situation – as long as you employ a little grace here, okay?
If your date wants to hang out another time and you don’t see that working out, let them know. Try and avoid the temptation to ghost.
“Whether it’s an in-person or virtual date, it’s best to be kind and firm when letting someone know you’re not interested,” Ury shared.
“If you’ve only been talking for a week or two, you can send them a text that says, ‘It’s been great to get to know you but I don’t think we’re a good romantic match’. You don’t need to get into all of the details of why, but it’s important to break things off with them as soon as you know you’re not interested.”
If you’re not sure, try a video date first
Side-step the discomfort of a bad first date by testing your chemistry over video first. It may seem kind of awkward, but Ury explained that most Hinge users have shared that “it’s easier to end a video date than an IRL date if there’s no connection”.
She suggested using the app’s new video prompts, which dish out 5 questions each, as a quick and easy way of feeling out your date’s vibe.
“You can then decide whether you want to go through another pack [of questions] or let the date come to a natural end.”
Now go forth and squash any future bad dates, painlessly.