How to Salvage or End a Bad Date with Tact

A bad date – most of us have been there, and it’s pretty much the last place we’d want to be.   Many things can contribute to a date going bad; one-sided conversation, not enough conversation, nerves, bad hygiene or lack of physical attraction, your date having a personality that is too overbearing, too narcissistic or too passive.  It all boils down to your perception of compatibility, and bad dates can also be created by expecting too much in the first place. Oftentimes we let our minds run wild with the build up and anticipation of the date; “Could this be the one?” or “I hope this is the one!” etc.  When a date goes wrong, it can feel like a nightmare, and you just want to wake up from it as soon as possible.  Some bad dates can be salvaged though, and some can’t – but either way you can get through the situation with tact, and also take some steps in advance of the date to make things easier on both of you in case things don’t go well.

1.  If it’s a first date, it’s better to plan an activity that is short, like meeting for coffee instead of a big dinner date. This way, you can wrap things up more quickly if you find things are not going well, or you can continue if they are.

2.  If it’s a longer date and there is more than one activity planned, end the date in between activities.  Simply ask the other person (after giving them a decent chance) if it’s ok to end the date there. It’s rude and selfish to end a date in the middle of an activity, unless of course they are being rude or abrasive themselves – then it’s ok to end the date as soon as you feel uncomfortable.

3.  If you’re finding nerves are the problem, be honest.  Chances are the other person is feeling the same way, and by simply saying, “I apologize, I’m feeling slightly nervous”, you can break the ice and get through it. It’s very difficult to get to know someone when one or both of you is nervous, but this is not a reason to end a date.

4.  If you’ve inadvertently said something to offend your date, take responsibility, apologize, and let it go.  Sometimes it’s difficult to navigate around another’s personality so don’t beat yourself up about it.  Hopefully the other person will accept the apology and move on, and if not, then you may want to end the date by calmly explaining you feel it isn’t working out.

5.  Treat the other person with dignity, and expect the same for yourself. There’s no need to be rude or to fake an illness to get out of a date.  Always try to be honest and remember the other person has feelings too.  How would you want to be treated in the same situation?  It’s not really anyone’s fault if you’re not compatible, it doesn’t make one person right or wrong, you’re just different.  Be honest that your differences are too much and not what you’re looking for, but don’t get overly personal and judgmental with someone you hardly know.

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