Dear Anon-O-Box: I Don’t Want A Second Date

Dear Anon-O-Box,

Do you have any advice on how to handle the situation where you go on a date and realize things aren’t going to work out? I’d prefer to break things off early and politely, but I’m not sure the best way to do so.

- No Seconds, Please

e answers:

Sticky situation, no? Everything looked great on paper, everything was fine on chat or on the phone, but in person, something just doesn’t quite jive.

This is the perfect argument for the coffee date. You can meet for a cup of coffee, and if things don’t work out, you’re off the hook in less than an hour. If things do click, you can have a refill or head out to a meal or a movie.

In that case, it’s appropriate to call or send an email thanking the person for taking the time to meet you and explaining that you just didn’t feel the chemistry needed to take things forward. This email is easier to receive if you also add in something you liked about the person.

For example:

Dear Marta, Thank you for meeting me for coffee yesterday. I really enjoyed hearing about the work you’re doing in your doctoral program. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that we had the right kind of chemistry in person. I’m sorry to have to send this email, but it’s only right that I be honest with you.  Best of luck in your search, John

But what happens when mid-date you want to bail?

I’ll be the first to admit that I arranged “emergency calls” from friends as bail-out excuses in case a first date went poorly.  But you know what? While I did have some bad dates, none of them went so poorly that I had to bail out in the middle. I just sucked it up and tried my best to speed it along so it ended quickly.

Unless the person is doing something vastly against your morals, I’d stick it out until the end of the date. If they’re insulting waitstaff, kicking puppies, or start on a tirade about how much they hate (insert race/religion/etc here) people, then you have my permission to say, “I’m afraid that our personal beliefs just aren’t a match. I can’t continue this date and will have to leave.”

Happy dating, geek friends!

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