Getting asked out by someone new can be quite the pleasant surprise. Maybe they're an acquaintance you've been low-key flirting with, or a complete Tinder rando with a banging bod and you figured you'd treat yourself to a new flavor of the week. Either way, should be fun right? Totally... except for those occasions when the end of the evening can't come fast enough. When put on the spot, coming up with things to say on a first date when you know with every fiber of your being that you never want to see this person again can be daunting.
It's likely we've all experienced that sinking feeling of dread when you're on a first date, and it becomes painfully obvious that you guys just aren't a good fit. Only to then realize that you are stuck on a date with them, unless you can muster the bravery to concoct an outrageous lie about how your roommate got locked out in the midst of writing a 30-page research paper that is due in an hour.
If, like most people, you decide the best way to handle the situation is to suck it up and power through, WTF are you supposed to say once the evening is over to make it clear that what just happened will never happen again? Well, I can't promise you the 30 seconds it'll take you to say your swift goodbye isn't going to be awkward, but there are some phrases you can keep in your back pocket to let them off easy, so to speak.
"Thanks So Much For Coming Out, Bye!"
OK, so here's the thing — rejection is rejection is rejection, you feel me? No matter how it goes down, telling someone you really aren't into them (either directly or indirectly) is going to suck no matter which way you slice it. That being said, some ways of communicating this are definitely better than others. Even if you aren't feelin' it, as long as they treated you respectfully and weren't a complete tool, a polite and sincere thank you is never a bad idea. As long as they don't put you on the spot and ask for another date, you should be in the clear.
"This Week Is Pretty Crazy, But I'll Let You Know Once Things Slow Down."
So you've suffered through what felt like a never ending date at Hometown Buffet and despite all of your efforts to seem vacant and disinterested, they still couldn't take the hint. Quite the contrary actually; in their mind, they thought the evening went splendid. So much so that in a misguided moment of confidence, they thought they'd be assertive and try to lock down another date STAT.
I know some of you are going to grill me, but sometimes telling a white lie is your best option. And if we're splitting hairs, this isn't technically a lie, because we're all busy. Who's to say... maybe things never ended up "slowing down."
"Thanks Again, Take Care"
If you get the vibe that you may have a relentless pursuer on your hands, then slipping in a take care after a polite thank you should be curt enough to let them know that things just weren't meant to be. Think about it: Take care is just about the most platonic and lackluster thing you can say to someone. Although, be safe is a close second.
"It Was Nice To Meet You, I'll Be In Touch"
Now, people might think that this one errs on the side of giving them false hope, but I beg to differ. Saying that it was nice to meet someone at this point is considered to be a pleasantry; we use it all the time — even when we didn't particularly enjoy meeting someone in the slightest. The latter part of the phrase is treading the line a bit by implying that they can expect to hear from you, but all you said was that you'd be in touch, not that they would like what you have to say once you get in touch. Following up this one liner with an early morning text letting them know that you've given it some thought but didn't feel like there was a connection between the two of you is totally fair. If they decide to be a troll about it, then thou shalt be blocked.
Figuring out how to be honest with someone without hurting their feelings isn't easy, but let's be honest — the stakes after a first date aren't the highest. If you aren't feeling them, even a little bit, then chances are you aren't going to suddenly wake up one morning and feel chemistry where there is none. Instead of dragging it out, sometimes you gotta rip that bandaid off and keep it movin'.
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