Allow me to paint you a picture that's likely all-too familiar: You meet someone new — maybe on a dating app, at a bar, or through a coworker. You send flirty messages for a few weeks before finally setting up a date with them. You're excited, you text all your friends, and you wear your favorite outfit. Then, you get there and something just seems off. It just wasn't that great of a date, which is disappointing, and you know deep down that you don't want to see this person again. What's the best text to send after a mediocre first date? You don't want to hurt their feelings, but you do want to make your point clear: You're not interested in going out again.
But how? You don't want to upset them or come across too strong, but if they start texting you again to make plans for a second date, it's important to stand firm and not feel like you have to do anything you don't want to. Even if you don't think it's that important to text someone after a not-so-stellar date, an expert suggests it's the kindest move.
"Sending a thank you text is always a good idea," bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Winter tells Elite Daily. "It shows respect, thoughtfulness, and good breeding. Given the fact that you're going to bail, it also shows that you're humane. Your warmth and appreciation will buffer the remaining information you need to state."
In terms of what the message should say, Winter says it's smart to start out with something positive about the date. "Begin with, 'Thank you for...'" Winter says. "The words you choose in this segment of your statement should be truthful and accurate." So, you could say something like, "Thank you for introducing me to Inca Restaurant. It was amazing," as Winter suggests. Or thank them for paying for dinner, or for taking you to see a cool movie. Whatever the case, be honest and kind.
Then, Winter says to get to the point and "state your bottom line." Still, "be diplomatic, and gracious," she adds. "Egos are sensitive and no one likes being rejected." Say something along the lines of, "Though I had a lovely time, I don't feel that we're ultimately a match," she suggests, or, "Though I enjoyed hearing your stories about traveling to South America, I don't feel there's a strong enough connection to warrant another meeting."
Finally, end it on a good note. Try, "But I do appreciate your taking the time to meet me. Best wishes," Winter says. It will show the person you're grateful for their time, even though you didn't exactly feel the sparks. It's always admirable to be honest with someone you're seeing, even if that means telling them you don't want to see them again. First dates are complicated! "You may both hit it off, or be bored out of your wits," Winter says. "The reason for a classy 'thanks-but-no-thanks' text is to establish clarity as to what comes next. Sending a definitive message makes your preference known. Nothing's worse than leaving your date waiting in hope of something that's never going to happen."
At the end of the day, remember Winter's three main points: "Be kind. Be fair. Be clear." It's not easy to get rejected or to reject someone, but according to Winter, "this is the kindest way to let someone down." And if your date was ultimately respectful and sweet (albeit maybe not the best date you've ever had), kindness is most likely the way to go.