How to End Things Gracefully After One Date

Posted by in breaking up with grace, communication skills in dating, dating after divorce, red flags in relationships | 0 comments

how to end things gracefullySometimes you know in your gut you don’t want a 2nd date. Here’s how to end things gracefully. 

I wanted to share something about my dating life so you could see what happens behind the curtain. After my last relationship ended in February, I had been on a lot of first or second dates that went no further. Like many of you, I’ve been disappointed when the connection was not right for me, but I kept on dating. It’s always uncomfortable to tell someone you don’t think they’re right for you. I never want to hurt someone’s feelings, and I prefer the uncomfortable truth over the disappearing act. I like to think I’m pretty good at nipping things in the bud when there are clear signs that my date is not a good fit. I know how to end things gracefully, even after one date. But what happened this week threw me off a bit…

How to End Things Gracefully After One Date

A week ago, I was supposed to have a coffee date with a new man. He called to cancel that afternoon. His phone broke, he said, and he couldn’t make it that night. What does a broken phone have to do with a coffee date, I wondered. Sounded like he might be an anxious guy who doesn’t do well in a crisis, but I didn’t want to read too much into things before our first date. I agreed to reschedule for the following week.

Wednesday night, we had our coffee date.

As I was walking from my car to Starbucks, a minute or two early, I received a text, “I’m here!” Another ping in my gut about him being overly eager.Again, pushed that feeling away. I wanted to be open and present on our date.

As we entered Starbucks, he told me he doesn’t drink coffee or tea, which was a bit weird considering he chose to meet at a coffee shop! The conversation was a bit stilted and awkward at first, but as he relaxed, there was more of a flow. We even laughed a few times, which is usually a good sign. He admitted to being nervous, and I know from experience that when someone’s nervous, they are not totally themselves. I used to hold back a lot of my personality on first dates, so I could relate. A second date can bring out more of someone’s personality. So when he asked if I’d see him again, I said yes. He said, “Yeah, that’s what they all say.” Really?

He started texting me the next day. That’s when things started to get weird.

Him: Hi!
Me: Hi. Hope you have a great day.
Him: I found you on Facebook. Such great pictures of you! Now I’m going to be tongue tied!
Me: I saw that you sent me a friend request on Facebook. No offense, but I am not going to accept your request because I don’t like to be connected on social media with people I date. I’m wondering how you can see my photos. My information is set to private except for friends on FB. Thanks for the compliment on my photos.
Him: Well, that means we are going to date! We both will be speechless!

That last text made me very uncomfortable. He was creeping me out, projecting a lot about ‘us’ before there was an us.

I realized I didn’t want to see him again and needed to end it. 

Here’s what I wrote:

“This is not easy for me to say, and perhaps it won’t be easy for you to hear. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not to continue dating. You seem like a wonderful person with many great qualities. I’m looking for someone who matches with my unique interests, goals and personality in a different way. I certainly hope you can understand. I enjoyed meeting you and wish you the best. I just know I am not the right person for you and want you to find the one that is.”

He immediately wrote back: “I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I understand. It was very nice meeting you and I wish you nothing but the best. You deserve it.”

I am relieved that he didn’t interrogate me as to why I wasn’t giving him a second chance. I feel so much better that I ended it right away. And I feel good about what I wrote and how he responded.

I share this with you because often, we don’t listen to our intuition in dating.

When your gut says, “This doesn’t feel right”, listen to that inner voice.

I have ignored that wise voice so many times, and it’s always been so wise. Better to end things right away when the message is loud and clear. It’s also important not to write someone off for the wrong reasons. Give someone a second or third date if you’re enjoying yourself, and there is no big red flag flying in your face.

Let me know if this was helpful. Have you ever ignored your gut feelings about a date and let things progress longer than you wanted? Did you ignore your inner voice and/or not know how to gracefully end things? Please share your thoughts.

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