Date one is in the books! And it was . . . not so great. But how should you cut ties with the person you just shared a few hours of awkward small talk and sudsy brews with? Keep your head up, tiger, we’ve all been there.
In some cases, they won’t be interested in you either. This is the absolute best-case scenario! Neither of you will hear from each other, or care to! You can just go on with your search for love, knowing that the last words you both texted to one another were before you actually met in person. I like to call this mutual ghosting.
They never heard from each other again (and both lived happily ever after).
But let’s say the disinterested feeling is not so clearly mutual. What happens then? Well, there are a lot of ways you can let your date know that a second date won’t be happening. But how you choose to tell them will definitely affect how you go down in the book of your former date’s life.
To help you out, here are a few options of how people might text a first date goodbye. And since karma really is a bitch, I’ll point out which of these tactics should best be avoided, and which you should try out.
1. The Short Answer
Giving someone abrupt or one-word answers to any text communication they throw at you is a surefire way to let them know you aren’t into it. Unless they’re terrible at reading social cues, or ridiculously optimistic, sending short messages is one way to clue your date into the fact that you aren’t feeling it, without totally ghosting.
Karma Scale: Kinda immature.
While giving short answers will make it quite obvious that you don’t want to go on another date, it’s not the nicest way to let someone down. Think of their excitement watching the little “typing” dots on their smartphone, only to receive a one word, deflecting message. So while short answers may make it easier to avoid the big goodbye, it’s certainly not the most polite way to let your date down.
2. The Fake Mistake
Sending a quick text right after you leave the date that was supposedly meant “for a friend” will end things pretty quickly for you.
Karma Scale: Slimy as Hell.
NEVER EVER DO THIS. It’s terrible and mean and will make your poor date feel like a-hole. I’ve heard of people getting texts like this and it’s so unnecessary. Dating is hard enough as it is, let’s ditch the mean shenanigans. And if anyone ever sent out a text like this by accident, I’M STILL MAD AT YA! Concentrate on what you’re doing! People’s hearts are on the line!
3. The Busy Bee
One way of avoiding a second date is to never have time in your busy schedule to meet up again. This tactic gives you many different creative excuses to use for why you can’t hang out — maybe you’re going on vacation, or work has been super busy lately. Perhaps your family is coming to town, or you simply already have plans with friends. The possibilities are endless, you busy bee, you.
Karma Scale: It’s not necessarily mean, but it sure is annoying.
There’s a couple ways to look at this tactic: It’s an easy way to avoid telling someone that you have no desire to see them again, but it also encourages them to keep asking you to hang at a later date. It’s not inherently mean, but also not the most straightforward way to go about ending things after a first date. Most people will probably get the hint, or just get fed up and stop asking you to hang out again, but you’d be surprised at how persistent a lonely human soul can be.
4. The Too Much, Too Fast
As a general rule, what’s the fastest way to make a date run quickly in the other direction? TALK OF COMMITMENT AND THE FUTURE! Keeping that in mind, here’s a surefire way to get your date to never want to talk to your crazy ass again: talk about your future together.
Karma Scale: You’re walking a very dangerous line.
Odds are your date will be the one ghosting YOU once you start talking about marriage and kiddos, but this plan has a very big risk factor. If you’re dealing with someone who is looking for a long-term commitment, this text may be encouraging to them – and that means it’ll be even harder to shake them later down the line. This technique should probably never be used.
5. The Actual Ghosting
It’s a phrase we’ve all heard many times – the oldest trick in the new book of dating: ghosting. For those of us keeping score at home, ghosting means that you just stop responding to someone’s texts – total, complete silence. It can be a sad tactic for the person being ghosted on, but you can’t argue with it’s effectiveness at proving your point.
Karma Scale: Eh, I forgive you.
I have a very specific moral code when it comes to many things. In this case, I think it’s totally okay to ghost after a bad first date. Compared to all the other tactics we’ve covered so far, this is the most painless way to show your date that you’re just not that into them. And in my book, shooting each other a couple texts and meeting up for a drink doesn’t mean you owe each other anything afterwards. It’s the equivalent of meeting someone at a bar one night, chatting a bit, and then never talking to them again. After date one, if you have the option of being mean, leading someone on, or simply cutting all ties – I say ghosting is the way to go.
6. The Open, Honest Communication
Now that we’ve covered pretty much all the things you SHOULDN’T text after a first date, let’s examine a much easier route: telling the truth. No games, no lies, just 100% honesty. It seems so simple, yet it’s so effective.
Karma Scale: Honesty is the best policy.
Everyone out there dating is in the same boat as you, just trying to find companionship – so why make it any harder than it already is? Being straightforward in a polite way lets both you and your date move on and find someone else who is a better fit. And even if they are a little bummed at first, being upfront spares them heartache and saves them time. You’ll generally find that if you decide to use this tactic, your date (and humanity) will appreciate it.