How To Turn Down A Second Date Without Being A Jerk

Contrary to popular belief, if you're not into your date, you don't have to ghost on them. There are plenty of other ways to say no to a second date and not hurt anyone's feelings. Let me paint the scene: You went on a Tinder date to grab a drink with your latest swipe right who you seemed to be digging on. Their pics were cute (no “Where's Waldo?” group photos or gym mirror selfies) and the conversation has been just as good as it gets when you've never actually met someone. But, when you finally meet that potential special someone at the bar, this person is not all you dreamed they would be. Maybe there was just no chemistry, or your complete difference of opinions made it hard to stay seated, but whatever it is you're not really about date number two. So what do you do?

However, as obvious as that seemed to you, your date didn't seem to get the picture and now he/she is persistently texting you, asking you to meet up once more. If you're just not into it, but you want to let them down easily, there's a way to reject date number two without any harm or foul. It's not exactly a science but the best way is to be as honest as possible (without being cruel of course) and then move forward. If he/she can't seem to get over your no, or has some choice words in the face of your rejection then that's their problem. Whatever the outcome is, it's still in your best interest to let them know how you feel.

Do You Really Not Want The Second Date?

Only you can tell whether you've had chemistry with someone and whether any connection, no matter how small, is worth a second chance. According to Aimee Hartstein, a New York-based psychotherapist for both individuals and couples, second chances are something to consider if there was a teeny tiny something there.

“I think that unless they are really unappealing, obnoxious, or unattractive (to you, chemistry is personal) then you should have that second date,” she tells Bustle. “I’m a believer in pushing yourself to go on that second date, just to see. But you can make it short and sweet, not a marathon date. If you find you are right and you really aren’t interested, then not that much is lost.”

But if you've made the decision not to see them again, here is how you proceed.

Be Sure Not To Lead Them On

I'm guilty of this and I'm probably not the only one. If you found that he/she was a nice enough person, you just weren't into it, you may continue to talk with them because you feel bad and want to spare them (and yourself) the awkward conversation. However, there's a happy medium between cutting them off completely and leading them to believe you're still interested and that line will forever keep things platonic.

If you're leading him/her on though because you like receiving the attention despite not wanting to do anything about it, be aware of why you're keeping that person on the hook. It may be nice to have someone in your life if no one else is filling that gap, but if you're truly not interested don't let someone dangle because they think that you are. It's only going to make matters worse later on while also prolonging the inevitable.

Be Straightforward And Honest

It sounds like a simple enough solution, and you know it's the right one but that doesn't make it any easier. Simply telling someone, “Hey, you were super nice but I'm not into you like that,” is equal parts awkward and uncomfortable but it's still necessary. Whether you do it in a text, or you decide to call them on the phone, it's important you let them know that you appreciated the date but you don't see a future for the two of you. You owe it to yourself and to that person to let them know where you're at.

And try not to prolong it. The longer you go speaking to them and letting them feel that everything is progressing well, the worse it'll be when they find out you weren't on the same page as them. All of this may not soften the blow, but it's a lot better than the alternative.

Which leads me to my next point.

Don't Ghost

Yes, I know it's the easy way out and it's completely tempting but think how much it frustrates you. I get angry if I'm having a conversation with someone over Tinder or OkCupid and they stop answering in the middle. I can't imagine how infuriated and upset I'd be if I went on a date with someone, thought it went well, and never heard from them again.

“I think this 'ghosting' is a relatively new phenomenon,” Hartstein said. “I’m sure it happened in the past, but somehow online dating has given us the idea that dates are abundant, people are disposable, and that it’s acceptable to just ignore someone who we don’t want to deal with.”

So, be brave on this one, and don't disappear into oblivion. No matter what their response is, they're going to feel a lot better knowing you cared enough to say something rather than stop answering them altogether.

Whether you continue to talk to them in a friendly way after that is completely up to you, but just be sure to leave off on a good enough note as long as you feel they deserved it.

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