Experts Explain How To Politely Turn Down A Virtual Date

by Kristine Fellizar
Sex and the City

So, you matched with someone cute online, struck up a conversation, and soon realized that your soulmate couldn't possibly be someone with such a big passion for beer pong and boats. But they've already asked you if you're free to do Zoom happy hour on Friday night, and you're having trouble coming up with a good reason to say no. Since ghosting isn't the nicest method for ditching a dud, what's the best way to turn down a virtual date? Social distancing is making it much harder to put off "meeting up," and your typical excuses for declining a date may no longer apply.

"The best way to turn down a virtual date is to always to be straightforward and honest in an appreciative way," Laurie Berzack, MSW, dating coach and owner of Carolinas Matchmaker, tells Bustle. "After all, you want to be able to say what's on your heart and on your mind in your future relationship, so why not start practicing now?"

It doesn't matter if you're still in the exchanging messages phase or have already gone on your first virtual date — being upfront about how you're feeling can save both of you a lot of energy. While nobody likes being rejected, matchmaker and dating expert Constance Curtis tells Bustle that "people appreciate not having their valuable time wasted and this goes a long way."

Having a script prepared beforehand can be really helpful. If someone asks you out, and you're not really feeling it, try, "Thanks, it was great to meet you but I don't feel like we're that good of a match. I don't want to waste your time but I'm sure you're going to find someone awesome. Good luck and stay safe out there!"

Just like ending a bad virtual date, turning someone down doesn't have to be a big thing. You don't have to make up excuses or even explain why you don't feel like you're not right for each other. Just be honest about your intentions, kind in your delivery, and keep it simple. According to Berzack, you don't need to feel guilty about it either. If someone responds negatively, it's only further confirmation that they're not the one for you.


Laurie Berzack, MSW, dating coach and owner of Carolinas Matchmaker

Constance Curtis, matchmaker and dating expert