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5 Ways to Respond to a Bad Date Without Ghosting

5 Ways to Respond to a Bad Date Without Ghosting

Grow up and stop ghosting!

Ghosting might seem like the easy way out of another bad date, but if you’ve ever been ghosted you know there’s nothing easy about it. There is nothing fun about being rejected, but it’s way better than waiting for a reply to your text, making up excuses for someone, and wondering where you went wrong for a week before you get the hint.

As someone who has been both ghosted and (shamefully) a ghost, it’s always better to be upfront with someone. (The exception is when you’re worried about your safety and don’t want to engage anymore.) It’s not mean to reject someone. It’s actually much more respectful to communicate than to leave someone hanging, even if that means telling them something that they don’t want to hear. Here are five tactful ways to respond to a bad date instead of ghosting someone:

1) Let them down at the end of the first date.
If the date was bad but not Craigslist Killer bad, just let them know you’re not interested at the end of your first date. Something as simple as, “You seem nice, but I didn’t really feel a connection,” can give you both closure. It can be a little uncomfortable to say this or hear this in person, but it’s a good way to rip off the Band-Aid. Obviously, if the date was uncomfortable for creepy reasons, put your safety first and skip the in-person rejection.

2) Send them a text a few hours after the bad date.
A simple, “Hey, good luck on your dating adventures. I didn’t really hit it off this time,” text is fine. You’ve been on one date. You don’t need to drag it out. You also don’t owe them an explanation. If they start asking why you didn’t hit it off or what they did wrong, don’t bother engaging. You already gave your explanation. You weren’t feeling it. You don’t need to justify that unless you really want to.

3) Respond to a text if they ask you out again.If they thought the date was great but you weren’t on the same page, they might ask you out again. Just reject them and move on. If you’ve ever been ghosted you know that it’s much easier to feel a little hurt all at once than to drag that hurt feeling out over a week while you wait for a response and eventually realize you’re not getting one.

4) Guide the relationship in a different direction.[iframe allowfullscreen="" class=^{{"giphy-embed"}}^ frameborder="0" height="420" width="750"]If your biggest issue is that you just don’t want to date this person, but you also enjoyed hanging out with them, let them know that you’re only interested in a friendship. They might not return that feeling, but it’s worth a shot, and it’s better than missing out on a great friendship because you’re too worried about how they’ll react.

5) Go on a second date.If the date was bad because you just didn’t feel like you clicked, consider giving someone a second chance. Sometimes nerves get in the way of a good first impression. Sometimes a coffee date doesn’t really let you find your common interests, but doing something more active, like exploring a flea market or going to a concert in the park, is a better way to get to know that person. It takes time to get to know people and open up to them. The worst thing that can happen is that you waste a couple hours of your life that you would’ve spent on Netflix anyway.

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Cassie Sheets