Whether it has been a hopeless waste of time or possibly the start of something very interesting, ending a date can be an awkward experience.
There is a constant balancing act of a host of different factors running through your brain, which might include:
- Do I want to see this person again?
- Does this person want to see me again?
- How can I find out if this person wants to see me again without putting my cards on the table?
- Will I come over too strong?
- Am I about to be rejected?
- How much physical contact does my relationship with this person currently merit?
- Is this person stable?
Fortunately, DDM is here to provide a date exit strategy for all eventualities.
The preemptive exit
Upon arrival – or even when planning the date – make it clear that you have only got an hour to spare before you have to dash off to another pressing engagement. By spelling this out in advance, there shouldn’t be any offence taken when you take your leave.
It is important that you stay true to your word and leave after an hour regardless of how it is going. If it was going well, there is always a second date to pick up that conversation. If it wasn’t, it only cost you an hour of your time and you sidestepped any unnecessary awkwardness.
The early exit
If the date is going well, why not try stopping while the going is good? Tell your date that you’ve enjoyed yourself but have got to go. Suggest that you should call each other in a week or two to arrange to meet again.
Since you ended the first date early and left it open about who should call, there is no harm in you picking up the phone in a week to arrange that second date.
The commitment to a second date
Too many promising first encounters fizzle out into nothing because neither party is sure who should make the call. Why make vague promises about doing this again sometime when you could resolve the situation there and then?
Try: “It was great to meet you. Are you free, by any chance, to meet for another drink, say next Wednesday or Thursday?”
As long as you’re leaving a reasonable amount of time until your proposed second date and are giving a couple of options then this is a great way to have a second date arranged before you’ve even left the first one.
If your date declines your specific options for a second date and doesn’t offer an alternative day to meet again, you will know if wasn’t meant to be and you can save yourself the time spent waiting for a call.
The gentle rejection
Have you decided this definitely isn’t going to lead anywhere? If so, end it there and then. Thank your date for taking the time to meet you but say that you don’t want to take it any further for the moment.
This takes a bit more guts than blowing them off with poor excuses when they call to arrange a second date, but the honesty is usually appreciated.
You can show some physical intimacy towards your date without going too far, too fast with a cheek-to-cheek kiss at the end of the date.
We’re not being prudish, but taking it further than that on the first date generally complicates things if you’re looking for something serious.