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How to Cancel a Date Because You Met Someone Else

You said yes to a date, but now you’re having second thoughts or have noticed red flags. Canceling a date doesn’t have to be rude—you can cancel without hurting feelings as long as you do it in the right way.

Life can get hectic and it’s okay to cancel a date the day of. Here are some tips on how to do it politely.

1. Text

Whether you’re canceling because you met someone else or just simply don’t feel that spark, it’s important to be kind and honest with the person. This shows them that you respect them and want to preserve your relationship with them if there’s a chance that you could potentially reschedule the date in the future.

If you’re canceling via text message, start with a salutation and compliment. This will make your cancellation seem less abrupt and more casual, and it will also set the tone for how you will proceed with the rest of the conversation.

If something urgent came up, it’s okay to say that you can’t meet up. Just make sure to include a detail about the urgency so that your date understands that you’re cancelling on them for a valid reason.

Another option is to say that you’re sick. Again, this can be a valid reason for cancelling if you’re truly sick and would prefer to spend the night at home to rest, as opposed to trying to fake being well to go on the date. Either way, this excuse should be accompanied by an apology to soften the blow for your date. It will show that you are genuinely sorry to have to cancel and that you care about them. This can really help to turn around their mood, especially if they were excited for the date and are disappointed by the last-minute cancellation.

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2. Email

After you’ve agreed to meet someone for a date and got the butterflies in your stomach, it might be hard to cancel it. But it’s important to do so politely, especially if you want to see this person again.

One of the best ways to cancel a date is via email. This gives your date plenty of time to rearrange his or her schedule and doesn’t put any pressure on you to make a quick decision. Just be sure to let your date know as soon as possible and explain why you’re canceling.

For example, say your day has been hectic or something unexpected popped up. It’s also a good idea to apologize and offer to reschedule the date if you can.

However, if you’re not really interested in seeing this person again, you should let them down quickly and honestly so they don’t feel hurt. Besides, it’s better to cancel early on than go out and then realize you don’t like them after all.

Whether you’re just not interested in the person anymore, you’ve met someone else, or your life is a mess and you can’t make it to the date, it’s important to cancel with as much notice as possible. This will save the other person any unnecessary stress and discomfort, and it’s the most respectful thing you can do.

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3. Phone Call

Although it’s easy to cancel via text, a phone call is the most polite way to back out of a date. It allows your date to hear your voice and understand the sincerity of your reason for canceling. It also gives you the opportunity to apologize and reschedule your date.

If you’re planning to cancel your date via text, make sure you do it with ample notice (at least 24 hours). Your date will likely have made preparations for the evening and will be expecting you, especially if you were the one who set up the date. They may have spent time getting ready or might even have splashed out on a new outfit and makeup.

Whether you’re sick, tired or have other commitments on your plate, an honest explanation will be appreciated, but don’t go overboard. It’s not okay to say your dog got sick, you’re a car accident victim or that you had to rescue someone from a burning building. This kind of fake excuse will come across as insincere and will only confuse your date.

If you’re cancelling a date because you met someone else, you should always apologize and offer to reschedule. It’s the polite thing to do, and it will show that you have respect for others and their time. Besides, it will help to soften the blow for both of you and will put the other person at ease that you’re not some flakey person who can’t keep their word.

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4. Face-to-Face

It’s always a bummer when someone cancels on you, especially when you have spent time and effort getting ready (maybe even splashed some cash on a new outfit). But it is important to remember that this person could be going through something else or simply didn’t feel like seeing you.

If you’re not feeling the spark or think the date is heading into Friend Zone, it might be best to let them down gently face-to-face. This gives the person time to lick their wounds and avoid the potential for awkwardness down the road.

Just be sure to communicate a clear reason for the cancellation so that your date doesn’t take it personally. It’s also a good idea to keep the conversation short and simple. Oversharing will probably just make the situation more difficult.

Some reasons to cancel a date include sudden work or school issues, unexpected family or friend emergencies, or feeling sick. Be sure to explain your reasons clearly and honestly, but don’t overdo it with the sarcasm and cynicism that some people can use as an excuse. Just a simple, genuine explanation will help you keep your dignity and be more likely to get another date in the future.