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How to Cancel a Date Without Hurting Your Date’s Feelings

Canceling a date doesn’t have to be gut-wrenching. It just requires a bit of thoughtfulness and planning.

If you can’t make it to a date, be sure to communicate this clearly and politely. Here are some ways you can cancel a date without being a flake: 1. Call them instead of texting.

1. Let them know in advance.

Nobody likes to be flakey, but sometimes life happens and you need to cancel a date. Maybe you were working late or have a family emergency that needs your attention. Whatever the reason, it’s important to let your date know in advance that you can’t make it so they don’t get disappointed or upset.

A simple text can work just fine, if you don’t feel comfortable telling them why face-to-face. You could say something like: “Hey, I’m really sorry but I’ve got an important issue that came up. I need to prioritize this and won’t be able to make it tonight.”

Bustle explains that licensed marriage and family therapist David Strah recommends including three things in your cancellation text: be gracious, be clear about your intentions, and wish them well. It’s a good reminder of the Golden Rule—treat others as you would like to be treated—and it will also ensure that your date doesn’t take offense or hold your cancellation against you in the future. After all, it’s probably been there before. It’s not a good idea to burn your bridges with someone you may want to date again in the future.

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2. Send a text.

If you can’t meet up in person, sending a text is the best way to cancel. But you want to be careful how you word it.

For example, if you say something like “my throat hurts so I’m going to stay in bed” it could lead your date to believe that you’re being dishonest and that you’re not really sick. This is especially true if she spent time getting ready for the date (like getting a new haircut or buying a tee shirt that makes her feel good about herself).

If you’re feeling hesitant or just don’t have the energy to go through with your plans, try to find a fun and flirty way to postpone the date. This will make your date feel wanted and valued instead of like you’re blowing them off. Plus, a playful text will give them a sense of your personality and could even spark some interest. Just be sure to ask them if you can reschedule sometime! They may be happy to hear that they’ll get a chance to see you again.

3. Call.

There are a lot of different reasons that you might need to cancel a date. Perhaps your busy schedule got in the way, or maybe you’re just not feeling it anymore and want to move on. Whatever the reason, it’s important to know how to cancel a date politely and without hurting anybody’s feelings.

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Ideally, you should call to cancel your date as soon as you realize that you won’t be able to make it. This will allow you to give your date a good explanation of why you’re cancelling and will avoid any miscommunication. Plus, it’s a lot more respectful than just sending a text, which can be taken the wrong way.

If you can’t find the time to call, a nice email is also acceptable as long as it’s clear and doesn’t sound rude. Just be sure to apologize for wasting their time and tell them you’ll make it up to them another time!

4. Send an email.

Canceling a date can feel awful. You’ve spent time picking out an outfit, mentally preparing for the evening, and rearranging your schedule to fit in the meeting. Then, when you get an email that says your date has fallen ill and needs to reschedule, it can be crushing.

The key is to be honest but kind when you cancel a date. Don’t use wishy-washy phrases like “I’m sorry I’m not feeling well” or “my plans fell through.” This gives the impression that you are flakey and have no respect for others and their time.

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It’s also important to say when you’re open to rescheduling the date in the future. This shows that you are genuine about wanting to see them again and not just blowing them off. If they are unable to accommodate your request for a reschedule, it’s likely best to move on from the relationship altogether.

5. Send a letter.

Canceling dates can be tricky, especially when you’re not sure how to go about it. Whether you’re cancelling at the last minute or just not feeling it, it’s important to know how to do it politely so that you don’t hurt your date’s feelings. “Always be gracious, be clear about your intentions, and wish them well,” licensed marriage and family therapist David Strah tells Bustle.

If you’re going to be canceled on, make sure you let them know as soon as possible. This will give them a chance to reschedule their day or find someone else to hang out with. Plus, you won’t have to worry about a resentful phone call later on.

There are many reasons you might need to cancel a date, including getting sick or having a scheduling conflict. However, you don’t have to be a total jerk about it. As long as you’re honest and respectful, most people will understand. Just don’t resort to far-fetched excuses like saving a life or being in an eight-car pileup on the freeway! With a little bit of preparation, it’s easy to cancel a date without being a total dick.