The Best Thing to Say (or Text) After a Bad First Date

or how to let someone down gently

Lin

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The other night, I went on a bad date.

I hesitate to call it a bad date because there was nothing specifically awful about it — he showed up on time, asked the right questions, and slipped his hand into mine at the end of the night without making it awkward.

Really, it wasn’t a bad date — it was an okay date.

Just okay.

There was no spark, no connection, and throughout the entire night, there was an odd gut feeling about the guy that I just couldn’t pinpoint. It felt like I was drinking a cup of lukewarm coffee — I could tolerate it and maybe even enjoy it if I really tried, but I wasn’t going to order it off the menu.

Part of my uneasiness may have had to do with the circumstances behind the situation. My date was a guy from one of my classes who’d asked me out once before. Still raw and nursing my emotional wounds from a recent break-up, I’d declined his offer.

A couple of months later, I encountered him again and we spent an hour or so talking. He asked if I was seeing anyone and his eyes lit up when he found out I wasn’t. Even though I could already feel the lack of a spark, I felt obligated to give him a chance.

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Lin

When I’m not writing, you can usually find me hanging out with my cats