5 Ways to Get Out of the First Date Gracefully and Quickly

“How can I end the first date quickly without hurting his feelings?” I get this question a lot from new clients. Sometimes I hear women talk about having a two-hour date with someone they didn’t want to see again after the first two minutes. Just think about all that wasted time and energy! Not to mention the cost of lost opportunity (every minute spent with a wrong guy is a minute lost for finding a right one.) That’s why I’m sharing these 5 proven ways to end a date in a graceful and quick manner:

1. Optimize your environment. What I mean by that is, choose to meet for casual coffee/tea/drinks/a short walk that doesn’t require a significant commitment of your time or investment of his resources. Think about it. If a guy invites you for a three-course dinner on a first date, it’s much harder to leave than if you had just met for a cup of tea. You two can always upgrade for your next date or, right on the spot, he might decide to join you for dinner after drinks.

2. Pre-frame your date. Guess when is the best time to tell a guy you have to leave early. Before you even go on a date! It works like magic. As a busy woman who works and has an active social life, you likely don’t have the luxury of spending an entire evening with someone you never met before. So, it makes sense to plan something quick and let a guy know you already have other plans after your date. If you follow the previous step, you can meet a guy for the happy hour before doing something else, like going to a party with your friends. This way, it will be really easy for you to leave after a quick drink and he won’t take it personally. On the other hand, if you hit it off, you can always invite him to join you and your friends at a jazz bar, art gallery or something else you’ve planned for that night. 
 
3. Speak less. During your date, there’s no reason to create an emotional connection and get to know each other if you think you’ll never see each other again. Don’t ask him questions that would signal him you’re interested and give him a reason to talk for 20 minutes about how he got into whatever field he’s in. Also, don’t disclose personal details about yourself that would open the door for him to ask more questions. It’s perfectly ok to sit in silence when two people have nothing to talk about. If anything, it may inspire him to end the date quickly. 
 
4. Tell him the truth. Even though you may think it’s mean, this is the best way to go — be authentic, straightforward and vulnerable. If you know that you aren’t compatible from the get-go, why waste each other’s time and mislead a guy into thinking you’re into him? By telling him early on openly and politely, “Thank you for the date. It was nice to meet you, but I don’t feel like we’re quite a match. Wish you the best of luck,” you’re basically saying that you respect him and don’t want to waste his time. Pay for your drink if he hasn’t already paid. He’ll appreciate your honesty and no-games approach to dating. 
 
5. Give him a reason why you have to leave. If it’s a real challenge for you to tell him the truth about how you feel, then at least give him a reason. Of course, you want to avoid lying, so “I have to feed my cat” wouldn’t work. If he presses you to stay longer, simply say, “No, I have to go now” and leave.

These are my top 5 ways. They work best in a combination of the first four, yet the fifth way is most commonly used. I challenge you to cut in half the time you currently spend on your first dead-end dates. If it’s one hour, make it 30-minutes. Yes, it will feel uncomfortable at first. But why choose between being uncomfortable for an hour versus 30 minutes? Besides, you’ll build your confidence by openly expressing how you feel to a man — a vital skill if you want to have a lasting relationship.

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