How to Cancel a Date at the Last Minute

by Relationships & Family Editor

You've changed your mind about your date - or life has simply gotten in the way. How do you cancel at the last minute?

If You Want to Be Asked Out Again

Call as soon as possible. It's not likely you'll be forgiven easily if you let your date show up and wait for you, just to have you cancel.

Blame it on outside circumstances: an unexpected meeting, deadline or assignment. You really, really want to go, but ...

Tell the truth: You're tired, you don't feel well, you've had a rotten day. You'd rather stay in and rest than go out and not be very much fun.

Create an excuse: You forgot that you were meeting your friends for dinner, you need to go to your grandmother's to move furniture, you lost your keys and can't leave until you find them.

Leave the conversation open for another invitation.

Suggest an alternative date.

Offer to make it up to him or her - and then do it. Send a card or a bouquet of flowers.

If your date calls later to check up on you, be where you said you'd be and thank him or her for being thoughtful.

If You Don't Want to Be Asked Out Again

Call as soon as you realize you want to cancel. Keep in mind how much easier canceling is on the phone than in person.

Blame it on outside circumstances. Believable: You are really busy at work and don't have time for dating. Unbelievable: Your power has been shut off so you haven't had a shower in four days.

Tell the truth: You're not interested; you've had a revelation that he or she is not The One.

Tell a white lie: You're seeing someone else, or you've decided that you don't want to date anyone just now.

Stay on the phone only long enough to deliver your message; be careful not to give the impression that you are interested.

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Tips

  • If you don't want another date, keep the conversation short.
  • Don't apologize for not wanting to go out with this person. Ever.