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How To Cancel A Date (9 Things You Can Do To Make Sure No One’s Feelings Get Hurt!)

July 4, 2024

Whether you’ve said yes to going on a date with someone weeks ago and you’re now just not feeling it, you’ve planned a date with somebody in advance but you’ve already met someone else or you’re genuinely really interested in the person you have a date planned with but your life is in utter chaos right now and you don’t have time for it, canceling a date feels tough

You don't want to hurt this person’s feelings, but you simply can’t or don’t want to date them, so how are you supposed to call it off?

Don’t worry, this article is here to help! We’re going to be taking a look at 9 of the most important things you need to do to cancel a date with someone without hurting their feelings. 

Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading this, you can kindly and honestly decline the date, and move forwards. Let’s jump straight in!

How Do I Cancel A Date

1. Ask yourself why are you canceling the date

ask yourself why are you canceling the date

The very first thing that you need to do when preparing to cancel a date is to actually figure out why you’re canceling it in the first place. Although there could be a myriad of specific reasons why you want to cancel, there will be two main reasons why you want to cancel - you either want to date this person but you’re busy, and some things got in the way, or you don’t want to date them.

It all boils down to whether you want to see this person, or whether you’d rather be sat home alone than head to dinner with them. Once you’ve figured out how you feel, you can then move forward and figure out how to get out of a date with this person. 

2. If you think you might have to cancel, make them aware of the possibility

If you actually do want to go on a date with this person but you know that your life is incredibly busy at the moment and it’s looking like you won’t make it, you need to make them aware of this possibility. If you do this, you are already making them aware that you may need to cancel and you have already shared with them the reason why. 

For example, if you know that you have a busy week at work and you really want to go on a date with someone but you’re pretty sure work duties could stop you from making it, just send them a text and give them a heads up that you might have to rearrange another time but that you’ll do your best to make it. This way, they don’t build up expectations around the date.

3. Cancel the date with as much notice as possible

There’s nothing worse than canceling date plans last minute, so make sure (if you can avoid it) that you don’t do it. Instead, as soon as you know that you are going to have to cancel, get in touch with your date and cancel. Don’t hang on and wait until the last minute to call it off, because that’s not only rude but humiliating for your date. 

Although they might be upset by you canceling in advance, they will be nowhere near as upset as if they were already at the restaurant you were supposed to meet them at, about to sit down for a romantic meal for two. 

4. Choose to call your date instead of texting them

If you’re about to cancel date plans with someone, it’s always courteous to give them a phone call and explain to them why you’re canceling the plans. This also makes you look honest, transparent and caring as it shows you have put effort and thought into actually picking up the phone to them rather than just sending them a text. 

However, sometimes you might not feel up to giving them a call or you might not feel close enough to them to pick up the phone, so instead, you might feel it’s better to send a text message. 

Sending a text is never a great idea because firstly, the tone of the text can be misinterpreted, and secondly because a text can look like an emotionless attempt to cancel without having to be held accountable or explain. Always try to buckle up the courage to call - it’s just kinder, and you owe your date that much.

5. Explain, or come up with a reason that you have to cancel

Telling someone that you’re simply not available and that you won’t make it because something came up isn’t good enough and it will make them feel like you’re canceling for no reason at all (of course, you might be, but they shouldn’t catch onto that). So, you need to make sure that you explain yourself honestly and hope that they will understand. 

If you don’t have a reason and you’re just not interested in going, you can either explain that to them honestly and call things off between you both there and then, or you can come up with a good excuse why you can’t make it.

6. Apologize

As well as an explanation, you need to give an apology, even if you don’t feel like you have to give one. It’s kind and polite to apologize to this person for messing up the plans the two of you had, and it will really soften the blow from the cancellation. If you want to see them again, apologize and tell them you’ll make it up to them another time. If not, you can apologize for wasting their time. Either way, apologies go a long way.

7. Decide whether you want to reschedule or not

After you’ve canceled, something you need to do is figure out whether you actually want to reschedule the date or not. If you canceled plans because you don’t feel attracted to this person, you’re probably not going to reschedule. However, if you’d actually really like to see this person again, you’ll definitely want to reschedule and you should let this person know that.

8. Either end things between the two of you or plan the next date yourself

either end things between the two of you or plan the next date yourself

After you’ve decided what you want to do moving forward, you need to take action. If you’re not interested in this person, put an end between the two of you as a potential romantic item, and move forward. If you do want to see this person again, plan the next date and invite them out with you to make it up to them that you canceled.

9. Make an effort not to cancel in the future

Even now you know how to cancel a date, hopefully, you don’t have to in the future. You should either make plans that suit both you and the other person so that you don’t have to cancel, or you shouldn’t say yes to dating someone that you’re actually not interested in. Make a conscious effort going forward to never need to cancel, unless absolutely necessary. 


How do you politely cancel a date?

If you want to politely cancel a date, make sure you do so with ample time to spare before the date, explain the reason for canceling, apologize, and if you actually want to see this person again, make sure you take control and plan the next date. Whatever you do, don’t cancel at the last minute saying something just came up without an apology or a real explanation.

How do you back out of a date?

Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll know exactly how you can back out of a date without hurting any feelings. The most important thing you need to do is be polite - this means not canceling at the last minute, having a good reason why you can’t turn up and apologizing. If you’re canceling the date because you don’t think this person is the one for you, then be honest and don’t drag them along.

Is it rude to cancel a date?

This really depends on how you cancel plans. For example, if you send a text 10 minutes before you’re supposed to meet your date saying, “something came up, can’t make it”, this is definitely rude. However, if you have a legitimate excuse and you cancel the date with as much notice as possible, as well as apologizing for canceling the date, it’s not rude and you haven’t done anything wrong.

How do you politely cancel at the last minute?

If you’ve ever been canceled at the last minute, you’ll know how much it sucks, so the rule of thumb to make sure you don’t upset your date is to cancel with as much notice as possible. However, if you do have to cancel at the last minute, make sure you have a very good reason to, and apologize profusely for it. If you want to see someone again, make sure you tell them you’ll make it up to them on the next date that you’re going to plan!

How do you end a date early?

If you’re really not having a good time on a date and you need to end the suffering as soon as possible, one of the best things to do is be honest with the person you’re with and say that you don’t feel a spark. However, if you don’t have the courage to do that or you think your date will react badly, you can make an excuse such as feeling unwell or by saying that you need to go and see one of your friends immediately.

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In Conclusion

After reading this article you should be fully clued up about how to cancel a date in the most polite way possible. If you’ve ever been canceled on in an abrupt and rude manner, then you’ll know how much it hurts, so you just need to remember to be kind and honest if you want to cancel your date with someone.

Did you like this article and find it useful? If you did, let us know in the comments, and feel free to share it with anyone you think needs the advice!

Utilize this tool to verify if he's truly who he claims to be
Whether you're married or just started dating someone, infidelity rates have risen by over 40% in the past 20 years, so your concerns are justified.

Do you want to find out if he's texting other women behind your back? Or if he has an active Tinder or dating profile? Or even worse, if he has a criminal record or is cheating on you?

This tool can help by uncovering hidden social media and dating profiles, photos, criminal records, and much more, potentially putting your doubts to rest.


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