Dating App Etiquette: Reneging on a Tentative Date
September 26, 2018 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Scenario: you have been asked on a date by someone on Match, OkCupid, etc, after a few days of messaging. You say yes, but don't make concrete plans. After thinking about it, you don't want to go after all, mostly because you feel like it's too soon to meet in person but also just because. What do you say to the person on the other end?
posted by Hermione Granger to Human Relations (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
"Actually, I'd like to talk more before we meet. Would that be alright?"

How they respond will give you a lot of info.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 11:49 AM on September 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


If you feel it's too soon, I'd go with the above response. If it is that you just don't want to go at all, I have said things along the lines of "I've been thinking about it, and I'm but I'm not going to be able to meet up after all."

Their response may be positive/lend to getting to know them a little better. It may also be horrible, in which case you will know you made the right decision. In the second scenario, I then block them and their number.
posted by assenav at 11:53 AM on September 26, 2018


I mean, if you didn't make concrete plans, there is no date.

It's proactive to reach out and decline, and that's great if you want to do it. But it's also totally fine to just drop off the face of the earth. If the other person reaches out to make firm plans, then sure, respond and say what you need to say. But right now you're just cancelling a date that doesn't exist.
posted by phunniemee at 12:06 PM on September 26, 2018 [15 favorites]


Say nothing until/unless they message you to firm up plans. At that point, tell them you won't be free to meet until [date] if you anticipate being ready after a certain length of time, or tell them you're not feeling ready to meet yet and want to chat more first. There is no need to reference your previous "yes."

(You may want to think about why you want to wait. If further conversation has made you feel more hesitant about this person in particular, make sure you clear up what you need to when you chat. If you are shy, decide whether waiting will help or just postpone the angst. If you just want to talk more first, that's cool, but make sure your conversations are productive in that regard.)
posted by metasarah at 12:08 PM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


"Meet up sooner rather than later" is standard online dating advice, and if you backpedal on making an actual date and say you'd rather talk more first, many people will read that as a gentle way of saying "let's not meet, ever" no matter how you couch it.

I would maybe go with the "I am super busy this week" excuse if you really want to just defer and not cancel a tentative date. Decent people will still probably back off a little at this, so you might have to be more proactive about reaching out and confirming actual date plans if you decide you want to go through with meeting up.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:30 PM on September 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


I had almost as many flakey dates as I did real dates, and it was all fine. A couple of them were mutual, like the day arrived and we were both feeling tired from work and meh about the date, so there was a back-and-forth exchange where we kind of shrugged and said "ha! totally understand. good luck out there!" No hard feelings, no loose ends.

One person flaked on me because they'd gone on a date the night before and it went really well, and they wanted to focus on building that potential relationship. I didn't take it personally and appreciated their directness.

But then there was the time I attempted to flake, citing a family issue, and my date (who I had never met) followed up several times asking for updates on my family, eventually turning nasty when I declined to tell them all about my life. So there's that.

"Actually, I'd like to talk more before we meet. Would that be alright?"

Also, I would avoid placing too much meaning on the response to this, because many many people (including myself) really dislike chitchat messaging prior to meeting irl for the first time.
posted by witchen at 12:33 PM on September 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


What if it's moved on to, "Would you like to get dinner this Friday night?" but I have not said yes to that specifically and no time was specified?

Honestly after saying yes I immediately was like, why did I do this, I am not ready to meet this person and now I don't want to meet at all

This is embarrassing, I feel like if someone else had asked this question I would suggest, "Hey, after thinking it through I said yes too soon and am not ready to go out with anyone yet. Sorry about that, good luck with your search."

Would that be ok?

The last part isn't 100% true but...??
posted by Hermione Granger at 12:38 PM on September 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


I think this response is fine.
posted by unknowncommand at 12:40 PM on September 26, 2018


"Hey, after thinking it through I said yes too soon and am not ready to go out with anyone yet. Sorry about that, good luck with your search."

I think that will work well! Really, that's a perfect response, and they'll still have time to find other plans for Friday.
posted by witchen at 12:40 PM on September 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


"Hey, after thinking it through I said yes too soon and am not ready to go out with anyone yet. Sorry about that, good luck with your search."

That is a fine response. It's okay to feel the way you're feeling and it's normal. Please send that now so they don't spend a few days arranging plans
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 1:19 PM on September 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


I hate lying when I don't have to. What if you just shorten the message a little - "not ready" instead of "not ready to date anyone"? That might make you feel more comfortable delivering it.
"Hey, after thinking it through I said yes too soon and am not feeling ready. Sorry about that, good luck with your search."
posted by metahawk at 1:53 PM on September 26, 2018 [5 favorites]


Sorry not feeling well.
Sorry I’m busy.
Sorry I can’t make it.
Then ghost. They should really get the idea.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:01 PM on September 26, 2018


Ok, I went with a slightly modified version of my proposed response. Minor guilt, major relief. Something just wasn't right with this connection. Thank you all.
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:10 PM on September 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


But it's also totally fine to just drop off the face of the earth.

No it's not. Don't be another one of these people. Just be honest, brief, and rip off the bandaid.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 6:17 PM on September 26, 2018 [6 favorites]


« Older Coworkers looking at my computer screen   |   Help find an old children's book teaching BASIC... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments