Dating someone for the first time can overwhelm you with curiosity, excitement, and anticipation.
In most cases, you eagerly look forward to meeting someone but sometimes, you may want to back out. This may lead you to question, “Is it bad to cancel the first date?”
So, here is the answer
You better have a very solid reason for canceling. If you change your mind because of a mood swing or because you feel too lazy to go out, then canceling is not the right thing to do. Ditching your date may leave a bad impression on them, especially if you intend to postpone rather than cancel. However, in circumstances where you feel uncomfortable or where red flags are eminent, you are justified in saying no.
If any of these things happen before your first date, cancel at once and move on:
- They canceled on you earlier
- They are too clingy
- They want you to make all the decisions
- They say something super inappropriate
- You spot something fishy on their social media profile
- You hardly have anything in common with them
- They don’t reciprocate your feelings
- You fall sick and don’t want them to get sick, too
- Your family and friends need you
1. They canceled on you earlier
A clear warning sign is when you have a date set up with someone who has previously canceled on you twice, or worse, thrice. Maybe you are too kind and agreed to meet them despite this issue.
Ask yourself how many times you can let someone hurt your self-esteem. Their behavior clearly indicates negligence and disrespect. It may be time for you to stand up for yourself and say no. If they can’t make you a priority, you shouldn’t prioritize them in your life either.
2. They are too clingy
They may spell trouble if they text incessantly even before the first date. There is always a limit to how much you can talk to a person before the relationship has even begun.
This may be point towards neediness, poor boundaries and codependency. If you feel bothered by the all too regular “good morning”, “good night” or “WYD” texts, you are justified.
You don’t want to feel already bound to the person. This sort of behavior can be indicative of someone who has a possessive streak, would be demanding of your time, and possibly be a control freak.
3. They want you to make all the decisions or alternatively, decide everything by themselves
Interacting with the person before the date can give you a fair idea of their personality. If they want you to plan everything without giving any valuable input themselves, it may seem strange. A person who shifts all responsibilities on to you is probably lazy or uninterested.
Alternatively, if they choose everything from the time to the venue themselves without consulting you, it is not a plus point either. Deciding details in order to please you is sweet and you may indeed appreciate someone who puts in effort, but finalizing all decisions without caring for your preferences is odd.
It likely indicates that they try to be in control of every situation. You will be better off going out with someone who wants a collaborative effort instead.
4. They say something super inappropriate
Shyness can make people a little awkward, you understand that. But if someone crosses the line and you end up having one cringe-worthy conversation with them, then it’s time to cancel.
Perhaps they say something ridiculously inappropriate during a conversation. Even an inappropriate joke can signal disrespect. Remember if this is how they sound like on phone calls or text messages, then they won’t be very different when you meet them in person.
5. You spot something fishy on their social media profile
A focused research on social media can help determine whether your date is worth the effort. This is no sure-fire way of discovering a person’s personality, but it is necessary if you want to get a basic idea.
Sometimes, while browsing their profile, you may come across something concerning, for instance, a picture where they are cozying up to another person or lying about their age. You would definitely want to avoid dating such a person. To explore more red flags that you should never ignore, check out this video.
6. You hardly have anything in common with them
Texting each other before the date can reveal a lot about the person. You may find that your lifestyle, goals or interests are totally incompatible.
Maybe when you had met each other in person for the first time and they asked you out, you were too smitten by their looks to resist. Later, upon interacting with them, you may figure out that you two are like oil and water – you would never mix. In this case it is far better to nip it in the bud rather than drag the interaction further.
7. They don’t reciprocate your feelings
Perhaps you are all set to meet someone who is not on the same wavelength as you. They may continuously refer to the date as “hanging out”, “meeting up” or “chilling”.
If they are unwilling to appropriately label your plans, it’s indicative of how they will characterize your relationship in the future. It will do you good to not get your hopes high in the first place and look for someone more suitable for yourself.
8. You fall sick and don’t want them to get sick, too
You may be really looking forward to meeting someone, but end up falling sick. Considering that the world is going through a pandemic, you would not want to risk anyone else’s health.
Even if you are simply down with a seasonal flu but feel miserable and grumpy, you may politely excuse yourself. Ask them if you can reschedule after you recover, so they don’t mistake the cancelation as lack of interest.
9. Your family and friends need you
An emergency can arise anytime. If your family member or close friend happens to call you right before your date, the best thing to do would be attend to them.
Caring about your family and friends is a sign of loyalty and reliability. In such a scenario, inform your date along with an apology, and ask if they can reschedule.
You shouldn’t feel guilty about canceling your first date for any of these genuine reasons. At times, unavoidable circumstances crop up where dating has to go on the backburner. In other instances, you may come across red flags telling you to avoid the person before you end up in a relationship with them.
Once you decide to back out of your first date with someone, you may wonder “How to cancel it?”
Here are some ways to cancel your first date
- Decide whether to call or text
- Inform them well in advance
- Always apologize and explain
- Be direct, if you can
Remember the basic rule: treat someone the way you would like to be treated yourself. Be honest and clear about your intentions. Saying that you can’t make it because you have to feed your pet or clean your grandma’s rain gutters aren’t exactly believable excuses.
If you are uncomfortable with disclosing the real reason you are canceling, such as if you see something inappropriate on their social media and don’t want to seem like a serial stalker, then back out respectfully and wish them well.
1. Decide whether to call or text
Texting is a quick way to get your point across. If you don’t intend to see the person again, you can send a text saying, “I think you’re a great person, but I don’t think we can work out. I’d like to cancel our date. Wish you all the best.”
On the other hand, calling shows your concern for the other person. If you want to cancel but are eager to reschedule your date, dialing their number is a better idea. It is a sign of emotional intimacy as it communicates feelings more effectively.
However, if you still wish to text, you can type something like, “I had a last minute emergency and I would have to cancel our date. I’m so sorry to do this. I would love to reschedule. Do let me know when you’re free to meet again.”
2. Inform them well in advance
Try your best to not cancel the plan at the last minute. If you come to the conclusion that a person is not right for you due to any reason, inform them in advance that you don’t intend to date them.
Unless there are unforeseen circumstances such as an emergency in your family or your car breaks down along a long route, there is no excuse to cancel on the other person at the eleventh hour.
3. Always apologize and explain
Make sure you say sorry and are aware of the inconvenience you are causing somebody. Their time is valuable and needs to be respected. It’s best to give a proper explanation, especially when it’s someone you want to see again.
However, if you are really interested in the person and can’t wait to reschedule, you run the risk of going overboard with the apology. Express your regret in a dignified manner and acknowledge the trouble you are causing.
Give a genuine reason to cancel and never lie. However, if you must, then make sure the other person has no way of finding out. If you tell them that you can’t make it because you are sick, but they see you partying on your Instagram stories, it certainly won’t leave a good impression.
4. Be direct, if you can
Be honest if you are emotionally competent enough to be tactful about it. For instance, if you feel like you two are very different people, simply let them know that you think it’s not going to work out.
If you are not interested in meeting them again, don’t say, “I’ll let you know when I’m free again.” There is nothing worse than an ambiguous message. Communicating in a straightforward yet polite manner will help them move forward and leave you with a clean conscience.
If you fall sick or run into an emergency situation, it can be upsetting to cancel a date you were really looking forward to. You would also not want to hurt the other person’s feelings in such a case.
Make your intentions clear if you wish to postpone rather than cancel and mention how you are eager to reschedule. If you receive a positive response, make sure the date and time suitable for both of you are decided upon.