I’ve crunched the numbers, run the simulations, peer-reviewed my hypotheses, and here it is: there are 4 different ways you can feel at the end of a date.
Want to know how to end a date gracefully, in each of these 4 ways? Look no further!
1. You feel great and are open to a kiss.
Congratulations! There were totally vibes on this date and you’re ready to see if there’s that extra romantic spark. Now, it’s all about body language and one key, secret ingredient. Can you guess what it is?
How many of us are guilty of letting our nerves get the better of us, and covering the tension of a “will they/won’t they kiss” moment with chatter? I’m going to guess ALL of us have been there. It can feel scary and exposed, but trust me on this one: lean into the silence.
Get to where you’d be parting ways; turn your full body towards your date (no crossed arms!); make eye contact; say you had a wonderful time; then embrace the silence and maintain eye contact!
Hopefully, your date also has the confidence not to shy away from the moment; regardless, you’ve set a clear tone that you are interested, assured, and receptive.
2. You had a nice time and are open to seeing them again.
Most of my first dates fell into this category: I got along with the person and was interested in a second date if they were, but I wasn’t trying to take it to the next level just yet.
Here’s the script: say you had a great time and you’d like to do it again soon, then clearly go in for a warm hug – arms outstretched so they don’t mistake it for a kiss! Make sure to follow up with a text that evening or the next day to thank them for the date and say you had a nice time.
3. No hard feelings, but this person wasn’t for you.
It happens! Sometimes you know there’s no spark and there’s never going to be. Perfectly acceptable to say “Thanks so much for a nice evening,” give a wave, and be on your way! If it feels appropriate to go for a hug, here’s where it’s extra key to hold your arms out so there’s no mistaking it for leaning in for a smooch.
Follow up the next day with a friendly text saying you had a nice time but didn’t feel a romantic spark.
4. Bad date alert!
In the rarest of rare occasions where a date goes really awry, here’s the move: as you exit the date spot, ask which direction your date is headed. Pointing in the opposite direction, say “Well, I’m this way – it was nice to meet you!” It’s both polite and definitive, and allows you to leave without lingering. Another option is to excuse yourself to the restroom and say goodbye before leaving the date spot. Later, call a friend and have a laugh or a vent about the bad date, and then it’s on to the next!
Of course, there’s more to ending a date than just parting ways. There’s who should pay on a date, when to turn the end of a date into something more, and, of course, how to turn someone down when you’re just not feeling it (I have a tried-and-true script). All this in detail and so much more is covered in Mindful Dating 101!