We all have our bad date stories. The internet is full of them. Maybe your date introduced you to their mom, who made you dinner and showed you baby pictures of them while they went to go play Grand Theft Auto. Or they showed up an hour late with no call or text and then got mad that you were mad. Or they put a stack of bills on the table and told the waiter that was their tip, but they’d lose a bill every time they were dissatisfied. In these cases, it’s pretty much perfectly fine if you never, ever speak to these people again.
But sometimes bad dates aren’t that bad. They might just be bad because you didn’t quite mesh. You didn’t feel any attraction, emotional or physical. Or maybe you felt awkward and said the wrong thing a couple of times.
Bad dates happen for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t always mean the end. So how do you know when you have something worth salvaging and where do you go from there? Here are a few ways to move on after a bad date:
If You Didn’t Feel the Spark and Neither Did They
It’s pretty easy to know what to do in this situation. You might both text each other after the date, because you feel like you’re supposed to—but eventually the conversation will fizzle out, just like it did on the date. Or, if you’re really lucky, the conversation will continue without any romantic context and you’ll have made a new friend.
If You Didn’t Feel the Spark, But They Did
This situation can be a little uncomfortable. In this case, don’t expect to end up gaining a new friend. It’s best to be upfront and honest. If you end up getting a text after a bad date and it seems of a romantic sort, don’t be afraid to say that you just weren’t feeling it. Yes, it’ll hurt them, but it’ll hurt them way more when you’ve been talking for days or even weeks before they find out that you’re not into them. If they still want to talk after you’ve said that you don’t want to date, that’s up to you if you want to continue the conversation or develop any sort of friendly relationship with them. But if that friendly conversation keeps becoming a little too friendly, kindly remind them you’ve already told them how you feel.
If even after you’ve been open and honest, your date still won’t leave you alone, it’s okay to stop responding. If they can’t respect that you’re not interested, you don’t have to respect their responses with a response of your own. It’s okay to not be into someone who isn’t into you. And you shouldn’t have to be strong-armed into a second date.
If You Felt The Spark, But They Didn’t
Okay, this situation can really hurt. You think a date went really well and then suddenly you’ve been ghosted. Or your date was kind enough to be honest and tell you that they just weren’t interested. The best thing for you to do is be understanding and cut your losses. This wasn’t the right person for you and that’s okay.
If you’re fine just being friends with this person, then go for it. But if you’re really into them and would rather just walk away, that’s fine too. Take a page from Ariana Grande’s book and say, “Thank you, next.”