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How to say “No” to a second date?

How to say “No” to a second date?

When the first date doesn’t go well and you’re not up for a second one, it can be difficult to know what to say it. You may even be tempted to ghost the person, but we’re going to stop you right there. Ghosting is confusing and hurtful, so we will show you how to say “no” to a second date in 5 different ways. 

The most difficult part of turning down a second date is to figure out how to do it gently. We don’t want to hurt people’s feelings just because we’re not interested in them. That’s why it’s important to have a list of options you can turn to whenever you can’t find the right words. 

5 Ways to say no to a second date:

1- Be direct, don’t lead them on:

Though it might be tempting to lead this person on, you need to be direct. We don’t mean you should be callous, we just mean you should be clear about your intentions. You can do that without being cruel by saying something like, “I don’t think we’re right for each other but it was really nice to meet you and I wish you the best.”

When the first date told you everything you needed to know about this person and you don’t vibe, or if it was so boring you don’t see the point of giving them another chance, being clear and direct is key. It leaves no room for misinterpretation and you won’t waste anyone’s time. 

2- Avoid excuses, people can see through them:

We can sense when someone is lying, so avoid giving people excuses. Though you may think you’re being kind, people can see through them and they can be hurtful. You don’t owe anyone anything after just one date. We’re all adults and we can all handle ourselves, so just tell the truth. 

“I don’t want to go on a second date, because I don’t think the chemistry is there, we’re better as friends.” That could be a good way to be honest, direct, and kind. If you don’t want to be friends with this person, you can cut that part out and the line would still work. 

3- Lead with a compliment 

When you’re saying no to a second date, it’s not a bad idea to lead with a compliment. The compliment could be about the person or the first date you had.

Maybe they’re funny, smart, etc., perhaps they took you to a nice place or you did a cool activity together. First dates are not always bad so you can compliment them, but sometimes the chemistry is not there.

Don’t overdo it, though. Remember that you don’t want to lead this person on and you shouldn’t pity them, either. You just had one date together, so overdoing it will make you seem fake; keep it real. You could say something like “Our date last week was so much fun but I feel like we’re better as friends” or “You’re a catch, but the spark just wasn’t there.”

4- Be respectful:

Treating others like you want to be treated is one of the most important rules in life. That’s why it’s so important we are respectful of other people’s feelings. It’s true you only went on one date, but maybe they saw a lot of potential for a relationship, and they are excited to get to know you more. If that’s the case, it’s important to show respect. 

You could say something like “You are wonderful, but I honestly don’t see us going any further.” Of course, there are exceptions. Some people are jerks and they don’t always earn our grace. If you’ve met someone like that, saying “I don’t want to go on a second date, thank you!” is respectful enough. 

5- Make sure to conclude things:

If you’ve met someone you want to be friends with and they feel the same, you can keep in touch and develop that friendship; in whatever way, you see fit.

However, if this isn’t someone you want to stay in touch with, you must conclude things. Once you’ve said what you needed to say to reject the idea of a second date, wait for their reply. 

Most of the time people just thank you for being honest, but whatever they say, make sure the conversation has a proper end. “Thanks for understanding” or “Wish you the best” are appropriate. Saying things like “Good luck with the next”, “Talk later!” or “Nice life!” is probably not a good idea if you want to be kind about it. 


Dating can be awkward in many different ways. Saying no to a second date is one of those awkward moments you have to learn how to deal with.

Just remember; to be respectful, honest, and direct. Or, if you want to take your time to decide whether they’re worthy of a second date; then check this article out on how long you have until a second date is due.

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