How to End a Date

How to end a date, whether it has gone well or not, is not an easy task. It is important to remember that the last few moments of a date can make the biggest impression therefore the ending is crucial to the future of the relationship. Ideally a natural ending to the date is required, but this can be difficult to achieve. Whether a date goes well, average or badly, it is kind to end it gracefully and with respect, even if you don't wish to pursue another date. The key to ending a date the right way is all about the timing and how well you read your date's feelings. The following are our top useful tips to remember at those precious moments at the end of a date.

How to end a date top tips

  • Never allow your date to believe more is on offer than there actually is. If you have no intention of calling them in the future, don't let them believe that you will. It is better to end a date final than leave them hanging on waiting for you to contact them. It is unfair to falsely keep their hopes up.
  • If you like them, tell them. Be forthright and let them know if you have enjoyed their company. If you think they enjoyed your company or they tell you that they did, then it is an appropriate time to mention another date. If they accept that's great, if not then stay courteous and end the date.
  • Be clear about your feelings. Don't tell your date you like them more than you do just to avoid their feelings getting hurt. By misleading them you will get their hopes up end up hurting their feelings anyway.
  • If you are not having a good time at all, it is acceptable to end the date early, even if you have other activities planned. Be truthful but kind and tell them you don't think you're an ideal match, but you have had a lovely evening.
  • If the date is going really badly and you are not confident enough to be upfront and end it early, then you could always make an excuse, for example an urgent phone call. You could always excuse yourself and go to the toilet and ring a friend asking them to call you in 10 minutes to give you a reason to end the date early. Your date will probably know it is not true, but they will get the message.
  • If you are at a restaurant or other activity which requires payment, don't squabble over who is going to pay for the bill. It can leave a good image if the man gets his credit card out to pay, but often the lady likes to pay their way. It is down to you as individuals to sort out who is paying, just don't turn it into a big issue.
  • Often a kiss comes at the end of a first date, although some people are more comfortable with a first kiss on a second date. If the moment feels right at the end of a date and you both feel comfortable, then there is no harm in a goodnight kiss. Try to keep the kiss gentle and not too long. If you start to kiss very passionately and your character changes dramatically, you could undo the good impression your date has of you. If a kiss doesn't happen at the end of a first date it doesn't mean there is no future for the relationship. Don't give your date a forced obligatory kiss as you will come across insensitive and could possible put your date off you. You may prefer to give your date a kiss on the cheek and give a hug, which shows that you are interested and have respect for them.
  • If you aren't confident about giving your date a kiss or feel it is too bold a move for your date, then you could always give them a passionate handshake. A normal handshake could imply that you are not interested, even if you are just nervous, but a passionate handshake will give your date the impression that you are interested, plus it isn't too scary to perform. It involves you shaking their hand and gently squeezing it while smiling and making eye contact but most importantly softly stroke their hand with your other hand. It may even lead to a kiss.
  • Don't assume that sex will occur at the end of a first date. That is something that could possibly happen in time, if the relationship develops. Dating is a stage by stage process and things don't happen instantly. The only thing you should be thinking about is getting home safely. If you proposition your date to go back to your home, you could come across as being crude and change the image that your date had of you. You will also ruin any chances of ending the date gracefully, especially if you are rejected.
  • If you get the impression your date is less interested in you than you are in them, keep things relaxed and casual. That way you are not making them feel pressurised and they may reconsider their impression or feelings towards you.
  • If you are a man, make sure your date will get home safely. For example, make sure they get into a taxi or their own car safely, but check that they are comfortable with you doing so.
  • Don't offer friendship as a substitute to romance. If you both genuinely get on and believe you are better off as friends rather than romantically involved then that's acceptable, but if one of you wants friendship but the other wants more, then becoming friends will only lead to someone getting hurt.
  • It is best to end a date at a prearranged time otherwise it could drag on and you run the risk of it becoming awkward. The recommended maximum time limit for a date is 3 to 4 hours, any longer and the date could falter. By setting a time limit you have a greater chance of ending the date on a high.

Additional Resources