Ditch the 2nd Date: 6 Effective Methods

19. November 2010

Dating is a necessary evil in the pursuit of true love. While some people truly enjoy going on many individual dates with different people, most people loathe it. This general hatred has nothing to do with wasted time or a fear of a bad night; even bad dates make for good stories. What these people fear most is having to say no to a second date, but not quite knowing how. Become an expert at avoidance, and spare yourself the second dose of a crazy date. The following suggestions are firm, but kind, ways to just say “no.”

1. Phase Out

The first method may actually be so kind that it is ultimately unfair, but nevertheless it is effective. For this reason, the phase out is also the most common way of dealing with the unwanted second date.

“What’d you say?”

Although many people hate the phase out and view it as cowardly, it happens all the time, in dating and in life. In fact, one could argue that we learn the phase out from our parents at a very young age. Anyone who’s ever been told “we’ll see” when they asked for ice cream was in fact being groomed to one day give the phase out to an unsuspecting date. While agreeing to a date and then avoiding contact like the plague may seem unkind, it is actually the easiest way to avoid the direct destruction of the other person’s feelings.

2. “I’m just not ready”

For those who have been cornered after a phase out, or for those who prefer a more direct approach, nothing is more tangled, messy or believable than blaming it on an ex.

God, I miss her.

By using your ex as a scapegoat, you can accomplish several things.

  1. You can create the illusion of being far more damaged than you are, lowering your perceived market value, and making the other person feel like they dodged a bullet instead of getting the shaft.
  2. You can appeal to the other person’s sympathy by making yourself the victim, thereby completely flipping the conversation from “poor you” to “poor me.”
  3. Even if you are completely over your ex, you can take solace in knowing you used the bitch/bastard one last time to get what you wanted.

Blaming an ex is a great way of getting out of a tricky situation with someone who is only bound to become a future ex.

3. “I’m just not ready”

For anyone with a working relationship with their exes, or who just aren’t as comfortable channeling them, blaming your career can be just as efficient, though not necessarily as effective.

Nothing makes you love your job more than hating your social life.

Nothing is a more useful tool in the dating game than a stable career. Not only does a steady job make you more attractive to the opposite sex, it can also be the perfect out for those who aren’t dating an equally attractive member of the opposite sex. By blaming long hours, dedication, room for advancement, or any other bogus excuse you can think of, you can successfully lump yourself with the .03% of Americans who actually do love their jobs.


One clear downside to this method is that it does not respond well to persistence. The really dedicated significant-other-candidate may be willing to wait it out, working around your schedule and not take “busy” for an answer. In this instance, refer to method #1 for the assist.

4. Fake indifference towards dating

We’ve all heard it before, and yet few people question it. It’s the “I really just don’t want to be tied down, even though I JUST WENT ON A DATE LOOKING TO POTENTIALLY GET TIED DOWN” speech. While it doesn’t make logical sense, it seems to be one excuse people are willing to hear without wanting to challenge it.

That’s me, baby. You can’t bring me down.

Because it is so much nicer to hear “I don’t want a relationship” than “I don’t want a relationship with you,” people are generally willing to let this one slide without much of a fight. Although this one can be a little harsher, it is a time-release harsh. It is not until days have passed and the afflicted party has had time to really think about it that anger may set in, and by that time you are probably already busy not dating the next person.

5. I have to ask my parents (and other creepy notions)

To be used only in extreme cases where reason and logic seem to have no impact whatsoever, feel free to break the glass on the following excuses:

  1. I have to ask my parents first
  2. I have a cult meeting that day, but maybe the week after?
  3. I have an STD
  4. Can my kids come with?
  5. How do you feel about the NRA?
  6. Do you swing?

“I collect dragon paraphernalia.”

Although these are effective choices, they are just suggestions to help you get started. If you are honestly contemplating anything from this category, then the sky is the limit. Points will be awarded for creativity, and you’ll have stories to tell for years if any of them are actually successful.

6. The Truth

It shall set you free, but that freedom comes at a price. While there is absolutely no debating the truth, getting the words out can be incredibly difficult.

It’s you. It’s definitely not me. It is exclusively you.

There are no comebacks, questions, or chances of misfires from telling the truth. Honestly telling a person that you just don’t see yourself liking them “that way” is as blunt and honest as can be. Unfortunately, this honesty (while remaining the best policy) is often met with hostility.

“Sorry baby, I thought you understood my clown fetish.”

The bigger person knows that one day, the band-aid rip method of the truth will be much more appreciated than any of the run-around methods mentioned above. Especially if the run-arounds lead to a long term relationship that was never meant to be.


While politely declining a second date can be difficult, it should not deter people from going on first dates. Everybody starts somewhere, and the only way to ever find true love is by taking a risk on a first date. Should that risk turn out to not be worth the reward, feel free to use this reference in order to avoid a second date.

Photo Credits:

  1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015094369/
  2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015683820/
  3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015683864/
  4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015076159/
  5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015683958/
  6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015076297/
  7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015702754/
  8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/54166226@N06/5015094449/

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