Dating is the hardest game you’ll ever play. Few people play fair and the rules aren’t even clear half the time. Well we can’t do much about that first part, but I think I can shed a bit of light on the rules of dating, more specifically, how NOT to cancel a date.
It’s human nature. When you’ve been looking forward to seeing your new heartthrob all week, a cancellation will send you spiralling straight into an emotional tailspin, particularly if they’re insensitive about calling off plans. No one likes being on the receiving end of a brusque date annulment, so don’t be that douche that leaves someone on the other end of your text message feeling miserable.
On that note, let’s start with one surefire way of rubbing someone up the wrong way: not calling. A text message cancellation is almost never acceptable. Short of your being utterly sans alternative communication method it is always better to dial up your date and say “hey, I’m really sorry but tonight isn’t working out.” Texting and email are fraught with misinterpretations and miscommunication, making it all the easier for the let-down party to read all kinds of callousness into your sms and believe me, resentment comes hot on the heels of disappointment. What’s more you simply come across as too self-centred to care if you can’t take the time to actually ring the person you’re cancelling on.
With that in mind, do heap on the reassurances. If you’ve just cancelled on someone they’re going to be feeling a bit rejected, so do everything in your power to make sure they know you’re just as disappointed as they are. Make sure they know that you’re not dumping them, just asking for a rain check. Try something like “I’m really bleak that this damn cold chose tonight to get so bad. I was so looking forward to seeing you. Let’s do next Friday instead?”
That brings us to another important point: do reschedule. Nothing says “I don’t care” quite like cancelling and not suggesting a future meet up. If you don’t want your squeeze to interpret your cancellation as a blow-off, make sure you come prepared with other date options. Furthermore, don’t leave your cancellation to the last minute! If they’ve cleared their schedule for you and you can no longer make it, make sure they have time to organize something else with which to keep occupied. Otherwise you’re just adding insult to injury.
Lastly and most importantly, never ever give fake reasons. For one thing, few of us are sufficiently silver-tongued to pull off a truly convincing lie. Even then, there’s always the possibility of getting caught out and believe me, that’s never pretty. The bottom line is though, that if you’re not all that into the person it’s simply wrong to keep stringing them along. Rather man up (or woman up as the case may be) and end the relationship, rather than keeping your date on ice.
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