This is the second of a two-part post on how to end a relationship after a first date. In my previous post I discussed three topics:
- Why breaking up after a first date is hard
- To ghost or not to ghost
- Allowing the Lord to lead the way
In this post I hope to pass on some practical advice for anyone struggling to break it off after a first date.
Ending With Grace
Sometimes dropping hints that you are not interested in a second date may be enough to get the message across. But if you sense that you are not on the same page with the other person here are some things that you can do to end things with grace:
Pray — Ask the Lord to guide you
. Spend some time in adoration. Perhaps even going to adoration while on the first date will be helpful to let the Lord into the relationship and guide both of you.
Don’t second guess your feelings or reasons for wanting to break up. Trust in the Lord that this is what He wants for you at this moment.
Make a List of Pros and Cons
By making a list of pros and cons about ending a relationship after a first date it will become very clear why you are ending the relationship before it got off the ground. The list will convict you. It will also give you the clear words to convey to the other person, and will help you to be steadfast in your decision.
Help Be Accountable by Letting Others Know
You have decided to end the relationship, so tell others.
- Talk with your best friend, your family, a spiritual advisor, or someone who cares about you.
- Explain why you think you should not be dating this particular person.
- Make a plan on how to end the relationship and go over the plan.
If you chicken out, or you think you may be easily manipulated, your support contact will hold you accountable. You can also look to your support contact for encouragement.
Be As Crystal-clear As Possible
If your intention is to not go on another date, then make this clear.
- Do not leave the other person wondering about your true intentions.
- Don’t say yes to someone if they ask you for another date, when you really mean no.
- Keep it short and simple.
- Let the person go. This means no texting, no messaging, no calling, and no talking about it.
If you actually really enjoy the person and would like to remain friends without being romantic, then communicate that. Perhaps they will be interested in a friendship as well.
Be Direct — And Thankful
Trying to beat around the bush, or trying to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, may get you into trouble by sending the wrong message. A long conversation with lots of discussion is not going to make the situation less painful, but it may make you doubt yourself.
The direct approach can be challenging, and sometimes can leave one person feeling hurt, which is why most of us would rather avoid the situation. However, it is always better to be upfront, honest, and as clear as possible when ending a relationship, even if you barely know the other person.
This person took time out of his or her life to meet you and spend time with you. Being grateful is appropriate. Tell your date it was nice to meet him or her. There is no reason to burn bridges, especially if you happen to live in a small Catholic community.
Not a Good Idea to Kiss
If you are on a date and you know you do not want to see this person again, do not kiss at the end of the date. Be prepared to give yourself enough space to make it clear that kissing is not in the cards. This may seem awkward, but really it is the most respectful way to end a date without getting the other’s hopes up.
Do Not Pacify the Situation
You do you not need to try to build up the other person. Telling your date how great he or she is may result in confusion as to why you are ending things so quickly. Your date may actually feel worse if you are conciliatory rather than open and honest.
The Nudge of the Holy Spirit
Sometimes you may sense right away that the person you are on a date with is not who the Lord has intended for you. Don’t push that feeling away. That is the Holy Spirit leading you away. I call it “the nudge of the Holy Spirit.”
Practice noticing when you are being nudged in a certain direction. The path that the Lord wants for you is easy and clear once you learn to recognize it.
When this message from the Holy Spirit is loud and clear it is best to end things right away. If you avoid ending a relationship after a first date, and linger on someone who you know is not right for you, then you may actually miss out on finding love.
You have made up your mind, so don’t wait. There is never going to be a perfect time to end the relationship. God’s timing, on the other hand, is perfect. It is better to let the other person know as soon as possible so you both can move on.
Most of All, Be Firm!
Close the door to the possibility of another date. In this scenario you have made up your mind that another date is not in your best interest. Perhaps, you have realized that it is not in the other person’s best interest either.
Whether the other person tries to manipulate you into a second date, or whether you don’t want to come off as harsh or cold, being firm will be in your best interest.
You can be firm by using the technique that I call the “broken record.” Keep repeating your position until he or she gets the picture.
You could say something like:
- “Thank you so much, but I know that we are not right for each other” or
- “I am glad I had the opportunity to meet you and I wish you the best” or
- “It’s best not to continue dating. I hope you understand.”
Or come up with something that fits your particular situation and sticks to it.
You Can Do It!
Using these tips, and with the Lord’s help, you can get excited about the future and make way for the plans the Lord has waiting for you!