Q: You’re on a first date and not feeling a connection to the other person. How do you leave and end things early without being rude?


A: When you sense that the relationship is a “no-go” from the beginning, leaving a date before you’ve even ordered is easier than leading someone on, stretching out the inevitable break-off.

Be honest, thoughtful and considerate of your date’s feelings. Disappearing after going to the restroom or surreptitiously texting a friend to ask for a bailout call seem like easy options, but they’re poor form. Be an adult and let your date know things aren’t working out the way you had hoped.

Blame yourself. Make it clear you don’t feel you’re a good match and you aren’t interested in another try. Don’t make an excuse that leaves the door open for attempts at rescheduling. Ending a date after 20 minutes isn’t ending a relationship but acknowledging that there’s not enough of a spark to even begin building a relationship.

Suzanne Degges-White, licensed counselor


A: First of all, don’t judge a date in 15 minutes. Your date could be really nervous, may not have been on a date in a long time or may not be that into you, either. Spend at least half an hour with the person to give him or her a chance.

If the date really is going nowhere, it is OK to cut it short. But a much better alternative is to avoid this problem in the first place. Don’t go on a first date that is expected to last hours. Instead, schedule something that will take an hour or less, such as getting together for coffee or a drink. If you click, make plans for a longer get-together in the future. If you don’t feel like you’re meshing, finish your drink, exchange pleasant goodbyes and move on.

Stephen Handisides, male grooming, style and etiquette expert