How to Cancel a Date Gracefully

Feeling sick? Got a cold? How to cancel your date gracefully

By signing up to an online dating service, you are declaring to the world that you are ready and willing and available to date. You are putting yourself out there, on the line, ready for acceptance and rejection, in the hope that love and romance are just around the corner.


Having gone to the effort of deciding to join an internet dating website like Free and Single, filling out your profile with just the right balance of measured wit and lighthearted whimsy, taking the perfect profile picture and cultivating a messaging relationship with one or two promising people there are only three reasons you would cancel a long awaited date with someone;


1) Sickness

2) Genuine Emergency

3) You have changed your mind


So, how do you go about actually cancelling this date? Presumably you do not wish to hurt anyone’s feelings, you’ve been there and you remember what it felt like.


It entirely depends on why you are cancelling.


First, try and cancel as far in advance as you can. A last minute drop out is less than flattering to your date and doesn’t show much consideration for them, their time and effort in getting ready for the date or their feelings at being cancelled on.


Second, if you still want to have the date but your pre-arranged time or date just isn’t going to work for you anymore, then let them know you are only postponing the date. Consider sending flowers or a handwritten note apologising for cancelling and asking to reschedule.


Now, to the the crux of the matter – why are you cancelling in the first place and what do you say to get out of the date?


1) Sickness

If you are ill, you have to let them know. You don’t have to go into the gory details, but let them know how rough you are feeling. Calling someone ten minutes before you meet them to let them know your throat ‘feels a bit sore’ is not going to fly if you plan on still having this date in the future. If you feel sick the morning of your date, send them a message to let them know you are not feeling tip top and you’ll let them know by lunchtime whether you are going to make the date or if you’ll have to reschedule.

Remember, an apple a day…

How to postpone your online date at short notice if you're ill


2) Genuine Emergency

This category is, by ts very nature, unplanned and unpredictable, so reasonable notice may not be possible. However, let your date know the moment you know you won’t be able to make it and unless you are guarding a National Secret, give them an explanation; ‘I’m sorry I can’t make it, my neighbour fell down the stairs and I need to take her to hospital, I’ll call you later to catch you up and reschedule our date.’  This will go over much better than the classic soap opera; ‘Family emergency! Sorry! Bye!’

3) You have changed your mind

The best thing to do here is the hardest. Go anyway and let the date make your mind up for you – you obviously felt some sort of interest or you wouldn’t have got to the point where you had organised a date with this person.  If it doesn’t go as you hoped, no harm, no foul, no second date. Just make sure you let them down gently. After all, you should always treat others how you would wish to be treated!