I just had a first-date with a girl a few days ago. Didn’t feel much of a spark unfortunately. Both of us had a good time chatting over a few hours – seemed like she was into me. But I’m not too interested in a second date – would be cool to hang out but only as platonic friends. It’s been a couple of days but neither of us has sent the other a message. Should I send her an email letting her know that I’m not interested? Or, given that she didn’t contact me afterwards either, can I just let it go without any sort of follow-up?
If she had messaged me first I would’ve totally been honest about feeling a lack of connection, but not sure if proper etiquette in this case requires me to contact her to let her know regardless.
Good on you for wanting to do the right thing here, and honestly it’s something I’ve thought about for a while. Is telling someone you’re not interested always the right move? At what point do you do it? All these sort of questions pass through my mind whenever I consider the etiquette of sending the “No thanks, I’m not interested” message. Let’s see what we can come up with.
When it comes to rejections, even if you’re not interested in the person, you still don’t want to get one. That’s why I’m always hesitant to send a rejection after the first date. That said, the biggest complaint I’ve gotten from people is that they get passively rejected which is worse than just getting a clear and concise “NO“. I think a good unwritten rule should be that you send a quick text, maybe the next day, indicating your interest, or lack thereof. If you do this, they have time to process and move on. If they were interested in seeing you again, it will suck, but at least you give them the gift of not playing the “What if…” game.
In your situation though, it’s a bit different. Because you waited a while between the first date and the rejection, your text will be received a bit differently. It would have been great to send a polite text a day after your first date signaling that you weren’t interested, but the past is past, so let’s just move forward. Two possible responses that you’re likely to get when you reach out, which I think you should do. One, she brushes it off because she wasn’t interested. Two, she was interested and she’s either disappointed or relieved to hear that you’re not interested. On your end you’ll either feel relieved to have gotten it over with or feel silly because she clearly wasn’t interested. Trust me on this, It’s always better to do something and look silly versus doing nothing and look like a jerk. Chances are good that she isn’t interested either, but it’s always better to just know for sure. You can even acknowledge the fact that you should have gotten to her sooner, and that you just wanted to tell her in case she was wondering, and also that you didn’t want her to think you were avoiding her. At that point, you can say that you might be better as friends.
It’s always better to be upfront and honest about a rejection than to wait for someone to elicit a response that requires a rejection. Save yourself, and them, the mental energy of wondering if they got the message and just deliver the message.
Good Luck Out There.