If A Date Isn’t Working

Just end it early. Cut the suffering short

Shefali O'Hara


Photo by Jonathan J. Castellon on Unsplash

Apparently it takes people only 25 minutes to decide a date isn’t working, according to a poll of 2,000 adults. However, they will wait an average of 51 minutes before making excuses and walking out.

I think this is a waste of time.

When I was dating, our first date was almost always at a café near my house.

It was a public place 3 minutes from my house.

I liked meeting there for a number of reasons:

  • It gave you a great reason to cut the date short if you needed to. After half an hour, you’d be done with your coffee or tea (the café also had great tea).
  • It’s inexpensive.
  • It’s social. People relax and open up over coffee, tea or alcohol. However, a coffee (or tea) date has less pitfalls than meeting for drinks.
  • It keeps the date casual.
  • It is surprisingly revealing.
  • If the date went well, the café served a variety of meals.

After we finished our coffee, if I didn’t feel a spark, I was honest with him.

“It was nice to meet you,” I’d say. “But I don’t feel we have a connection.”

I felt this was respectful to both of us.

This being the South, usually they still gave me a hug good-bye.

If I felt a connection, however, I’d ask him if he’d like to order food. If he eagerly agreed, then the interest was mutual. If he hesitated or made excuses, then I would tell him it was fine if he didn’t feel a spark. I wished him well and left.

Sometimes, however, I connected with a man on a friendship level, but not a romantic one. When that happened, I’d be up front about that as well. And a few times this resulted in nice friendships.

I am fighting stage IV cancer. If you can help with medical bills, I would really appreciate it. Or if you enjoy my writing and would like to buy me a cup of coffee, that’s great too. Maybe someday I can return the favor.

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Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.