So you went on a bad date. No big deal. It happens to all of us. But the person keeps contacting you afterward. How do you let them down gently? Many choose the tactic of ghosting, where you suddenly cut all contact with them. If you decide to ghost someone, make sure you do it correctly. It's a very delicate art.
The very first step of ghosting happens long before you even decide whether or not you want to ghost the person. The expert ghoster knows that 90 percent of first dates end poorly (Editor's note: That's not exact science, but it sure as hell feels like exact science), so you should lie immediately to the person on and before the date. This way, when you inevitably decide to ditch them, you've already laid the groundwork.
Step 1: Say you're not on social media. This is a double win, as It will make you seem interesting if the date goes well, or it can give you an out if it doesn't. To most effectively pull this off, lie about your name. Make up a backstory for yourself. You're now a blank canvas. Have fun with it!
If for some silly reason you feel uncomfortable lying about your name to someone you might be intimate with, fine. Whatever. But they will be able to find you on Facebook after, so here's a hot tip. If they message you, do not read the message. Facebook is a snitch and actually tells the person that you saw their message. Don't get caught. If they don't know you've seen it, they'll assume you must be busy. Or, if you're lucky, they'll assume you're dead.
If you can tell the date's not going well, start making pre-ghost preparations. Mention you're about to go on a trip to central Asia or some other remote part of the globe where you won't have access to your phone or the internet. This way, when you don't get back to them, they'll assume you must still be out exploring the world. That, or dead. Morbid, I know, but having them assume you've passed is the most effective and literal ghosting strategy out there.
This method is nearly identical to the previous one. The only difference is you tell them you've joined the military and are about to be shipped off. In both these methods, you run the risk of being caught if they see you post something recent on Facebook. Of course, you can avoid this by simply never friending someone until after the eleventh date. Minimum. That's a rookie mistake.
Of course, if you aren't digging the person, you can do something altruistic. You can let them be the ones to decide to not see you, so you don't even have to ghost. Be the bigger person and let them win by taking a dive on the date. Tell them you can't wait to have children, then maintain eye contact for 35 minutes without saying another word. They'll really appreciate it.
This tactic will only work in Pennsylvania (and even there it's difficult to pull off), but if you can manage it, it's delightful. Just tell them you're Amish. Of course, this will also only work if you didn't meet online and went on a very specific type of date, but if you ghost them, they'll understand why it's so hard to get a hold of you. And if it works out with them, they get to gloat how they were so awesome you left your community to be with them. They'll be suspicious of your lack of carpentry and farming skills, though.
Lying is difficult, because a lie is rarely singular. You need to lie again and again to maintain your lies. But an even easier way it to pretend you've got a case of amnesia, apologize for whatever happened and then run off to try to find your identity. They'll take pity on your condition. If they don't, who cares what they think? They're an insensitive monster.
This is the worst. You can be mature and straight forward with the person at the end of the date. It may be uncomfortable, especially if you hate confrontation, but you can let them down gently. They may be hurt, but will appreciate it in the long run.
But we all know maturity is for adults and morons. Faking your own death is where it's at. The best way to go about this is to incinerate your car along with several of your belongings that are easily identifiable. It needs to be a severe fire so the flames burn away all evidence of any potential body and authorities assume the worst happened to you. Then, lead a new, exciting life elsewhere. This is an easy, breezy solution for ghosting a bad date.
Now, if you ever get ghosted, forget the person. They're awful, and don't care how bad it hurts your feelings. There are plenty of fish in the sea, so get back out there. Sure, online dating isn't the most pleasant experience, but it can lead to some delightfully awkward fun.