Blind date illustration
Illustration: Pierre Le Tan

Q: What should I do if I go on a date, and early on it's clear the evening is going to be a huge flop? Do I stick it out? Is it kinder to make up an excuse and end the evening early?

A: End it, but have the courage to be kind and honest. He may not think it's a bust, so let him down gently. But don't lie or fake an emergency text message. If you're sharp enough to sense a flop, you're smart enough to find ways to say you don't feel right about the evening.
— Rushworth M. Kidder, founder of the Institute for Global Ethics

Why prolong the agony? Be cordial, and ease on down the road as quickly as you can without causing a scene. But first determine whether your date is creepy or only clumsy. Creepy always calls for an exit, but clumsy may be a sign of limited dating experience or introversion.
Rudy Rasmus, pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church in Houston

If he's a nice guy but the sparks aren't there, stay put. Who knows? You may end up becoming friends, or he may be the perfect guy for someone else you know.
— Lisa Caputo, chairman and CEO, Citi's Women & Co.

I second that. The right conduct is not to cut and run. The Golden Rule applies: Stick it out, and do your best to make sure your companion has as good a time as possible. Maybe your first impression was wrong. If you leave early, you'll never know if you missed a life-changing surprise.
— Jack Marshall, president, ProEthics

I once cut a blind date short with mumbled excuses. By chance, I ran into him again at a party when we were both more relaxed. As Jack says, a life-changing surprise. Six months later, we were married.
— Jancee Dunn

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