Dating

When It’s Okay To Walk Out Of A Date

April 13 2015 | CeCe Olisa

Walking into the new, chic bar in Harlem, I had the usual jitters that arrive when you’re about to meet someone you’ve been talking to online. I was nervous — but also excited — to learn more about J.R., the guy I’d been chatting and texting with for a few weeks.

From the moment I saw him (sitting, hunched over his phone, texting), I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I approached him in spite of it. We introduced ourselves, but instead of getting up and heading to the bar with me, he stayed fixated on his phone. After about 20 minutes of this — his phone getting way more attention than me — he excused himself to take a call. You can probably predict what happened next: He never came back. I sat alone in the bar, fighting back angry tears.

CeCe Olisa When It's Okay To Walk Out Of A Date

And yet, from the moment I’d laid eyes on J.R., my instincts had told me I wasn’t walking into a good situation. My Jerk-O-Meter had gone off, and I’d ignored it. Why had I stayed when my gut was telling me to leave? Why had I made feeble attempts at small talk when his body language was clearly telling me he wanted nothing to do with me? Well, I did it because it was the polite thing to do. I let manners trump my instincts. And, I realized with some dismay, it wasn’t the first time I’d allowed my inclination to be considerate overrule my need to stand up for myself.

Related: How to Deal with Rejection

I don’t think I’m alone in this. Women are practically trained to “be nice.” We want to be liked, and so we often act politely — even in the face of someone’s rudeness. Being nice to guys I dated, including ones I knew didn’t deserve it, was something I’d just always done. When J.R. defended his phone fixation with a sarcastic remark and still wouldn’t give me the time of day, I could have — and obviously should have — turned and walked out. But, I kept fighting to be polite. I’m not to blame for J.R.’s bad behavior, but my sitting down and continuing to engage with him indicated that I was okay with how he was treating me, which probably only made him think he could disrespect his future dates, too.

It was this horrible date with J.R. that gave me the impetus to throw my good manners out the window when I deemed it necessary. From now on, I was going to put myself first — even if it meant I had to be a little rude. Enough with the niceness all the time! I was quickly learning that it was not always the best policy. Now, if a date makes me feel disrespected, I have the right — and the obligation — to leave. And, I’m proud to say that’s just what I did the last time a guy I went out with turned out to be a jerk.

Related: Is Online Dating Different for Plus Size Women?

I’d met Pete online, and after some nice email exchanges, we decided to meet in person. Pete picked a coffee shop downtown, which fit my rule about meeting in neutral, safe locations. When I walked in, Pete waved at me, with a smile, from a table in the corner. “What’s up, CeCe!” he said, giving me one of those cool-guy chin nods. I hesitantly sat down. We’d barely said hello when Pete began to talk about himself, non-stop, while also checking out other girls right in front of my face. I looked at my watch (never a good sign during a date), which confirmed that the date had been going on for exactly six minutes. I waited for Pete to ask me something — anything — about myself. But, that never happened.

If this was Pete putting his best foot forward, I’d seen all I needed to. “Actually, I’m going to head out,” I said. “It was nice meeting you!” I picked up my purse and went to get a manicure.

Sometimes, being nice is overrated.

Have you ever walked out on a date? …ever wish you had?

Facebook Comments

60 responses on “When It’s Okay To Walk Out Of A Date

  1. Stacei Vick (ClassyConfidentCu

    Omg!!!! This was an awesome read. I’ve never walked out on a date because like you stated, being nice was what I thought I must do. Plus I don’t go out much but anywhoo. I usually hold my tongue on a lot of encounters with chatting with different men online or texting because I wanted to be liked and not fit the description of some miserable ole female. (Another angry woman syndrome). I’ve started speaking my mind politely in the past year. So this hits home. Love your blog

  2. vstacei2005@gmail.com

    Omg!!!! This was an awesome read. I’ve never walked out on a date because like you stated, being nice was what I thought I must do. Plus I don’t go out much but anywhoo. I usually hold my tongue on a lot of encounters with chatting with different men online or texting because I wanted to be liked and not fit the description of some miserable ole female. (Another angry woman syndrome). I’ve started speaking my mind politely in the past year. So this hits home. Love your blog

  3. AstarteOurania

    I’m going to say that it’s not rude nor not nice to leave a meeting/date where the person is being disrespectful towards you. Your response to Pete was simple, polite and well done. If you create a scene to leave, that’s impolite but a neutral, quick exit works wonders. 😉

  4. evangelia@aol.com

    I’m going to say that it’s not rude nor not nice to leave a meeting/date where the person is being disrespectful towards you. Your response to Pete was simple, polite and well done. If you create a scene to leave, that’s impolite but a neutral, quick exit works wonders. 😉

  5. Maria

    YES I have walked out of a date that was going similar to the one you had with Pete. I stayed longer and after a while, I asked if he was at all interested in getting to know me because it didn’t seem like it. I wasn’t mean about it, but I made my point. I said it was nice meeting you…I have to go.

  6. miljushko@hotmail.com

    YES I have walked out of a date that was going similar to the one you had with Pete. I stayed longer and after a while, I asked if he was at all interested in getting to know me because it didn’t seem like it. I wasn’t mean about it, but I made my point. I said it was nice meeting you…I have to go.

  7. Chawntel

    I have wanted to walk out on dates before but I was too nervous to do so. I always that it was rude to just leave someone there. “Sometimes, being nice is overrated.”

  8. chawntel.amos@gmail.com

    I have wanted to walk out on dates before but I was too nervous to do so. I always that it was rude to just leave someone there. “Sometimes, being nice is overrated.”

  9. Angelique

    You’re so right. I went on a horrible date ON MY BIRTHDAY. The guy talked about himself and how his fiends all made fun of him because they were jealous (not that it could possibly be about his lisp and horrible attitude). More than halfway through it he said, “Oh happy birthday by the way.” I should have left long before that, but I was being nice and hoping against all hope it would turn around…. it didn’t.

  10. ang3laz@yahoo.ca

    You’re so right. I went on a horrible date ON MY BIRTHDAY. The guy talked about himself and how his fiends all made fun of him because they were jealous (not that it could possibly be about his lisp and horrible attitude). More than halfway through it he said, “Oh happy birthday by the way.” I should have left long before that, but I was being nice and hoping against all hope it would turn around…. it didn’t.

  11. Lindsey Aylward

    I went on a date once with a guy just before I was about to join the Air Force, to be a pilot. My dream job was to be a C-130 pilot. As soon as the guy finished trash-talking the military, and I said I wanted to fly, he said, “You don’t want to fly some trash-hauler C-130 do you?” All I could do was stare at him. The worst.

    1. justme

      Some people are just negative no matter what you say. You could be the Queen and be granting him a knighthood and he would find a way to dump on it.
      I often wonder what drives people like that.

  12. lindseyaylward@yahoo.com

    I went on a date once with a guy just before I was about to join the Air Force, to be a pilot. My dream job was to be a C-130 pilot. As soon as the guy finished trash-talking the military, and I said I wanted to fly, he said, “You don’t want to fly some trash-hauler C-130 do you?” All I could do was stare at him. The worst.

    1. dnnemans@gmail.com

      Some people are just negative no matter what you say. You could be the Queen and be granting him a knighthood and he would find a way to dump on it.I often wonder what drives people like that.

  13. MaggleBish

    That first date sounded horrific, I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I’ve never walked out on a date, though I haven’t been on many either. I think it’s good to find a balance of polite and standing up for yourself. I will say sometimes people don’t act the way you want them to, or the “proper” way because they are inexperienced at dating or nervous. That was the case with my BF. I asked him questions all night and he never asked me anything. I stayed on that date and we are still together almost 3 years later.

  14. me@foureyedfatshion.com

    That first date sounded horrific, I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I’ve never walked out on a date, though I haven’t been on many either. I think it’s good to find a balance of polite and standing up for yourself. I will say sometimes people don’t act the way you want them to, or the “proper” way because they are inexperienced at dating or nervous. That was the case with my BF. I asked him questions all night and he never asked me anything. I stayed on that date and we are still together almost 3 years later.

  15. Amelia

    I was on a date with a guy who I met online. Before we agreed to go out we shared plenty of photos so clearly I knew he was white and he know I’m African American. On the date he asked me on several occasions “Do you like White guys?” In one way or the other. I couldn’t help thinking, WHY THE HECK WOULD I BE HERE IF I DIDNT? The date went on, he never gave me a single compliment he could barely keep up conversation and he barely ate…until the subject of church came about and he tried to shame me for 15 straight minutes about the stupidity of abstinence. Should I have left, yes! Did I, no. You live and you learn. Thanks Cece

    1. AstarteOurania

      I went out with one once long ago who played the religious guy with me (but I passed over my better judgment to be polite) until he grabbed my breast. I couldn’t flag a taxi down fast enough. Jerks!

      1. Amelia

        shame on him! There’s unfortunately a laundry list of times I should have ceased and desisted with a guy but pressed on. This was just a recent flop lol

        1. AstarteOurania

          Hey, we all make mistakes, even now. 🙂 Let’s just promise ourselves to try to listen to our gut more because it’s usually 99% right! Better a coffee or drink with myself than with a psycho.

  16. amelia_allen92@yahoo.com

    I was on a date with a guy who I met online. Before we agreed to go out we shared plenty of photos so clearly I knew he was white and he know I’m African American. On the date he asked me on several occasions “Do you like White guys?” In one way or the other. I couldn’t help thinking, WHY THE HECK WOULD I BE HERE IF I DIDNT? The date went on, he never gave me a single compliment he could barely keep up conversation and he barely ate…until the subject of church came about and he tried to shame me for 15 straight minutes about the stupidity of abstinence. Should I have left, yes! Did I, no. You live and you learn. Thanks Cece

    1. evangelia@aol.com

      I went out with one once long ago who played the religious guy with me (but I passed over my better judgment to be polite) until he grabbed my breast. I couldn’t flag a taxi down fast enough. Jerks!

      1. amelia_allen92@yahoo.com

        shame on him! There’s unfortunately a laundry list of times I should have ceased and desisted with a guy but pressed on. This was just a recent flop lol

        1. evangelia@aol.com

          Hey, we all make mistakes, even now. 🙂 Let’s just promise ourselves to try to listen to our gut more because it’s usually 99% right! Better a coffee or drink with myself than with a psycho.

  17. Robin Michael Rush

    I don’t think it’s rude or impolite to walk out on a bad date. The first five minutes are crucial. There’s a difference between first date jitters and downright rudeness. After about 5-10 minutes of being ignored, I would say ‘you know what, this is not going well, here’s my card (optional), let me know when you’re serious.

  18. robindrush@netzero.com

    I don’t think it’s rude or impolite to walk out on a bad date. The first five minutes are crucial. There’s a difference between first date jitters and downright rudeness. After about 5-10 minutes of being ignored, I would say ‘you know what, this is not going well, here’s my card (optional), let me know when you’re serious.

  19. Debomita Ghosh

    I haven’t gone on any first dates…. not technically…. because I have only gone out with guys I have known over a period of time but when some of them were awkward or unpleasant, I somehow gathered the patience to sit through them and smile politely (all the time telling them off in my head)…… I do think us women are conditioned to be polite and pleasant. Speaking your mind almost is like being annoying and “loud”…. and nobody likes a loud woman, we have been taught. I have always found it really strange that even though I am very aggressive and a lawyer by profession, I find it difficult to go after what I want in the dating world.

  20. debomitaghosh@gmail.com

    I haven’t gone on any first dates…. not technically…. because I have only gone out with guys I have known over a period of time but when some of them were awkward or unpleasant, I somehow gathered the patience to sit through them and smile politely (all the time telling them off in my head)…… I do think us women are conditioned to be polite and pleasant. Speaking your mind almost is like being annoying and “loud”…. and nobody likes a loud woman, we have been taught. I have always found it really strange that even though I am very aggressive and a lawyer by profession, I find it difficult to go after what I want in the dating world.

  21. LovelyyLaina

    OMG!! I love this post I absolutely have been in this situation where I didn’t want to come off as mean or rude and allowed somebody to be totally rude to me! Its amazing the things we allow ourselves to put up with. This post was a great reminder that we as plus size women don’t have to accept just any old thing, and SHOULD expect nothing but the best!

  22. lovelylaina07@gmail.com

    OMG!! I love this post I absolutely have been in this situation where I didn’t want to come off as mean or rude and allowed somebody to be totally rude to me! Its amazing the things we allow ourselves to put up with. This post was a great reminder that we as plus size women don’t have to accept just any old thing, and SHOULD expect nothing but the best!

  23. LilyFlower1

    Hi CeCe, I have read your blog for so long now but this is my first comment! I think you are a wonderful writer!

    This blog post in particular spoke to me because I went through something sort of similar this past weekend. I was stood up on a first date in a very mean way which really hurt my feelings because I hadn’t put my heart out there like that in a long time. This guy was the one who asked me out, pursued me, and seemed really interested, etc. etc…so I wasn’t sure why I was the one left feeling so down. He even tried to ask me out again after he did this. I built the courage to say no, and walk away. I realized afterwards that it was a new lesson and I learned a lot from that experience. Even though this was a different situation, I feel better after reading this post. Thank you 🙂

  24. dancerina22310@aim.com

    Hi CeCe, I have read your blog for so long now but this is my first comment! I think you are a wonderful writer!

    This blog post in particular spoke to me because I went through something sort of similar this past weekend. I was stood up on a first date in a very mean way which really hurt my feelings because I hadn’t put my heart out there like that in a long time. This guy was the one who asked me out, pursued me, and seemed really interested, etc. etc…so I wasn’t sure why I was the one left feeling so down. He even tried to ask me out again after he did this. I built the courage to say no, and walk away. I realized afterwards that it was a new lesson and I learned a lot from that experience. Even though this was a different situation, I feel better after reading this post. Thank you 🙂

  25. justme

    Hey just discovered your plusssizeprincess. I love it. Entertaining and chock full of really helpful information and wisdom..

  26. dnnemans@gmail.com

    Hey just discovered your plusssizeprincess. I love it. Entertaining and chock full of really helpful information and wisdom..

  27. Mydatinghangovers

    I like what you said about allowing courtesy and home training override instincts. Boy oh boy has this been the case with me on far too many dates.

    I’m thinking the reason why I stick through some of these is because I know I will never ever go out with them, or speak to again. In my mind, the dude who is making such a horrible impression is really going to marvel at how classy of a dame he’s missing out on.

    There are a lot of these idiots who are so clueless, so when I’ve sent them that text saying “we’re not a good fit”, many will ask why and wonder where they went wrong. Sometimes I’ll ignore the question but sometimes I’ll briefly explain what turned me off.

    My reasons for sticking it out can also include things like my time and effort getting to the meet up/date!

  28. myhangovers@gmail.com

    I like what you said about allowing courtesy and home training override instincts. Boy oh boy has this been the case with me on far too many dates.
    I’m thinking the reason why I stick through some of these is because I know I will never ever go out with them, or speak to again. In my mind, the dude who is making such a horrible impression is really going to marvel at how classy of a dame he’s missing out on.

    There are a lot of these idiots who are so clueless, so when I’ve sent them that text saying “we’re not a good fit”, many will ask why and wonder where they went wrong. Sometimes I’ll ignore the question but sometimes I’ll briefly explain what turned me off.

    My reasons for sticking it out can also include things like my time and effort getting to the meet up/date!

  29. Tetiana Shpek

    Yes, I went out of a date as well. We met online ( https://kovla.com/datings/us/adak/ ) and during our first date he was interested in his phone more than in me. So, I took my clatch and walked out of a restaurant. In a week he asked me out again. Don`t know why, I agreed. When we met, he explained that then he was waiting for a very important call. Now we are engaged).

  30. annafedorenko877@gmail.com

    Yes, I went out of a date as well. We met online ( https://kovla.com/datings/us/adak/ ) and during our first date he was interested in his phone more than in me. So, I took my clatch and walked out of a restaurant. In a week he asked me out again. Don`t know why, I agreed. When we met, he explained that then he was waiting for a very important call. Now we are engaged).

  31. setaglm

    Hi CeCe!
    I am so excited to have stumbled upon your site – which of course lead me down a rabbit hole of over 3 hrs of reading about the conference (oh you bet I will be at the next!), presenters, bloggers, YouTube yadda, yadda! Big fun!

    My actual question is – which are the decent plus size dating sites – free and paid? Since I am back in the dating world my “go to” site has vanished! I am already on a couple of the mainstream free sites which are fine but frankly there is nothing like meeting a man who prefers all of this heavenly glory and is specifically seeking it out!

    Don’t worry! I’m a big girl and I’m a big girl! I know about safety and how to suss out the creeps. I just can’t seem to find the sites that are for good old fashioned plus size dating!

    Thanks for any insight!

    Lisa

  32. mlgates57@gmail.com

    Hi CeCe!I am so excited to have stumbled upon your site – which of course lead me down a rabbit hole of over 3 hrs of reading about the conference (oh you bet I will be at the next!), presenters, bloggers, YouTube yadda, yadda! Big fun!

    My actual question is – which are the decent plus size dating sites – free and paid? Since I am back in the dating world my “go to” site has vanished! I am already on a couple of the mainstream free sites which are fine but frankly there is nothing like meeting a man who prefers all of this heavenly glory and is specifically seeking it out!

    Don’t worry! I’m a big girl and I’m a big girl! I know about safety and how to suss out the creeps. I just can’t seem to find the sites that are for good old fashioned plus size dating!

    Thanks for any insight!

    Lisa

  33. Mark Anthony

    It doesn’t matter if its a date or any other situation.

    If you’re with someone in person they get your first attention.

    Unless its an emergency, work, clients or the boss, can the other person not wait?

    If it is one of the above, politely let the person your with know the situation, take the call or text back and get off of the device.

    I’m a professional with clients not a job so my situation is a bit different.

    I make this clear upfront; however, I take care of business and get off the device.

    Keep in mind that my clients are building 250 million to 3 billion $ facilities/plants and need answers right then because a 5 minute delay can cost them 1 million in lost production especially if its hydrocarbons.

    Sadly most of the guys she’s talking about are booty call multitasking trying to arrange their “calls” so they aren’t ever alone.

    I’ve had women on their screen with others all of the time too, so it cuts both ways.

    The millennials have a 3 person listening rule to justify that being on their device is ok.

    If the other party has one of the reasons in my third sentence and they handle it like I do and advise me ahead of time I understand that.

    Most folks doing this don’t have that situation and to be honest with you they grew up in a selfie self importance helicopter parent environment as a special dumpling/snowflake that are self focused narcist that don’t care about the feelings of others are only concerned with not looking bad and are into self promotion of themselves.

    Sad to say civility and consideration for others is on the wane and selfie self importance self grandization/self promoting is the modern norm of this wonderful world.

    Best of luck.

  34. mvanvelzor@earthlink.net

    It doesn’t matter if its a date or any other situation.
    If you’re with someone in person they get your first attention.

    Unless its an emergency, work, clients or the boss, can the other person not wait?

    If it is one of the above, politely let the person your with know the situation, take the call or text back and get off of the device.

    I’m a professional with clients not a job so my situation is a bit different.

    I make this clear upfront; however, I take care of business and get off the device.

    Keep in mind that my clients are building 250 million to 3 billion $ facilities/plants and need answers right then because a 5 minute delay can cost them 1 million in lost production especially if its hydrocarbons.

    Sadly most of the guys she’s talking about are booty call multitasking trying to arrange their “calls” so they aren’t ever alone.

    I’ve had women on their screen with others all of the time too, so it cuts both ways.

    The millennials have a 3 person listening rule to justify that being on their device is ok.

    If the other party has one of the reasons in my third sentence and they handle it like I do and advise me ahead of time I understand that.

    Most folks doing this don’t have that situation and to be honest with you they grew up in a selfie self importance helicopter parent environment as a special dumpling/snowflake that are self focused narcist that don’t care about the feelings of others are only concerned with not looking bad and are into self promotion of themselves.

    Sad to say civility and consideration for others is on the wane and selfie self importance self grandization/self promoting is the modern norm of this wonderful world.

    Best of luck.

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