Sometimes, unexpected events occur when you are planning to go out with someone, and you must cancel the date; maybe something unexpected happened which is forcing you to cancel your plans, or maybe you just decided that you really do not want to go on a date with this particular individual. Whatever the case may be, there are a few different methods for cancelling a date.
The first option, though sometimes we do not want to admit it, is honesty. Sometimes, honesty is easy. If unexpected events do force you to cancel your date, such as an illness, family emergency, or trouble at work, it is not difficult to be honest, cancel the date, and arrange a new one. In this case, be sure that you are sincere, as sometimes cancelling a date can instill a lack of interest within the other individual. Again, try to arrange a new date, and follow up on it.
If you simply decide that you do not want to go on the date, however, this can be difficult to confess. By telling your former date that you do not actually want to see them, you will be leaving no gray areas. You will not have to worry about making up more excuses in the future or leading someone on. Sometimes, being blunt is the best way to go about breaking off a date, as it is unambiguous.
Of course, it is possible to tell a lie as a means to escape your potential date. In this case, it is better to cancel at least one day in advance. This will give your ex-date time to make other plans; by cancelling only a few hours in advance, your ex-date will have wasted a potentially salvageable evening. Sickness is always a reasonable and unverifiable lie; by stating that you feel ill the evening or morning before the actual date, you allow yourself to remain ill during the time that you are supposed to be going on the date. If you have an online journal, have a friend post a message such as "hope you feel better," which will make your lie more believable.
In this case, do not try to renew the date, as you will only end up in the same position. By suggesting that you "play it by ear," or even better, "see if things open up in the next couple weeks," you do not lock yourself into anything definite. You will then be obligation free, date free, and a bit wiser about who to ask on dates or agree to date in the future.