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What’s the Right Way to End a First Date?

Whether she blew your mind or bored you to the death, there's a non-awkward way to cap off the evening. Here's straightforward advice.

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Q: Whether I’m into the girl or not, I never know how to end the first date without being super-awkward about it. Help!

A: For the average person, the end of the first date is going to be uncomfortable nine times out of 10. You may not know her well or you could be walking on eggshells as you attempt to go from the friend zone to maybe-more territory—and I haven’t even mentioned the first-date butterflies yet. No matter how much swag you think you have, add all that up, and you’ve got the magical recipe for end-of-date awkwardness. Awesome, right?

It’s a good thing I have the magical antidote to get rid of said awkwardness. (You’re welcome.) Here’s your exact game plan depending on which of these most-likely scenarios you encounter:

A) Meh. You’re not that into her. If you weren’t feeling it, she’s a big girl. She can take the brush off. But for the love of everything good in this world, please do not tell her you’ll call when you have no intention to reach back out. “Just cut her loose by giving her a quick peck on the cheek and say, ‘Thanks for coming out tonight. It was great meeting you.’ That’ll signal it’s a wrap,” says dating expert Lauren Frances, author of Dating, Mating and Manhandling.

B) Not a bad date. You’d like to see her again. You’re not exactly about to run down the aisle just yet, but there was a solid connection. You like her. Why not keep the goodbye short and sweet? Don’t beat around the bush when you know you’d like to see her next weekend. “Lock down your next date before you say goodbye,” says Frances. Your on-the-spot invitation for another evening out will make her much more likely to say yes, and she will love your confidence.

C) Hello, Future Wife—basically, she blew your mind. Best date ever? (Cue happy dance, streamers, confetti and montage music!) What follows should be a more nonverbal-than-verbal indication of your feelings. “Look her directly in the eyes and say, ‘I had an amazing time with you tonight,’ and move in for the perfect nightcap: a quick goodnight kiss,” Frances says. “If she turns her cheek, don’t freak out. She might not be ready for a lip-lock—yet.” Either way, if she’s that amazing, be bold. Tell her you want to see her again, set up another date, and then follow up with a call the next day. She’ll get the hint: This guy’s seriously into me. Nothing hotter than that…

Bottom line here, guys? Be direct. It might seem scary, but doing so is way less awkward in the short term—and gets the point across far better for the long run.

About the Hot Girl: Claire Austen is a 20-something freelance writer, sports enthusiast, and polka-dot-lovin’ everygirl trying to bridge the gap between what men know about women and what women wish men knew. She gives smart, super-honest advice about your biggest dating and relationship conundrums.

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