Listen, canceling a first date is rude. It’s silly to make plans you know you’re going to cancel. Your date likely scheduled their entire day around meeting up with you. Dating apps are supposed to be about meeting people, not just endlessly texting, so a first date is exciting. You should go and have fun.

But. Sometimes the temptation to ditch a date is just too great, and you have to call it off. So if you get the itch to cancel a first date, try dropping some of these genius lines. And then vow to do better the next time around. 

1. I really want to hang out tonight, but I have a gnarly cough… We can still meet for tea if you’re not afraid of germs?

2. I will make this up to you someday with dinner at Benihana.

3. Sorry to cancel on you, but we both know there’s not going to be a second date anyway.

4. The L train isn’t running; I’m trapped in Bushwick. We can go out when Cuomo fixes the subway system. 

5. My mom’s in town. I can either cancel or bring her to the bar. The choice is yours! 

6. Uber is surging!!! Could you Venmo me $20? Otherwise I have to cancel our date. 

7. I actually looked more closely at your profile and realized you are wearing a New York Giants T-shirt in one of your pics, and I can’t support the NFL. 

8. Seamless gave me an unexpected promo code, so it would be financially irresponsible not to stay home and order Thai food tonight.

9. I reviewed our text message exchange and realized you wrote “your” instead of “you’re,” so I don’t want to go out with you anymore. 

10. There’s a 20-percent chance of rain and I left my umbrella at home, better not risk ruining my suede boots. Maybe we could go out this summer?

11. My friend asked me to walk her dog and, as I’m sure you understand, I have to choose canine companionship over human interaction.

12. I just watched Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix and realized going out with you is not sparking my joy.