Have you ever gone on a date with someone you had a feeling it wouldn’t work out with only to realize fifteen minutes into the date that your intuition was right? In situations like that, what do you do?

Do you continue the date out of politeness? After all, you did make a commitment to show up, and it’s the least you can do after you both took valuable time out of your day to meet each other.

Or would it be seem totally inexcusable to plainly admit that you’re just not feeling it? The chemistry is non-existent, the conversation is stale and the energy between you is really off.

I recently found myself on—what can best be described as—a “bad date” that turned into a huge learning lesson for me.

The Charade

From the moment she walked into the room, I felt the energy between us immediately fall flat. In retrospect, I sensed this prior to the date because I found our conversation by phone and text a little off-putting. I decided to ignore my intuition and give her the benefit of the doubt.

As the evening progressed, I felt an abandonment of my will power in an effort to be kind. The date got worse when it eventually turned into dinner. I felt completely trapped, especially since dinner was not my choice.

With each minute of conversation, I began resenting myself for not ending the evening sooner, but I didn’t want to come across as rude or inconsiderate. And since I was the one that asked her out, I felt like I had to suck it up.

For whatever reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to say what I wanted to say the whole time: “I get the sense that this isn’t really working out for us. Why don’t we call it a night?”

My guess is that she felt the same way, biting through the politeness, afraid to blatantly disrespect the person sitting across the table.

In some ways, we both played into this charade of waiting it out purely on the guise of being nice.

The Lesson

Now I know there are people who have no problem walking out on a date, but that has never been me. I’ve always seen dating as an adventure. There’s always something to new to learn about a person. But in some cases, it’s just not a fit. And in this case, it felt painful.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn because I naturally to want to be liked. Sometimes, this tendency leads me to going out of my way to please others – just so they can like me. This is a pattern of mine in most areas of my life and I see now that it doesn’t serve me anymore.

I shared this story with several of my friends, none of which seem to have any problem standing in their power to end a date sooner rather than later if it’s a clear mismatch. One of my friends even admitted that it’s a “ruthless” place within that allows for that personal judgement call. This sounds a little cold to me, but perhaps it’s that place where this friend holds that personal power.

Authenticity Matters

So where’s that fine line between being polite and being rude when it comes to dating? It’s that place within us that honors our truth with kindness and compassion toward others.

Here’s the thing, I know it’s time for a change. Moving forward, here’s my plan: First off, I’m going to thank the Universe for this lesson. Honestly, more value came from this experience than any therapy session with a shrink. (It probably cost me about the same too!)

Next, I’m going to honor my intuition because these days I’ve been very “tapped in” and there’s no more need to second guess myself. After that, I’m going to let this go set an “intention” prior to walking into any situation to honor my feelings. There’s no sense beating myself up anymore when I know in my heart I’m a good person with noble intentions.

If something doesn’t feel right, it’s totally okay to get up and end an evening early as long as I do it with kindness and compassion. I may need this inner pep talk before every date to center and ground myself, at least until it becomes natural.

From now on, this inner battle of will ends here.