How to Break a Poly Date

This summer, I had to break a date with one person I’m seeing in order to accommodate another.  Here’s the email I sent her:

Hey sweetie,

So, now that we’ve figured out a July date and everything … it would be cool if we could reschedule. Sorry. Renee’s gone for a month, in town for only a couple days in the middle there. Would you be up for the evening of July 11th, either at the Citadel or Edges? Or we could figure out my place if neither of those work out. That’s the best, but alternatives are the 12th, the 19th, or a weeknight around then. Any of that sound doable?


She responded, and used my email as an example of all the proper things to say when breaking a poly date.

Hey Pep!

Welcome back and I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  I’ll check when I get home to my calendar tonight and we’ll find something that works.

However … you must let me laugh a bit as I wonder how you can add this to your poly class.

Proper ways to reschedule play dates according to poly etiquette:

1. Soften them up with the use of a term of endearment:  “sweetie” … check

2. Acknowledge there is a commitment:  “we’ve figured out a July date” … check

3. Show appreciation of the other person / situation:  “it would be cool if” … check

4. Ask for what you need:  “reschedule” … check

5. Apology:  “Sorry” … check

6. Explain why – be honest:  “Renee’s gone for a month” … check

7. Suggest multiple possibilities, and be more flexible to make rescheduling more possible:  check

8. Additional emotional squishyness added depending on the situation / need / dynamic / etc:  check


So there you have it.  If you want to break a date in order to make a date with someone else, it’s important to hit all these bases.

Apparently I’ve gotten good at this, since I just did it unconsciously.

(Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

1 Comment

  1. I think this is pretty good date re-scheduling technique, poly or not!

    Yay for decent people 😛

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