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'I have to get up early tomorrow' - What it really means in dating

Ah, the classic end-of-the-evening phrase that has puzzled daters since time immemorial: "I have to get up early tomorrow."

Couple out on a date [Image Credit: Polina Tankilevitch]

Whether whispered under the shimmering city lights or mumbled in the cozy ambiance of a dimly lit restaurant, this line is the universal signal that the night is coming to a close. Or is it?

There are various perspectives behind this statement for both men and women, each depending on context, the individual's personality, and how the date has gone.

To understanding what your date actually means when they drop the line you will need to pay attention to your interactions as well as non-verbal cues.


Reading the situation and responding with humor, respect, and a touch of creativity can turn even a potential end-of-the-night bummer into the opening notes of something beautiful.

But knowing when to gracefully bow out is just as important as seizing the moment.

Sometimes, "I have to get up early" is less about actual morning commitments and more about gauging interest. Are you both eager to continue the evening or ready to hit the pause button?

For both men and women, if the date insists on continuing the night despite the early start, it could be seen as a sign of strong interest. Alternatively, if both parties agree to call it a night, it might require more effort to gauge the level of mutual interest.


A witty comeback to keep the night going can be: "Well, in that case, let's make the most of the time we have left!"

But if they're already checking their watch or their phone incessantly, take the hint. They might truly need their beauty sleep.

For those not feeling the spark, this line is the go-to polite exit strategy. It's their way of saying, "You're great, but I'm ready to head home."


It's an acceptable excuse that allows both parties to part ways amicably without delving into personal feelings or detailed explanations.

In case you want to know for sure, you could say: "Totally understand! Before you turn into a pumpkin, though, how about we plan our next adventure?"

But if their body language has been closed off, like crossed arms or minimal eye contact, respect the cue. Grace is in the goodbye.

Believe it or not, some people do have early starts. Maybe it's a big meeting or a gym session they never miss.


If the statement comes after a lively and engaging date, it's likely a genuine reason to end the night with a view to meeting again under less time-constrained circumstances.

A great comeback is: "I admire your dedication! How about we make our next date an early one? Brunch, my treat."

And if your date had mentioned their early start earlier in the evening, it's a genuine commitment. Offer to get them a cab, and you'll score major thoughtfulness points.

Especially for women, this phrase can be a safety mechanism. It's a way to ensure they can leave comfortably.


If she's not entirely comfortable or feels it's too early to extend the date into a more private setting, mentioning an early morning is a clear and straightforward way to ensure she can leave without an ugly confrontation.

If the date took place in a secluded or private location, insisting could make you seem inconsiderate.

A gentlemanly comeback can be: "Safety first, always. Let me know you got home safe, okay? Looking forward to our next meet-up!"


This phrase can also be a way of setting personal boundaries. By stating he has to get up early, he's indirectly saying that he's not interested in extending the date or taking it to a more intimate level at this time. It's a way of keeping things at a comfortable pace for him.

For some, a great date doesn't need to end with a grand finale. They prefer to savor the anticipation of what comes next.

If they're enthusiastic about planning the next date, there's no need to push for more tonight. The promise of future plans is your green light.

A witty comeback in this case can be: "Good things come to those who wait, right?"


By mentioning a constraint on the current evening, he might be setting the stage for another meeting at a time when he doesn't expect interruptions.

For women as well, it can be a way to suggest interest in a future meeting under different circumstances.

A playful parting shot can be: "Then I guess we'll have something to look forward to. How about we pick this up at a spot of your choosing next time?"

This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.


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