Are You on a Pity Date? (11 Signs of a Pity Date)

Last updated on October 24, 2022 by April Maccario

With so much chaos and bad events happening globally, it may seem like going out of your way to show kindness is what the world needs. While this may be true in many cases, there are a few instances where we must ensure that our good intentions do not turn into the very evil we are avoiding, and one of such is going on a pity date.

A pity date is when you go on a date with someone you are not interested in simply because you feel sorry for them or do not want to hurt their feelings. As someone who has been both the pitier and the one being pitied, I have realized firsthand that pity dates do not benefit anyone. 

Admittedly, it can be tough letting someone down or declining their date request, especially if they are nice. However, it is a far better honor to set them free than to string them along with a pity date. Unfortunately, many people do not buy this logic and will instead give you false hopes rather than risk being viewed as a horrible person. 

In that case, it is up to you to watch out for the signs and cut things off. On that note, here are 11 signs of a pity date.

11 Signs Of A Pity Date

1. They are not thrilled about the date

One of the first signs of a pity date is how your love interest responds to being asked out. You see, there is an excitement, however little, that comes with going on a date with someone new. That’s because when you find someone attractive, you will be happy to spend time with them, which is exactly what a date offers.

Therefore, if you ask a guy or a girl out on a date and they seem hesitant with no valid reason before accepting, it could be that they feel pity for you and do not want to hurt your feelings. Chances are, they are worried about how you might react to being turned down, so they believe they should accept.

2. There is no chemistry

When it comes to romantic relationships, chemistry matters. Now I know it’s not everyone that feels butterflies in their belly when on a date with someone they like. Nevertheless, chemistry goes beyond butterflies. It’s about connecting with the person or feeling like you understand them and they understand you too.

Without this connection, the date can quickly get boring. So while it is true that not everyone has chemistry on the date notwithstanding, it signifies that your partner is not that into you and they are pity dating you.

3. Conversations are awkward

The awkward moments of silence, the misplaced questions, and the one-word responses - all these can contribute towards making a conversation awkward. Now, there are different reasons why a conversation could feel awkward. Perhaps, your partner is shy, or you, on the other hand, are still warming up to their presence. 

However, if it feels like you are putting your best foot forward to keep the conversation going but your partner seems nonchalant, you may be on a pity date. Your date could be consciously making the conversation awkward by refusing to ask leading questions or giving you direct answers without a follow-up question. 

They want to make the date as awkward and boring as possible with hopes that it discourages you from hanging out with them next time. A coward move, I know, but that’s some people’s definition of letting you down easy.

4. They act like they are doing you a favor

From their actions to their words, you can always tell when someone feels they are superior to you, and as such, they are doing you a favor by being out with you. Sometimes, it may not be their intention to be mean or make you feel inferior. Nevertheless, their actions always find a way of betraying their thoughts.

For instance, if your date spends too much time talking about how well-traveled they are, all the great and mighty things they have accomplished, or worse, all the people crushing on them, it signifies that they want you to feel fortunate for having alone time with them. They believe they can do better than you but will rather sit through the date with you than be honest.

5. They show up with the bare minimum

they show up with the bare minimum

Whether you are going for dinner, to see the movies, or hiking, you can always tell when someone has put in the effort to look good for you. The fact is, a person who accepts to go on a date with you will likely not care about what you think of their appearance. They probably believe that you are too smitten to care about how they look. After all, their presence is more than enough. 

On the contrary, someone who is romantically interested in you will try to look and smell nice when going on a date, irrespective of the date activity. So, if your date shows up looking like they put little to no effort into their looks, it means they came out of courtesy or as an obligation and not because they were eager to spend time with you, which further proves that it is a pity date.

6. They reject your gifts

At first glance, a guy or lady rejecting your gift may not seem like an obvious red flag to indicate that they are pity dating you. However, when this sign aligns with other behaviors on this list, it is a clear sign. After all, there are many reasons why people reject gifts. Perhaps, your partner is not a receiver but a giver, or the gift is far too expensive, and they feel guilty receiving it.

Nonetheless, this is a more prominent sign if you are a guy and the girl you like rejects your presents or always insists on splitting the bills. The truth is guys like to be providers and her rejecting your generosity is her subtle way of letting you know that she wants to be platonic with you. She is doing her best to avoid you getting the wrong message, and as such, her being out with you is nothing more than a pity date.

7. They are extra nice

Does it feel like your date is picking and choosing their words? Are they acting guarded? Or, perhaps they are your colleague at work, and you can tell that they are acting differently around you by being extra nice and overly agreeable

On the one hand, it could be a sign that they like you and are trying to impress you by being on their best behavior. But on the other hand, it could also mean that they feel sorry for you and agreed to go on a date with hopes that it would boost your confidence. 

For instance, think of a time when you did something for someone because you felt bad for them or did not want them to feel rejected. Chances are you were extra kind and gentle with them, and that’s exactly how your partner feels. They do not want to hurt your feelings, so they will say yes to whatever you propose.

8. They see you as a project

Without a doubt, a relationship should be built on friendship and the desire to help each other grow. Nevertheless, suppose it feels like your date is focused and devoted to fixing your problems, especially issues that seem to be centered around your insecurities. In that case, chances are they are only out with you because they believe they can fix you.

At the start, it may seem like they are genuinely interested in you. However, this could mean that they are ‘fixers’ and have a savior complex. They see you as nothing more than a ‘fix-up project.’

9. They avoid private moments

So you have their number and have asked them out on a date. However, they suggest you make it a double date, perhaps with one of their friends and their partner. While going on a double date as the first date is not entirely strange, it could mean that your partner is not comfortable. It gets worse if this happens a second or third time.

If you are confident that you haven’t given your date any reason to have safety concerns, then there’s a high chance that they are out with you on pity dates. If this happens, you might want to suggest a date where you will be alone and be specific about wanting to spend time alone with them. If they are still hesitant, then it’s obvious they are not interested in you.

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10. They are distracted around you

they are distracted around you

Unlike regular dates where both parties have a good time and do not pay mind to the time, a pity date seems to crawl. The awkward conversations and silence can make things feel stiff. Even worse, your date is distracted. 

They spend more time looking at their surroundings and their phone than looking at you. You can tell that they are not present and are looking forward to the end of the date. The reason, being, that they are not interested in you but agreed to go on a date, so you don’t feel bad.

11. They avoid breaking the touch barrier

Touch is an integral part of human communication, irrespective of whether it is a platonic, romantic, or sexual relationship. You see, touching creates an emotional connection between people. It is an indication that two people are close and happy with each other, which explains why a person who is on a pity date with you will want to avoid your touch. 

They fear that breaking the touch barrier will send the wrong signals or signify that they are willing to progress with the relationship. However, withdrawing means they are not keen on taking things further with you but are out because they feel pity for you.


What does it mean to date someone out of pity?

When you date someone out of pity, it means you are not interested or attracted to them. Instead, you are pity dating them because you don’t want them to feel rejected. While there are many reasons why people go on pity dates, the top reasons are because they feel sorry for the person, believe they can fix the person, or are too afraid to say no and reject them.

Can you love someone you pity?

Pity is not a negative emotion in its entirety because pity evokes compassion and empathy, prompting us to be kind to people. So while it is possible to love someone you pity, such love isn’t complete. The reason, being, that pitying means you see the person as inadequate and attach shame to specific areas of their lives. 

What does a 6th date mean to a guy?

Dating is a time to get to know a person, to see if they are someone you want to keep seeing, spending time with, and building a relationship with. In many cases, guys decide between the first to fifth date. Therefore, by the sixth date, it means he is sure of what he wants from you and you, on the other hand, are likely on the same page with him, whether that is sex or a serious relationship.

How many dates should you go on before you make a decision?

Depending on how serious you take your dates and ask the important questions, you can decide by the second or third date. The point is, while there is no specific number where you can make a decision, it is best not to write off a person from the first date. First dates can be awkward, so giving the person a second, third, or fourth chance before making your decision is wise.

Is it bad to stay with someone out of pity?

Many people who choose to stay with someone out of pity do it with the best intentions in mind. Nonetheless, it is wrong because you will inevitably reject them sooner or later, giving them false hope. Besides, if you were with them to make them feel good, knowing that you were pity dating them will leave them feeling worse than before you started dating.

In Conclusion

As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this is the exact path that a pity date treads. Therefore, it is best to identify the signs of a pity date early on and end things before they get too far. I hope you enjoyed and found this list helpful. If yes, don’t forget to share with your friends, and I look forward to reading from you in the comment section.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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