Few things in life are more awkward than a bad date. Going into the night, you might have high hopes that this person will be The One, but as soon as you sit down, you realize there's no way in hell you can stomach another several hours with him or her. Although making up excuses might make you feel a little guilty, sometimes you seriously need an arsenal of ways to get out of a bad date without being rude.
As an active online dater, I've had such a wide array of low-quality dates that it's almost laughable. From the guy who shoved his tongue down my throat 10 minutes in to the guy who ignored me at his friend's party for two hours, I've seen it all. I won't lie: There have been times I put up with BS on a date for far too long just because I didn't want to be "rude" by leaving. The older I've gotten, though, the more I've realized that there's no point in sticking around just to avoid hurting someone's feelings. If you're in an uncomfortable (or worse, unsafe) situation, the best thing you can do is find a way to get out of there ASAP. Sure, you might feel bad about lying, but ultimately, it's your life, and you have to do what's best for you.
Here are eight ways to sneakily get out of a bad date without being rude — but, unfortunately, it's up to you to communicate your disinterest to him or her after the fact.
1. Prearrange An Exit Time
If you realize right away that things aren't going well, simply say, "I hope it's OK, but I can only stay for an hour. I have to get to a [insert random function here] afterwards." By setting this precedent, you won't have to wildly invent something later in the evening. Pro tip: It's always a good idea to plan short first dates anyway (coffee or drinks rather than dinner), that way there's less risk of being stuck with someone for hours on end.
2. Feign Illness
You don't need to invent an allergy where you have to run home to get your EpiPen, you can simply say you're just not feeling well, and your date will be hard-pressed to hold it against you if you want to leave. Don't go so far as to throw up on the table or anything, though; that's just bad manners.
3. The Phone Call Trick
This one can be hard to pull off, because it's such a well-known way to get out of a date, especially amongst women. If your friend calls during the date saying something urgent came up, your date will probably wonder if the emergency is authentic. The good news? You never have to see that person again, so they can't really call you out on it. Plus, it can be a fun, creative exercise to plan fake emergencies with your friends. And if it makes you feel better, I once had a guy tell me he had to leave because his roommate's dog fell down the stairs, so count your blessings.
4. Have A Friend Save The Day
If you happen to know that a friend of yours is nearby, duck into the bathroom, text him or her, and beg them to drop by and "run into you." This scenario only really works when you're out having drinks, because crashing a dinner date is rude and a little suspicious. But if a friend "surprises" you on a date, you'll at least have him or her to keep you company and dilute the awkwardness a bit. Then the two of you can conveniently leave together when you've both had enough.
5. Say You're Tired
Ahh, the age-old exhaustion excuse. The downside with this is that it doesn't work if it's, say, a lunch date. But if you're out having drinks or a late dinner after a workday, it's totally believable that you're too tired to stay out. Sure, the other person might get suspicious and wonder if you aren't just disinterested, but at least you'll be out of the date. Bonus: If your date is really that boring, you won't even have to fabricate any yawns — they'll come naturally.
6. Drop The F-Bomb
No, not f*ck — friends. By dropping hints that the vibe is friends-only, your date will hopefully realize that dragging the date out will be a bad idea. Obviously, this is tricky, because some people are just really bad at picking up on even the least subtle clues. Plus, it doesn't guarantee you an exit; it just makes the other person aware of your feelings, and it's up to him or her to take the hint and GTFO.
7. Be Honest
This is clearly the most difficult way to get out of a date, and the other person might be somewhat offended, but ultimately, it's less rude of you to be upfront and honest — you'll have to eventually let them down after the date, anyway. Just say, "You seem like a great person, but I don't think we're vibing romantically. I'd rather be honest than waste your time, but I wish you all the best!" Voila, you're free to go and there's no BS to deal with later.
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