There is nothing worse than a bad first date. Having to sit and make small talk with someone you don't know and who you've already decided that you're not into is a total waste of time. We've all been there, right? You know how it goes. They say, "How many siblings do you have?" and you think to yourself, "I don't actually care. I just want to leave." It can honestly be pretty depressing. As a single 20-something, I have had my fair share of experience with first dates. Don't get me wrong, some of them have been really great — one guy taught me how to play pool, another took me to a rooftop that looked like it was straight out of a fairytale and had incredible views of the Manhattan skyline.
However, for every straight-out-of-a-rom-com-amazing date I've been on, there have been at least three terrible ones. Let's talk about, for example, the guy who ordered himself six tequila shots and then stuck me with the bill, for example, or the one who had horrible body odor and spent the entire evening explaining to me that being a "writer" isn't a real job, come immediately to mind. In situations like these, it's to your advantage to make a swift exit and leave the bad date in the dust. Here are a few ways to do it with tact and grace — and a few that are, well, kind of fun.
1. Have Someone Crash The Date
Pick a spot near a friends’ apartment, and have them on standby for the first 30 to 40 minutes of the date in case you need them to come “coincidentally run into you” during drinks. Make your date feel like they're crashing, and hopefully they'll be uncomfortable enough to leave. Then, you get to stick around and have drinks with your friend — it's a win/win!
2. Fake A Phone Call
This is an old faithful, and obviously your date will know exactly what you’re doing when you get a call that “something bad happened” and you need to leave right away, but it really does work. I tried this once and got so nervous on the phone I started hysterically laughing (it was a complete disaster) so I would recommend doing a practice run, just in case.
3. Hint That You Have Plans for Later
Set a time limit on the date from the beginning by saying that you have something to do at a specific time and can only stay for a bit. If the date turns out to be great, fess up to the lie and stick around — hopefully he’ll laugh about it and it will be a cute story for you to tell at your wedding.
4. Say Your Roommate is Locked Out
Pretend to check a text, and tell your date that your roommate forgot her keys and needs to be let into your apartment. It works every. single. time. Trust me.
5. Tell Them You Forgot to Feed the Dog/Cat/Fish/Plant
This works better if you actually have a pet, but considering this person has never been to (and will never go to) your apartment, it doesn’t really matter. A simple, “Oh Crap! I forgot to feed (insert made up name of fictional pet)! I gotta go!” will suffice.
6. Pretend You Left Your Straightening Iron/Curling Iron/Regular Old Iron On
“Oh shoot! My landlord will kill me if I burn the building down! Best be going!”
7. Fake Your Period
No guy is ever going to ask questions if you casually drop that you are having terrible cramps, and get up to go to the bathroom twice during the first round of drinks.
8. Make Up An Allergic Reaction
Great news — since your date is a total stranger, they have no idea you aren’t actually allergic to shellfish/walnuts/whatever weird thing is in the craft cocktail you ordered.
9. Hint That You Are Having Disgusting Stomach Problems
Whenever someone mentions that their stomach is bothering them, people assume the absolute worst. Excuse yourself for the bathroom, stay in there for a while (use the time to text your friends about the specific kind of hell you’re enduring on the date) and then come out and say you’re sorry but your stomach hurts and you need to leave.
10. Start Talking Crazy
If you really can’t stand the person sitting across from you, this can actually be really fun. Go full Kate Hudson in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days and start talking about how you can’t wait to adopt a dog together find out what your kids are going to look like. Randomly bursting into tears is a great added effect. You’ll be amazed at how fast your date gets their own “emergency” phone call.
11. Spill A Drink On Yourself
And then have a complete meltdown about it — you must go home immediately. It’s your favorite shirt and now it’s RUINED (softly sob into a cloth napkin for added effect). You may look semi-nuts, but what do you care? You never want to see this person again anyway.
12. Make A Run For It
If it's really, really, really that intolerable, I say just go for it: Climb out the bathroom window. It will make a great story to tell your friends when you meet them at the bar 45 minutes later to discuss your dates body odor.
13. ....Tell The Truth
I respect anyone with the balls to look someone straight in the eye and say, “Thank you so much, it was so great meeting you, but I don’t see this going anywhere and I think I’m going to leave.” It’s absolutely the nicest, most mature way to handle the situation, but it is SO hard! Props to you if you can pull it off. You are probably a better human than I.
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