Have you ever been on a bad date? For most people on the dating scene, the answer is a resounding yes.
Maybe you arrived at a restaurant to meet someone you had been talking to on a dating app and knew immediately that you weren’t interested.
Or maybe the cute barista you had been crushing on for weeks finally asked you out, and you realized after five minutes of conversation that they were not nearly as interesting or mysterious as they had seemed while making your daily morning latte.
Whatever the case, if you are on a date and get the ick, you will want to get out of there as quickly as possible.
And that’s where the problem arises. Because no matter how much you aren’t enjoying yourself, you’ve agreed to be there and probably don’t want to be rude to the person you’re sitting across from. So, how do you leave a bad date?
Well, here are a few helpful tips for how to get out of a date you don’t want to be on.
How to get out of a date
- Say you have somewhere to be after the date
- Ask a friend to call you and fake an emergency
- Say you are feeling sick
- Say you’re going to the bathroom and leave instead
- Tell your date you have to finish something for work tomorrow
- Say you need to walk your dog (whether you have one or not)
- Ask a friend to come pick you up
- Be honest about the fact that you aren’t interested
1. Say you have somewhere to be after the date
If you arrive at a restaurant and realize within the first few minutes of meeting your date that they are not the one, there is a simple solution.
As long as you think you can handle sitting there for a little while, just say that can’t stay too long because you have plans after the date.
You don’t want to make it sound like you are meeting up with someone else who is more important than the person in front of you after your date. Instead, say something like, “I have plans to watch a film with my housemate after this, so I have to leave in an hour.”
If you take this approach, give a specific time at which you have to be somewhere else. For example, say, “I should warn you that I have to pick up my niece from her dance practice at 9:30, so I won’t be able to stay too long.”
If you’re wondering how long a date should last, and how long you ought to stay to be polite before it is acceptable to leave, one hour is a safe bet for an evening date. Half an hour is fine for a coffee date.
2. Ask a friend to call you and fake an emergency
If you are with a date and you absolutely cannot stand their company, you can fake an emergency.
The best way to go about this is to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom. Once you’re safely away from your date, text or call a friend and ask them to call you in five minutes.
Come up with a good reason for why you have to leave and make sure your friend knows what to say on the phone.
While faking an emergency when you really have to get out of a situation is completely fine, make sure the emergency isn’t too dramatic.
Make sure the emergency is about someone else and not yourself.
Examples of reasons you might have to leave include that your brother-in-law’s mother has been taken into hospital and your sister needs a babysitter, that your friend is feeling mentally unwell, or that there was a fire in your neighbor’s apartment.
All of these things are serious enough that it is understandable that you would need to leave to deal with them, but not so serious that your date will become overinvolved or feel too concerned about you.
Be warned that if you fake an emergency, the person you’re seeing may well ask for a second date before you leave. If they do, you can either just say no, or you say that you are too distracted right now to think about future plans, but that you will get in touch with them if you want to meet up again.
3. Say you are feeling sick
The great thing about this excuse for leaving a date early is that the person you’re seeing cannot question you about it.
While they may wonder whether you are actually feeling unwell or whether you are just using this as an excuse to go home, you don’t have to justify yourself.
If you tell someone you’re feeling bad, there’s nothing they can say except to respond to the bad news in a mature and compassionate way.
4. Say you’re going to the bathroom and leave instead
Instead, excuse yourself to the bathroom and then leave. At the end of the day, you do not owe the person you’re seeing anything.
While this is a fairly rude thing to do and you shouldn’t take this approach unless the person is actually being unkind to you, if they are, don’t be afraid to stand your ground and leave.
5. Tell your date you have to finish something for work tomorrow
One of the upsides of the fact that we can now almost all do our work from anywhere is that no one can question you if you say you can’t do something because you have to work.
If you show up to a date and you just aren’t into it, for example, if the guy is calling you “baby” even though you hardly know him, you can say you have some work that you have to finish that night.
Simple. Stay around for a little longer and then excuse yourself to go home and work.
6. Say you need to walk your dog (whether you have one or not)
Ah, dogs. They’re called man’s best friend for good reason––among other things, because they provide us with a great excuse to leave things we don’t want to be at.
Dogs need to be walked and fed, and most importantly, they need to pee outside regularly.
So, if you aren’t enjoying a date, you can say that you have to leave by a specific time in order to get back to walk your puppy.
Depending on how well you know your date and how much they know about your life, you might not actually have to have a dog to use this excuse.
7. Ask a friend to come pick you up
A great way to get out of a date you’re on if you aren’t having a good time is to get a friend to stop by your date.
You can say, “Oh, my friend is in the area. You don’t mind if they stop by? I’m planning to walk home with them, so it’s convenient if they come meet me here.”
There, problem solved. Your friend can come to whatever place you’re in and join you for a few moments.
Then, they can say that they have to get back home for an urgent call or for some other reason and ask if you’re coming.
You can say yes and make your excuses to your date.
This is a particularly good way to get out of a date if you feel uncomfortable or creeped out by the person you’re with.
Having a friend leave with you ensures that you’ll get home safely and makes it less likely that your date will try to convince you do something you wouldn’t feel comfortable with.
8. Be honest about the fact that you aren’t interested
Finally, you could also just be honest with your date.
If after twenty minutes you really aren’t having a good time, you could just tell them that you don’t see the two of you going any further.
If they’re nice but you don’t think they’re what you’re looking for, try to stick out the rest of the date out of politeness.
However, if you’re desperate to leave you could say, “Hey, thank you for asking me out, but to be honest, I don’t think we’re compatible. Would it be okay if I ended the date here?”
Alternatively, if they are not a nice person, you could say, “I feel like you are not being very nice to me, and I am not having a good time. I’m going to end the date here and leave.”
Hey, it’s me, Steven. Dating and relationships have always fascinated me. On Dategosu, you will find my best tips to make sure your next date is a great success!