Most of us go through it at some point in our dating lives: you agree to a date with someone new. A few minutes after arriving and opening the conversation with your date, you realize that things aren’t going to pan out as planned.
Then, as the evening progresses, things get worse — and you sit there politely trying to think of a way to get the hell out.
Now, if you’ve read about what to do on a first date, you know that you should plan for this ahead of time by choosing a location that enables an easy escape if such a situation occurs.
But sometimes you may not be the one planning the time and location for this date, or you might have already been on one decent date with this person and not realized the second date would be so much worse.
In any case, if you find yourself on a date where things are going badly and you need to escape as quickly as possible, the first thing you need to do is decide how dire the situation really is.
If Your Date Is Just Boring
Then you can probably hang on for another half hour to be polite and then come up with an excuse to cut the date short at the first opportunity.
If it’s an evening date, that opportunity is usually when dinner is over and you can feasibly lay down the “I have an early meeting tomorrow” excuse. Once you’ve escaped from the situation, you can simply politely decline any future date invites from that person.
If Your Date is Making You Uncomfortable
Such as talking negatively about one of your friends or ranting about his religious beliefs which are totally incompatible with yours, waiting until a polite time to excuse yourself might not be as easy.
In this case, it might be better to come up with a more immediate reason to leave — a text message that “just arrived from a close friend who desperately needs a ride home from the airport” — to make your exit.
I don’t normally recommend lying, but if you can come up with a plausible excuse and apologize sincerely for bailing early, then it’s probably not really doing much harm and will get you out of the situation quickly.
If Things Are Downright Unbearable
Then it’s probably best to be dead honest and politely tell the person that “there clearly isn’t much of a romantic connection so it’s probably best if we go our separate ways.”
This isn’t the most diplomatic way to get out of the date when it’s barely begun, but it’s also saving you both from wasting an evening that isn’t going to go very well anyway. Don’t make a big scene about it, just briefly tell your date that things aren’t looking good so it’s probably best to end things now rather than continue down the same road.
If Your Date Is a Complete Nut Job
And you are concerned about your own safety — obviously more common for women — take the first opportunity to excuse yourself to the bathroom and slip out a back door. Safety first, ladies!
But really, all of this said, the best way to escape from a bad date is to avoid them in the first place! A great place to start is the article on how to plan a first date which will give you some first date ideas that allow for an early exit should things start to go south.