By Nathalie Evangelia D'Souza from THREAD PH
So you’ve been hogging the toilet for the past 10 minutes in this really cool restaurant in town, and people are banging impatiently on the door for you to hurry up. You can’t bring yourself to return to the table where your companion for the evening is waiting. Internally, you’re kicking yourself for wasting such a great outfit on him.
Be it someone your friend set you up with, or a guy you met on a dating app, you showed up only to realize that things just aren’t working out. Maybe he wasn’t what you expected; maybe he’s not the most pleasant of company. In any case, two things are for sure: you’re uncomfortable and you want out.
Here are 7 practical, non-brutal and fool proof (kind of) ways to cut a date short, perfect for one who is afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, or just terrible at letting someone down.
#1 Don’t arrange for more than a drink (have a deadline)
If you’re the person who’s in the toilet trying to escape from a guy who’s spent the last 45 minutes talking about nothing but himself, sorry. However, if you’re reading this while making plans for your next date, congratulations: there’s still hope for saving yourself.
When going out with someone for the first time, it’s best to keep the meeting short (e.g. make plans for tea at Starbucks). That way, if you decide you don’t really like the guy, you can gracefully remind him that you have an appointment to get to, and it was nice to meet him.
#2 Set an alarm
Before meeting your date, set an alarm/timer to go off 20 minutes into your date. That should give you enough time to assess the situation, and decide whether you want to leave.
The trick here is to set your ringtone to one that sounds like you’re getting an incoming call. If things are going south, ‘pick up’ and pretend someone you know has an emergency and really needs your help.
However, if the date is going smoothly, quietly switch off the alarm and assure them it’s nothing. If you really want to make your date feel good about himself, you can even throw in something like ‘You’re more important, the call can wait.’
#3 Have a code word with your friend
You know that one friend that knows exactly how you feel just by tone of your voice? Well, not all of us are lucky enough to have such a companion, so we’ll settle for creating a phrase that will tell your friend you need help getting out of a sticky situation. Keep the word simple, but not too common. You’ll want it to be one you can incorporate into a sentence without looking weird. For example, lemons. Call your friend and ask them if they’d like you to get lemon cheesecake for them on the way back later, and they should get the hint.
It helps to inform them beforehand what your plans are, so they aren’t caught off-guard.
#4 Blame it on your family
Let’s be real: Who can hold it against you if you have to leave early because your grandfather’s waiting for you to take him Christmas shopping, or if your mother wants to take you to lunch?
This excuse is great because if you feel uneasy before even meeting the guy, you can stop the date from even taking place.
#5 Have your friend prank call your date
This approach is slightly extreme, and should only be used in a dire situation. If your friend can’t be physically present at your date, or you don’t want to inconvenience them too much, then just have them ring up your date from wherever they are.
It requires a bit of background research and skillful acting on your friend’s part. Instead of you leaving-make him leave first. Have a close friend call him up pretending to be a deliveryman waiting at his doorstep and won’t leave until he gets paid.
#6 Stage an emergency
You left the oven on; your friend just broke up with her boyfriend; your mum has locked herself out of your house and needs you home ASAP- feel free to let your imagination run wild with this one.
While you want to make the excuse sound legitimate, make sure it’s one that your date won’t be able to solve. For example, if you say your phone is on 5 percent and you have to go home to charge it, he may offer to lend you a portable charger.
If you’re trying to get the last train home and he offers a ride home-there goes your excuse. So, plan wisely.
#7 Spill food on yourself (or you know, your date)
What can your date do if you’re a klutz who can’t hold a glass of wine properly? If you’re not sure how he will react to having a drink splashed on him, play it safe and empty the glass on yourself instead.
Make it so the stain is obvious, and you can pretend to be uncomfortable and quickly excuse yourself to go home.
You’ll probably need to sacrifice a dress in the process, but hey, it’s worth it right?
If all else fails, and your date won’t just take a hint, then there’s nothing for it but to come clean. Tell him you’re not interested in being more than friends.
While you may not want to hurt his feelings, there’s no excuse for leading someone on. If you’re not a confrontational person, at least drop him a text/call to let him know there won’t be a second date.
Have you ever had a bad date experience? How did you get out of it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!