How to End a Date Early

Sheena R. Harris
bad date

In the world of dating, there may be some dates that make you just want to duck and run. However, there are always more tasteful ways to make an exit in the middle of a bad date. The last thing you want to do is leave someone with hurt feelings, or even wondering if you have been taken hostage in the bathroom when you actually climbed through the window to escape.

Arrange a "Bad-Date Rescue" Phone Call

If you are headed out for date, it is a good idea to arrange a just-in-case phone call from a friend. Let a close friend in on the whole situation and have them give you a call about 30 minutes after the date is set to start. By this time, you should have a good idea if this date is one that you want to escape from or not. Instruct your friend to ask a simple question. You can respond in a way that makes it sound like something has come up and you will have to leave, or if all is good, you can play it off by just saying something about calling them back later on.

Helpful Tips

  • Make sure your friend knows the right time to call and is fairly reliable. The last thing you want is to be forgotten when you are desperately awaiting a rescue call.
  • Never answer your phone on speaker or with the volume turned up. Even with a plan in place, it could be very easy for your friend to say something that you do not want overheard by your date.
  • Make sure your reason for leaving the date is actually believable. For example, claiming that you suddenly remembered that you have to work or take your mother to the doctor will not be good excuses, as these are things normal people just don't forget.

Arrange a Date Intervention

It can be difficult for some dates to get the hint that you are not having a great time, especially when it is just the two of you and you have no choice but to pay attention to them. If you find yourself across the table from a total train wreck who you do not want to give your undivided attention to, slip off to the bathroom and text or call someone nearby who can come help you out. If you have someone who can show up at the scene of the date and invite themselves to sit with you, it can pretty much kill any romantic notions or unwanted attention, and it is likely the date will end a little earlier.

Helpful Tips

  • Act surprised when your acquaintance shows up and try to give a shrug or facial expression to your date that says you do not want to be rude by turning them away. Otherwise, your date could figure out what is happening.
  • When you have to call out for a lifeline, be careful of who is within earshot -- no matter where you make the call. Believe it or not, some bystanders will be eager to step in and inform your unwitting date of what is really going on. This is why texting is always a better option.

Start to 'Feel' Ill

Suddently feigning illness may be a little cliche. However, if the date is running full-speed toward a major meltdown and you see no other way, faking an illness could be your best tactic. The key is to make your illness believable enough that you don't sound any alarms. Try excusing yourself from your date and slipping off to the bathroom and staying put for 10-15 minutes. If there is no restroom nearby or you are in a crowded place with only one stall, step outside for some fresh air. After spending some time away, come back and politely let your date know that you feel sick and be sure to apologize for the trouble.

Helpful Tips

  • Do not make a scene to show how sick you feel. You may think that the more ill you appear, the better the whole thing will work, but overkill with the dramatics will definitely make your date think something is up.
  • Keep in mind that a fake illness is one of the most common ways people get out of not just dates, but a lot of undesirable situations. Therefore, you will have to be quite convincing to play this off, and even if successful, your date may expect a second chance.

If All Else Fails, Be Honest

Straight up telling a date that you are just not that into them may be difficult, but in the end, honesty truly is the best policy -- even in dating. Even the most tasteful tactics for getting out of a date can leave the other person feeling either rejected, if they figure you out, or like they still have a chance to see you again because something just happened to come up. If you are 30 minutes into a date and you feel like you have made a major mistake, try gently approaching how you really feel with the other person.

Helpful Tips

  • Be gentle, be kind, and most importantly, do not come off sounding like you are telling your date how terrible they are by pointing out all of their bad behavior or traits during the short time you have been with them.
  • If you are in a crowded place, step somewhere secluded instead of just announcing to everyone around that you think the date should be over.

Ending a Date Early Is Okay

Once you have accepted an invitation, or even asked someone else for a date, you may feel obligated to stay for the duration. However, not every date will be with the right person, and it may be much better to end the date early than to give false hope to the other person. If you must leave early, go ahead and do so without feeling guilty. When all is said and done, you will be doing yourself, and the other person involved, a huge favor.

How to End a Date Early