How To Escape A Bad Date

With more and more of us online dating, most first dates are with people we’ve never set eyes upon in real life.

Meeting someone brand new is exciting, especially if they tick all the right boxes online , however, they might not quite be your perfect match when you do meet up. They might have thrown some ‘funny’ chat up lines your way, or perhaps you just have nothing in common. If you’ve given the date a reasonable chance, but you know it’s just not going to work out this time, follow these simple tips if you find yourself in a date so bad you just have to go.

1. Put a time limit on your first date

One of my top dating tips is to put time constraints on your first dates. This adds an exciting sense of urgency to your dates, but also conveniently gives you a definite way out if it’s not turning out to be what you’d hoped for. Let the person you’re dating know before you meet up that you’ll have to leave at a specific time to ‘meet a friend/feed your neighbor’s cat/call your cousin in Australia’ so you have an firm out time.

2. “I’ve got a headache” – sow the seeds of doubt early

If your date turns up and they’re really not who you thought they might be, sometimes you just know it’s not going to go anywhere. If you want to be polite and and least make a cursory appearance, frame your exit with a white lie in your greeting or early conversation, claiming you have a headache. Order a water to back up the ruse, and at a timely moment, announce it’s turned into your migraine and you just have to go. Do it well, and your date will most likely be sympathetic.

3. Get a friend to call with an emergency

The oldest trick in the book, but it works like a charm. Shoot a friend a message while you’re in the bathroom asking them to call in a few minutes with a made up crisis so that you can escape. Apologise to your date and say that you wouldn’t normally answer, but it’s strange for your friend to be ringing when they know you’re on a date. Pick up the phone, act shocked and shaken, and say you’ll be right there. Apologise again, say you have to go because there’s been an emergency and make a run for it.

Despite weeks of flirty texting, my friend Lucy was bored to death with her date, who wouldn’t stop talking about his ex. I dropped her a call half-an-hour in claiming to be locked out of the flat with a train to catch in an hour to give her an easy excuse to leave.

4. The ‘high importance’ email from your boss

Easier to fabricate than your friend’s emergency, the INCREDIBLY URGENT, MUST ACTION message from work can be a lifesaver. Pretend you’ve got to email a client, rush into your store, put together some numbers or whatever is likely in your actual job. Explain to your date that your role is super demanding, and this simply can’t wait. The bonus is that this likely won’t mean anything to them, and you know your job well enough to make up a plausible situation.

5. Do a runner

Somewhat harsh, but if your date is rude, offensive or they’re just not taking multiple hints that this dating thing with them is a no-go, there’s no reason for you to stick around. If you’re inclined, go to the bar to pay your bill, and then simply shoot out at an opportune moment – like when they go to the bathroom.

Mark went on a blind date with a friend of a friend and realised when she arrived that they were not a good match – she was neurotic and outwardly intimidating. He decided to make a sneaky escape while she was at the bar yelling at the bartender because her cocktail wasn’t quite right…

6. Spill a drink all over yourself

Decide which item of clothing is worth sacrificing so you can get away from your date and head home. Once you’ve picked a garment to stain, accidentally-on-purpose spill your drink all over yourself. Act shocked and embarrassed and tell your date that this is your favourite shirt/dress/trousers and you can’t risk it being stained, so you will need to head home and get it in the wash ASAP, then grab your bag and run out the door.

Tilly advises to spill a drink down herself that looks like it will stain but won’t – cranberry juice works well apparently, as it’s dark in colour but washes out easily.

7. Just be honest

Most of the time, the person we’re dating isn’t the worst person in the world, but they’re just not the right person for you. They might not be particularly offensive, but more likely just mildly annoying or boring. If this is the case, you might be best off just simply telling your date ‘thanks, but no thanks’. There’s nothing wrong with simply saying “Thanks for inviting me out, it was good to meet you in person, but I’ve got to head off now”