By Natasha Burton
Going on an impromptu date doesn’t mean it will always be a good experience. But just because they happen sometimes doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through the experience. That said, it’s important to understand the difference between a boring date and a bad one. Here are some tips on how to escape, when you absolutely need to, with grace.
1. First, see if you can save the meet-up. If the person you’re with is not very talkative or awkward or a little weird, in your opinion, and you know that they know that things aren’t going so great, get it all out on the open. Just an easy “Whoa, this is kinda awkward, right?” might be enough to break the ice and get it on the right track.
2. Assess your reasons for wanting to bail. Okay, so the guy you met with is totally not your type (you prefer geeky and he’s just another fratty-McFratterson), or the girl you grabbed coffee with looks nothing like her picture. So what? Superficial reasons like those are not good excuses to leave him or her. Stick it out and you just may learn something about the person — and even yourself. Seriously, it’s just one cup of coffee, one drink or one meal. You can handle it. If the date drags on past an hour or so (and you’re ready to leave but the other person can’t take a hint), then you can tell a white lie for the sake of sparing a nice person’s feelings and say you need to meet a friend or catch up on work. Just be sure to give the person a chance before writing him or her off.
3. Don’t make a scene. No, I’m not talking about the kind of scene where you might walk away from the table with a hrmph! while tossing a drink in the other person’s face, I’m talking about those dumb “escape tactics” that women’s magazines tend to suggest you employ when dates go downhill. You know, like going to the bathroom and faking an illness, or having a friend call you mid-way through the date so she can be your ploy to leave. We’ve all been around the block for some time now and we’ve seen, heard of or even done these things before. Assuming the other person is dumb enough to not pick up on your fibs is just plain rude.
4. Speaking of rude, if the other person’s being a jerk, say something. So the guy or gal you met with keeps putting down your job,women, the waiter, minorities–you name it. Not cool, obviously. If you feel the urge to leave for legit reasons, be honest and tell the person that you are really uncomfortable with the things they’re saying or how they’re acting and you think it would be best to call it a night. This upfront way of handling things is far more mature than sneaking out and it allows the person you met with to get some honest feedback (and it may also help them understand why they’re single).
The Bottom Line: When it comes to leaving a date, the most important thing is to be direct, but courteous. Thank the person for meeting you, shake hands, wish him or her well and walk away. Simple as that.