Bad dates. We've all been there. Sometimes you end up sitting across from someone you have no chemistry with and/or is actively boring and/or has overtly called you stupid and/or smells like cheese. If you want to find your prince, you're going to find yourself out on dates with a lot of frogs. And you're going to have to find excuses to leave those frogs far behind.
You never want to hurt the feelings of the person you're with. You also don't want to waste your time with someone you don't see yourself spending the rest of your life with - or even the next five minutes with. You're going to need yourself a great excuse to get out a date that feels like a disaster.
Plan for the worst, but hope for the best. Planning a short date, like a quick coffee meeting, keeps the stakes low and gives you an easy out in the off chance that Dan from Bumble turns out to be a dud. And if the date you're dreading turns out to be a dream date instead, you can always extend the date by offering to do something else after coffee.
Don't make your bad date longer than it needs to be by ordering a second round. You don't need to get yourself liquored up to pretend to enjoy the bad time you're having. Ask for the tab when you'd normally ask for a second gin and tonic, and you'll be able to GTFO faster than you can say, "How much should I tip?"
Plan a "spontaneous" "run in" with a friend. That's so weird! You had no idea you'd see Megan at the restaurant you told her you were going to! And since you haven't seen Megan in ages, which was really this morning when you mentioned you had reservations about this date, you just have to go off and catch up with her, and leave this bad date immediately!
Give yourself an hour for the date. You can get in, get out and go home. An hour is a polite amount of time to devote to someone who may or may not (but probably not) be your next boyfriend. If the date is going good, you'll leave him wanting more. If the date is miserable, well, you won't have lost three hours on someone who's casually been making racist statements all evening.
It's an oldie, but a goodie. Have a friend call you or text you with a huge emergency that needs to be taken care of right away, which means that you, sadly, have to leave your date. Some things are classics for a reason! Sure, your date might see right through it, but did you really want to go out with that person again?
Are you on a bad date that seems like it's never going to end? Say that you have something after the date, and are therefore on a time crunch. Even if you don't really meet up with the girls afterwards, you'll prevent the person you're out with from suggesting dessert after the dinner, so you can go home and watch The Notebook (relatively) guilt free.
Q: What's grosser than a period? A: Nothing. Say that your Aunt Flow decided to visit right in the middle of the date and that you have to leave to accommodate her. He's not going to question it. Because who wants to engage in period talk? Nobody, that's who.
Don't want to tell him you're coming down with your period? Tell him you're coming down with a cold. If it can get you out of your math test in middle school, it can get you out of a bad date as an adult. Just remember to forge a doctors note!
Oh, man! You'd love to stay and chat on this date, but you have a pressing work assignment that you have to take care of. Sure, it's after office hours, but you're on China time. Plus you're not going to enjoy yourself knowing that your powerpoint presentation is sitting there not getting done, and isn't it better if you just leave to go work on it on Saturday night at 11pm?
Make it clear that you don't want to date the person you're with by suggesting he date other people. Your friend Candice is single. Maybe he'd be better for her? Just make sure that you're not pushing a total dud of a dude on Candice. Otherwise, Candice will also need to come up with an excuse as to how to get out of a bad date.
Are you not feeling any chemistry between you and your date? Would you rather have him as a friend? Then let him know by putting him in the friend zone. Call him "Dude" and "Brah" and "Buddy" and "Friend I'd Never Date." He'll know where he stands, which is firmly within the boundaries of the Friend Zone.
As a last ditch effort, you can always ditch him. If you feel bad about lying (but don't feel bad about running away from him), you can always go to the bathroom for real. Just don't come back. Ever. Run away and never look back! You're free now!
Instead of making up elaborate excuses as to why you need to leave the date immediately, maybe just come forward and say you're not feeling it? There's no law on the books saying you must finish out a date once you've started it. You can just politely excuse yourself and leave. And, as a bonus, the other person won't somehow miss all of your signals that you're not interested and think the date went well.