Amelia Rentell on how to escape a date

You’re at a bar and they’ve bought the first round. Your date has been talking about his great (but unrealistic) career plans (their own start-up business, of course) for what seems like forever.

This is interchangeable with persons who give political rants of their extremist views and men who talk excessively about their mothers. You’ve asked six questions in a row, they have not asked you any back and frankly, there is no spark (and we know from countless magazines that the spark is important). Ultimately, this date is going nowhere. You’re creeped out, unsatisfied and bored. Here’s how to escape.

1. The most important thing to get right is the facial expression. Try and look remorseful as though “oh no, I can’t believe I’m going to have to leave, this is the worst.”

Apologise but not over excessively, they’ll be able to smell your lie. You forgot the date of today, you’ve been living one week behind schedule, you desperately promised to pick your friend up from the station because they just visited their partner and broke up. Thank you so much for the drink. This is a classic move.

2. Moving on to another iconic move, you’re going to need a partner in crime. It’s not unusual, for women in particular, to send the safe text to let their friends know they have yet to be murdered. Choose a code word that you can text your friend to let them know you need a phone call, mask this act as ‘letting my friend know I’m safe’.

Pick a scenario beforehand, something believable such as your housemate is locked out, rather than “my friend needs me to alphabetise their CDs”. Apologise. Leave.

3. I have a friend who went on a date where the first question the guy asked her was, “do you sleep naked?”

You don’t always have to be polite in your getaway, try and judge if your dating partner is nervous or a moron. If the latter, one of my favourite excuses is “Sorry, I need to get home to my husband.” Quick exit.

4. Do not climb out of a window! I repeat: no escaping through the bathroom. You can, however – pull a sicky. A quick hand to the stomach, a finger in the air and a fast walk to the restroom – no one is going to want to come near you after that, and you’re free to leave.

5. Brutal honesty. “I’m going to stop you there, this isn’t working. Thanks for the drink and it was nice to meet you but I think it’d be better if I left now.”

Whatever you’re doing, make sure it’s done quick. Don’t leave time for him to come up with an excuse; he can’t walk you to the cab, you don’t need him to call again, and there is definitely no time for an audacious attempt at an over friendly hug.

Grab your coat, jump in the nearest taxi, ring your friends and laugh.

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March 2021
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