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The Best Ways to Cut a Bad Date Short & Moves You Shouldn’t Ever Use

Let’s face it, bad dates are inevitable, but knowing a few ways to cut a bad date short can save your night and your mood.

ways to cut a bad date short

If you’ve been on the dating scene for a while, then you know that most dates don’t turn into relationships. In fact, many don’t even make it past the appetizers. But do you know the ways to cut a bad date short and salvage your night?

Whether they chew with their mouth open, smoke like a chimney, or talk about their ex non-stop, cutting a date short is totally understandable, and usually warranted. So, for those times when you are sure that the person sitting across from you isn’t Mr. or Ms. Right, there are some ways to escape a bad date.

Is it rude to cut a bad date short?

It can seem sort of mean or rude to cut a bad date short. You probably think you can suffer through an hour of drinks with a chronic lip licker, but why waste your time? You don’t owe this person anything.

It sounds harsh, but think about why you want to get out of there. Are they being rude or disrespectful? Do you just know that it will not work out? Do you think you can handle another few minutes with them before losing your mind?

You don’t need to endure these bad dates. Whether you are looking for a fun night or a partner for the rest of your life, you deserve to enjoy your time and so do they. So, instead of rolling your eyes through dinner, learn some polite ways to cut a bad date short. [Read: 12 subtle red flags of a bad first date that shouldn’t be ignored]

Ways to cut a bad date short

You might be surprised by how many effective ways there are to cut a bad date short. Some are subtle while others are more obvious, but that may not be a bad thing. Sometimes people need to realize what they are doing wrong.

Also, try not to feel guilty about this. Dating is for you to enjoy and if you aren’t enjoying it and it isn’t making you happy, say goodbye.

#1 Have a plan. This is a bummer, but it will help just in case. No one wants to go into a date thinking it will go wrong. We don’t want to be in a bad mindset or we can be the ones ruining the date.

With that being said, it is smart to give yourself an out before the date even starts. If this is the first time you’re meeting or even one of the first times, meet them at the location so you can get out on your own terms. Drive yourself, have money for cab fare, etc. You don’t want to run out and then need a ride home. That would be mighty AWKWARD! [Read: Proper social etiquette redefined for our modern world]

#2 Answer the call. This is sort of cheesy and a bit obvious. There is at least one episode in every sitcom that features this storyline, but it works.

Before a first date, ask a trusted friend to give you a call or text with a fake emergency about 30 minutes into the date. Stick to something simple that doesn’t warrant too many follow-up questions: my friend ran out of gas, my dog got out, there’s a work emergency.

You want it to be believable, but also not too serious like anyone being in the hospital or dying. It should be just enough that they won’t question it. This way you have an out if you need one, but can ignore it if the date is going well. [Read: 14 signs you’re unintentionally ruining your first date]

#3 Be basic. If you’re looking for ways to cut a bad date short, instead of an elaborate fib or dramatic exit, just keep it as basic as possible. Simply tell your date you have an early morning and still have work to get done tonight, but didn’t want to cancel. They can’t argue with that. This lets you hang out to see if there is any potential, but gives you a fair exit.

Unfortunately, if you take advantage of these maneuvers you avoid a face-to-face dumping, but will probably have to tell them you’re not interested eventually. Most decent people will follow up on a cancellation or emergency and try to see you again.

We all hope our subtle ways to cut a bad date short will be obvious enough for them to take the hint, but that is not always the case. So, now that you have more time to plan out your follow-up exit strategy you can make it a good one.

#4 Be honest. This may not be the easiest method of cutting a bad date short, it actually might be super awkward, but it gets straight to the point. Plus, this avoids any follow-ups later on.

First, start with a compliment before you let them down. Then apologize and tell them you’re not feeling it and don’t want to waste your time or theirs. If lying isn’t your thing and you want this to be the official end, this is the method for you.

You can say something like, “You’re really great/sweet/cute, and I’m really sorry, but I don’t feel a spark between us.” Hopefully, they’ll understand and respect your honesty. And who knows? Maybe your honesty could bring the date back to life. Sometimes being blunt can get you past the awkwardness. Or you could even become friends.

If the possibility of hurting their feelings really bothers you, instead of outright lying, embellish. Say you realized you’re not over your ex. This way they won’t take offense and there’s no unfortunate follow-up text required. [Read: How to be mature and act like an adult]

Ways NOT to cut a bad date short

Even though cutting a bad date short is totally acceptable and should not make you feel guilty, there are some things you should avoid when doing it. These actions can be cruel or not give you the out you planned. So, here is what to avoid when cutting a bad date short.

#1 Do NOT say you’re sick. Not only will a nice person want to take you home, but they could stop by the next day with soup. Faking sick may have gotten you out of your eighth-grade math test, but this is the real world.

#2 Do NOT leave while they’re in the bathroom or vice versa. This is essentially the real-life version of ghosting. Leaving while they are in the bathroom is such a dick move and sneaking out the bathroom window yourself is just not necessary.

If you need to leave that badly, just walk out the front door. Seriously, try to avoid this unless they’re a real jerk. [Read: 18 things you have to avoid doing on a first date

#3 Do NOT wait. If you know the date is a dud early on and plan on bailing, do it earlier rather than later. There is no need to lead your date on or suffer through a bad date longer than you needed. Just rip the bandaid off. There is no use in prolonging the inevitable.

[Read: The 15 first date signs pointing to a total lack of chemistry]

With all of this in mind, keep an open mind when going on a date. Don’t go into a date in a negative space. These are just options to have in case of a bad date, they shouldn’t be a go-to.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...