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So, you got asked out on a date, but now you’re stuck sitting at a dinner table in complete and utter silence. You’re anxiously tapping your fingers on the tablecloth, wishing you could be anywhere but there, but you don’t want to straight-up ditch him. He’s a nice guy, just not someone you can see yourself dating, let alone making small talk with for the next hour. While you could always suffer through the rest of the night, praying he doesn’t order dessert, you should always establish an escape plan with your best friend before heading out on a date.

Start off by agreeing on a certain code word/phrase that will act as your S.O.S. I suggest something inconspicuous such as a fruit or a specific series of emojis. Upon receiving the signal, have your bestie call your phone. When the phone starts ringing, inform your date that you’re sorry but you have to take the call: it might be an emergency. Next, answer the call and walk away from him. If you’re in a restaurant, walk to the bathroom or the front door, whichever is closer. After filling in your girl for a couple of minutes, return to the table and inform your date that you have to leave. Make sure to apologize profusely because you are indeed bailing on him.

However, what reason are you going to give for bailing? You don’t want to hurt his feelings as he’s done nothing specifically wrong, you’re just simply not feeling it. Therefore, you need a rock-solid excuse that he won’t question or take to heart. So, what do you say? I’ve got you covered! Here are some of my favorite foolproof excuses to get you out of a bad date:

  1. Agh, I’m so sorry! I completely forgot that tonight is my cat’s bachelorette party and I promised her I’d pick up the canned tuna. Thank you again, but I need to go before the kitties claw each other’s eyes out.  
  2. Sorry, I have to go. My sugar daddy is tired and I need to go tuck him into bed. He can’t fall asleep without me singing, “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion to him. He can be such a drama king sometimes…*eyeroll*
  3. I hate to cut things short, but my friend is binge-watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians from season one. Something must be terribly wrong so I’m sorry, but I should probably go check and see if she’s okay.
  4. My sister just discovered how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. I don’t mean to be rude, but she wants me to help her upload the video to her YouTube channel before someone else beats her to it. *grabs purse and starts walking away* Oh by the way, it was 232…
  5. The flowers on my great, great uncle’s grave are drying up. I need to fly to China and replace them before they die, or his spirit is going to haunt me and my descendants. One time, my aunt forgot to change out the flowers on my third cousin’s (twice removed) grave and now we have no idea where she is. No one has heard from her in six years, so I think she’s dead.
  6. Apple just announced that they’re dropping the iPhone XX. My parents are coming to pick me up so we can go camp outside the Apple store in Albuquerque because most people in New Mexico have Androids instead of iPhones. I’m sorry, but I’ll text you when I get my new iPhone.
  7. I’m sorry, but I left my night-light on. I should probably go take it out before it burns my house down. You can never be too cautious.
  8. My son just tried to smother the babysitter with a pillow after she told him we were out of vanilla ice cream. Apparently mint chip wasn’t acceptable, so I have to go home before the babysitter decides to press charges. Kids these days…

Hopefully you’ll never have to experience a date that’s awful enough to use one of these, but at least you’re prepared just in case. Remember to deliver these lines deadpan. You’re trying to be as convincing as possible so channel your inner Meryl Streep and act like your life depends on it. Good luck!

Elizabeth is a second-year English major at University of California, Irvine. This is her second year as a writer for Her Campus UCI, but her first year as Co-Campus Coordinator. In her free time she loves to write short stories and read fantasy novels.
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