We all go into first dates with big expectations. The most ideal situation would be to have an instant connection with someone, a love at first sight kind of thing. But sometimes it just doesn’t go accordingly. Maybe the two of you have very different values or you’re simply not feeling it. You know the date should end, but you’re not sure how to go about it. Depending on the situation that you’re in you have a few options to duck out and end the date. Keep in mind these ways to escape a bad first date the next time it’s not going to plan.

Always have a plan.
Before we get into the actual specifics, it’s important that you have some sort of plan set up before going on any first date. You never know what can happen. Make sure you are comfortable with the meeting place and try to make it so at least another person knows about the date. Always play it safe. Now about that plan…

Set an ending time.
You don’t want first dates to be too too long anyways. And even if it’s going great, you should stick to a time to finish. You’ll leave them (and yourself) wanting more. If the date isn’t up to par, you can at least count down the seconds until it ends.

Have a friend call.
Although you shouldn’t be on your phone during a first date, it’s a good idea to have a friend call you about 45 minutes to an hour into it. The two of you can set up some sort of code words to be able to communicate in front of you date without being awkward. For example, when they call pretend that they are asking to make plans to meet up. If you say tomorrow, the date is going fine, but if you say that very day, the emergency plan of action needs to be put in place.

Say you have previously arranged plans.
This could go hand-in-hand with setting an ending time for your date. If you have something to do afterwards, it’s a great way to manage how much time you spend on the date, no matter how well or not so well it’s going. Obviously, they don’t have to be real plans, but you can tell your date about them before you meet so you both know the time limits.

Your pet needs your attention.
Having a (fake) dog would come in handy here. If you haven’t planned out your escape route well enough and are finding yourself stuck, you can always say you need to get home to walk your dog. Or maybe say that you are pet sitting and need to go take care of your friend’s cat. Or heck, if you really want to get your point across that you’re trying to escape, tell them you need to get home to water your plants! Either way, you can escape a bad first date with these excuses.

Run for it.
Maybe you’re just not into verbally expressing yourself. Excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, and just head out the front door. No looking back though! Your date will fully understand what just happened and, in all honesty, if the date was going so badly that you felt like this was your only option, they probably feel relieved that it’s over too.

Use honesty.
Believe it or not, honesty is probably the best scenario here. Drop some conversational hints and let them know that you’re just not feeling the vibe. Tell them whatever it is that you think is going to prevent the two of you from connecting. Dating is a learning process for both parties. You never know how they’re going to respond, but by being honest you get to keep your dignity at least. Plus, wouldn’t you feel much better if you ran into them at a party later?

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