As women, going on a sea of first dates can have its highs and lows. Sometimes, you meet a wonderful unicorn of a man you didn’t know existed. Other times, you wish you had the skill of someone in a heist movie and that you could disappear into the ceiling of the restaurant. While you never owe an explanation for leaving something that makes you feel uncomfortable or weird, being graceful will help you come out on top, and give you good karma.
1. Always carry cash. When you pay with card, you give the person a chance to say something, and it takes time to have the waitress come back with the machine. Just lay down money for your drink and get out of there ASAP.
2. Fake an emergency where a friend calls you. What else are friends for anyway? Have a preset plan where you have a code word, phrase, or emoji that signals to bestie it’s time for you to GTFOH.
3. Or if that’s too much effort and all your friends are tied up, come up with a good excuse. Bringing up grandmas, dead pets, and food poisoning are all great excuses that someone will have a hard time trying to fight.
4. Make sure your getaway options are accessible and reliable. If there aren’t an abundance of cabs, rideshare accessibility, or nearby train stations, then your escape route is foiled and you’ll have to get a ride home from them!
5. Be honest in a kind and eloquent way, making your date sure that you value their friendship but you don’t want to waste their time, and the chemistry just isn’t there or you’re not compatible.
6. Sit at the bar or next to the bartender. If your date gets aggressive or makes you feel uncomfortable, you’ll at least be able to signal to the bartender and have someone close to you so you don’t feel isolated with them. A bar seat also ensures a quick escape as opposed to getting a table.
7. Tell your date you’re not looking for commitment or a relationship at the moment. While this may not be true, it’s a valid reason people don’t want to continue dating the same person and relationships.
8. Tell him you’re celibate until marriage! This might sound strange, but on a first date, the last thing that a dude wants to hear is that a woman is holding off on the goods…indefinitely.
9. Pretend that you’re a workaholic. If you have a very demanding job, your dating life takes a back seat, and your date should understand that, right? You can fake a work call, an urgent email, or a deadline.
10. Tell him that you have terrible period cramps. Period. If that card worked for every gym class with an uncomfortable male teacher, it’ll work on your date. He’s not going to ask you about your menstruation – he’ll want to totally stay away from the topic and just accept what you say.
11. Talk about your ex, your cat, or an incredibly boring topic a lengthy amount. Like, monologue length. While this is less graceful and more of a last-minute attempt, it is effective in turning guys off.