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How To Escape A Terrible Date, According To A ‘Love Doctor’

“Reckon I’d make a good serial killer?”

Let’s be honest: sometimes dates just don’t go as planned. Maybe you showed up in the wrong place. Maybe you lied about your height and now they hate you. Maybe neither of you are capable of real-time banter—the possibilities are endless.

After an aborted rendezvous went viral last Sunday (the classic case of a Bondi ‘bro’ doing a runner and leaving his date with the bill), we now know the most heartless way to bail on a date. But the best way? Is there even a good way? We turned to dating coaches to find out.

Chris Manak, one of Melbourne’s leading dating coaches, says dealing with a date-gone-sour is an under-rated skill, which used to be difficult—even for him.

“I once ran away from a first date and hid in a pet store (I was young ok!).”

Now however, he says, “Any mature person has three options.” Number one: be open and honest. “Just say that you’re not feeling it and that should save yourselves the time and pretence. This is clearly the best option, but not many of us can muster up the kahoonas to do it.”

Number two: the age-old lie. “Say that you have to be somewhere. I’ve been in this situation before, and casually asked what she was up to after the date. ‘After the date?’ I could see her wonder. But it implies that you’re not doing anything together.”

Number three: just see the date out. “If I don’t like the person, I don’t like the date. This is why I always JUST have drinks or coffee for a first date. If you organise a dinner date, and you hate her immediately, then you’re stuck there for 2 hours (and are probably $100 out of pocket). But I still find this preferable to the other two options.”

Thomas Edwards, founder of The Professional Wingman, says prevention is better than the cure: i.e. Optimise your chances of not wanting to leave early. “Keep first dates to an hour—90 minutes, max. Marathon dates may seem like great indicators of a spark, but it also can take away some of the mystery. Just like texting too much beforehand,” he told WH.

If, for whatever reason, you really just want to get out of there, he says, “The most effective strategy is to finish your drink, excuse yourself to the bathroom, and when you return, let your date know you have to go.” If your date asks why, just say that something personal came up and you have to leave.


Another straightforward way to get out of a date is to simply decline the second drink. Yes it’s awkward, but so is enduring another 45 minutes of small talk. If you are looking to spice up your exit a little bit (or if they aren’t taking the hint), here are some bona fide phrases that are guaranteed to end your relationship before its even begun: “You looked prettier online, my wife is calling, reckon I’d make a good serial killer?, and (Ted Mosby’s tried and tested favourite) I love you.”

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