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42 Believable Excuses and Ways to Get Out of a Date & Not Be Rude

Have you ever agreed to go out with someone and then wish you hadn’t? Learn how to get out of a date and not put yourself through the agony. 

how to get out of a date

There are a number of reasons why you might not want to go through with a date that has already been planned. You could have arranged it when you were under the influence of alcohol, and are seriously reconsidering a choice that seemed perfectly fine whilst drunk. In that case, you’ll need to know how to get out of a date and save face.

It could be a blind date, or one arranged through a dating site, and you’re getting cold feet about the whole thing.

It could be someone you’ve already been on a date with, where you were convinced to go on a second against your better judgment. In any of these situations, there is a creative excuse to match. [Read: How to recognize a bad first date – The subtle red flags people ignore]

First things first, are you sure you want to cancel?

No matter how bad you think a date can get or whether you’re in the middle of a crisis, we have to think about the people we’re involved with.

We can’t just leave them hanging when we can spare the time to tell them that we can’t show up. You can come up with all the excuses to get out of a date you want, but it’s nothing short of rude.

If you’re not interested at all, don’t agree to go out on a date in the first place. Don’t use pity or boredom as an excuse.

Just tell a person that you’re not interested before they invest any more time in something that won’t result in anything.

It’s just common courtesy and it wouldn’t hurt if we could extend that to everyone we meet no matter how bad a date they’re going to be. [Read: On the flip side, here’s how you can avoid being stood up on a date]

When it comes to ending a date, there are two scenarios that come into play, and we’ll talk about both of them. One, how to cancel a date before the day of the date, and two, how to end a date abruptly while you’re already on the date. So let’s talk about all the different ways, and go through them one step at a time.

How to cancel a date properly before the date starts

Unfortunately, not everyone is this considerate. Simply not showing up or canceling at the last minute will leave a bad impression. So how can you cancel a date in a way that won’t leave your supposed-to-be-date offended? Use these excuses to get out of a date.

1. Tell them at least a day before you have to cancel

If you decided to cancel some time before the date, a day before is the latest you can do it without looking rude. If you wait longer than that, it will be more awkward, and you could be forced to lie just to spare their feelings.

2. If you have to cancel within the day, tell them several hours before they start preparing

Try to cancel a few hours before your date starts getting ready. Most people prepare about two hours before they have to leave for their date.

This will lessen the impact of the rejection, since your date hasn’t set aside time to prepare. [Read: How to prepare for a date – The complete guide to make it great]

3. Give them a valid reason

The best way to avoid being rude when canceling a date is to give a very valid sounding reason behind why you need to do it. Make sure that it’s really important and not just done on a whim.

4. If you’re lying, make sure it’s believable

Sometimes, we change our minds at the very last minute. Whatever the reason, you still need to make sure that your date feels comfortable about it.

Don’t make up a bogus story that can easily be called out. You wouldn’t want to tell your date you’re canceling because you’re sick, only for them to see tagged pictures of you drinking around town the day after.

5. Schedule your next date

If you still want to see the person, give them a specific date and time when you can reschedule your date. This gives them an idea of whether or not you’d still be interested in seeing them in the future.

6. If it’s not possible, ask for a rain check

If your schedule is unclear, tell them that you’ll consider it another time. Be sincere about it, because most people think that this line is just a way to prolong the agony of rejection. [Read: First date nerves – 18 ways to not be nervous for a date and feel calm]

7. If you don’t plan on seeing them ever again, tell them the truth

Don’t make a person wait for you when you have no plans of seeing them again. That’s just cruel. If you give them false hope, they’ll just end up chasing you, thinking that all you need is a little nudge.

The most accepted, foolproof get-out-of-the-date excuses

If the date hasn’t rolled around yet and you have changed your mind, you’ll need to come up with some plausible excuses to get out of a date without arousing suspicion. In that case, these excuses should come in very handy.

1. Auto failure

If, and only if, you are traveling some distance to the date and there is no other way to see it through than with your own set of wheels, claiming a mechanical breakdown is the perfect get-out clause.

Just don’t let the other person see you cruising down the high street the next morning! [Read: 21 ways to tell a girl you’re not interested in her like a gentleman]

2. It’s too soon

You could claim that you’ve just come out of a relationship and you’ve realized you’re not ready for a new romance yet.

Further claiming that you don’t wish to subject the other person to a rebound relationship also sounds quite considerate—brownie points, in addition to the desired objective of getting out of the date.

3. It’s raining

Claiming you can’t go out into the rain because your hair will get ruined may sound lame, but actually works. Men are utterly bewildered by the female mind and will believe anything you tell them – mostly, anyway.

4. I’m busy at work

The classic “being made to stay late at work” is a regular winner in the getting out of a date stakes. The other person may be disappointed and annoyed, but they may also be secretly impressed by your commitment to your career. [Read: 16 signs you’re definitely not ready for a serious relationship]

5. I’ve been arrested

There’s not much anyone can say to this one, and it’s great, in that it can range from a case of mistaken identity if you do actually want to see that person again, right through to the most heinous crime possible if you don’t.

6. Double booked

You’ve double booked them. It could be something as innocuous as a dentist appointment or as serious as a date with another person. The results, obviously, will be very different!

7. Where’s grandma?

Ladies, if you want to seriously scare a guy off, then say you have to cancel because you can’t find a chaperone. You won’t be hearing from him again! [Read: 18 signs it’s time and ways to prepare your partner to meet the parents]

8. Too drunk to drive

Once again, with the need to drive being paramount, claim you’re drunk and it’s not safe to get behind the wheel. Likely to produce very different results, depending upon the person you’re saying this to.

9. I’ve got a yeast infection

Eeeuuuuggh… enough said!

10. Family emergency

Family emergencies are always a good option. Little sister needs picking up, grandma needs taking to the hospital… etc. These are responsibilities that it would be churlish to disregard and your date has no choice but to accept it.

11. Happy holidays

Say you’re a member of a religion that has a holy day on the eve of the date and you had forgotten about it. It doesn’t have to be a real celebration or even a real religion. Time to get truly creative. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and your partner]

12. Sickness

The first choice of date-shirkers everywhere, nothing is more likely to guarantee a get-out clause more effectively than explosive diarrhea or projectile vomiting. Ebola might be going a step too far, however!

13. It’s my time of the month

Guaranteed to work on the guys, ladies. Any mention of the “p” word and most guys would sooner cut off their arms than enter into any gory details! [Read: 8 awesome exit strategies to end a date midway and get out]

14. I’m broke

You’ve no money and no way of even getting to the date—never mind paying for it. A strong getting out excuse that has the added bonus of making you look cheap, desperate, and unlikely to get a call back.

15. My phone was lost/stolen

Stop answering your phone until after the date and then use this excuse, if at all possible. Rarely works, but at least you have an excuse.

16. Hi darling, I’m home

Ring up your date and tell them you can’t make it because your husband/wife has come home unexpectedly early. It’s cold, but effective.

17. The weird ex

Ring up your date and tell them you can’t meet them tonight because your ex is stalking you. This one is sure to put the brakes on any budding relationship. [Read: Are you still in love with your ex?]

18. I’m gay

This is one stone-cold lie of an excuse, but what comeback is there? Tell them you’d tried to convince yourself that you could have a heterosexual relationship, but you’ve realized that you’ve just been lying to yourself. Instant result, with minimum fuss.

19. I’m not really into you

Not one of the excuses to get out of a date exactly, but look – if you’re willing to try some of the excuses above, it would be less brutal just to tell them the truth! [Read: Conversation tips to end a date midway – The good, bad and ugly way!]

20. I forgot that thing I need to do

It might seem irresponsible, but just let them know that you completely forgot about certain plans/appointments/other commitments that you had prior to making the date. Apologize and tell them there’s nothing you can do. Easy peasy!

21. A family surprise

Your family planned a surprise trip for you without considering that you might actually have a social life—typical. They can’t exactly get mad at you for something you had no control over. It’s a perfect excuse!

22. A friend in need

See, this makes you selfless, caring, and basically awesome while you’re canceling on them. They won’t exactly be upset with you.

Perhaps a little let-down, but that’s only because they’re missing out on a date with someone as nice as you. [Read: Family orientated – The meaning and what it means to be this person]

23. My dog is missing

This one is a go-to last-minute excuse for me. Nothing will take up your time and make it more impossible for you to leave your neighborhood than your pet going missing. The tricky part is that they’ll often offer assistance and then try to take you out after.

Just tell them that you already have some neighbors on the look-out, but will let them know if you need them. It gets them off your back, you out of the date, and you can simply never text them back.

Legitimate reasons to leave a date midway

Canceling on a date before it happens shows good manners, but what happens when you’re already on the date?

There are many reasons why a date can fail, but it can’t be helped. It could be an emergency or a bad case of food poisoning. Whatever it is, it’s best to make a dignified exit and use one of the best excuses to get out of date. [Read: 14 signs you’re ruining your first date unknowingly]

But make sure that you’ve at least ordered before you back out! If you walk in and just turn around and walk back out, they will notice and you’ll look ridiculously shallow.

Let’s be honest, leaving at the very beginning is like taking one look at them and saying, “Nope.” How rude of you.

You don’t even know them. And while physical attraction is a big deal, you still have to make a little bit of an effort. After all, you did get all gussied up and got all the way there. Why not see where it goes? If you order and still want to leave, so be it. [Read: 13 warning signs to look out for on the first date]

There are only a few select reasons when it’s okay to leave in the middle of the date. These are:

1. They’re a horrible person

If you see any red flags like cruelty, narcissism, selfishness, misogyny and any other negative personality traits, you can go. Just go. [Read: 14 first date red flags that speak a lot more than your date does]

2. Lies

If your date made themselves out to be someone they’re not, you have the right to get out of there. Lying is usually the first sign that a person can’t be trusted.

If they didn’t mean to hurt you, make them prove to you that they did it for the right reasons. [Read: Types of liars – 14 ways to confront them and not lose your cool]

3. You have an urgent situation to attend to

We’re talking about really important things, not just an excuse to leave because you feel like it.

4. You’re just not enjoying yourself

Sometimes, you have to call it like it is. If it’s not working out for you, ask to end the night early.

The best excuses you can use to get out of a date midway

No matter how bad the situation gets, you shouldn’t leave the situation abruptly. Even if your date was an ass, you should be the bigger person and leave the situation politely. If it can’t be helped, here are some excuses to get out of date in a red flag situation.

1. I’m sick

A tummy ache always works. Tell them you have to poop. That always does it. Permanently.

2. My friend is in trouble

Tell them your friend needs your help and if your date is really bad, they won’t offer to help.

3. My boss wants me to settle something right now

Work commitments always trump dinner dates. Sorry.

4. My parents need me to go over and help with something

Meeting the parents? Works like a bucket of ice.

5. My ex is back in the picture

If you think none of the other excuses are going to work, this is your last resort. [Read: Are you still in love with your ex?]

6. I’ve just got this really important email

Look at your phone and roll your eyes. “Oh no! I totally forgot about _____. They just reminded me. I’m so sorry to do this, but I have to go right now.”

Offer to throw in some money for the appetizer/drinks if you’ve already ordered and be on your way. Don’t let them sit and convince you to reschedule. Just say you’ll be in touch. That leaves the ball in your court.

7. Set a deadline for the date

If you know within minutes that you want to leave early, tell them that you only have a certain amount of time.

For example, “I’m really sorry, but I didn’t want to cancel. I can only stay for a half-hour because I forgot about an appointment I made weeks ago.”

Sure, you may seem slightly irresponsible or forgetful, but it’s a polite and believable way to get out of the date in a short amount of time and still act like you’re interested.

8. My friend wants to come, is that okay?

If nothing else works, go to the bathroom and tell your friend to come in and crash the date. They can be the obnoxious friend that just HAS to join you for drinks and whatnot.

Throwing your date a cute, innocent, “what can you do” look is enough for them to understand that it’s going to be a date of three people, not just the two of you. It makes the date much easier when your friend is right there, too.

Think carefully before you use these excuses to get out of a date

Before you decide to cross out a date, make sure that you’re doing it for the right reasons. If your issue is their appearance, don’t judge them based solely on that.

If you’re intimidated by a person, this could be your chance to test your skills as a people person.

Whatever the case may be, it’s always necessary to give a person showing no signs of psychosis the benefit of the doubt.

These excuses to get out of a date before the date and midway through a date will help you out, but come on, give them a chance first!

[Read: How long should a first date last? The exact timing for a good date]

Dates don’t have to be written in stone. If you’re rethinking the whole thing, be assured that there is always an easy way to get out of a date without forcing the issue. Just get a little bit creative.

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Preeti Tewari Serai
Preeti Serai
Preeti, the founder of LovePanky, is an eternal optimist and believer in the beauty of love and life. With an exhaustive experience in love, relationships, and ...