Sometimes we can’t be bothered with the date, sometimes with the person themselves, but in each case there is always an excuse to get out of it.
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.
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 judgement. In any of these situations, there is a creative excuse to match.
The following list is predominantly aimed at getting you out of a date in advance of it happening. However, with a phone in hand and a friend given strict instructions to ring you halfway through, many of these could be adapted to a mid-date break out. One caveat, though: some of these excuses are designed to cancel a single date, whereas others are designed to exit the whole relationship. Just make sure you choose the right one!
20 foolproof get-out-of-jail free excuses
#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!
#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. For women only, 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.
#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, but they may also be secretly impressed by your commitment to your career.
#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!
#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.
#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 My wheelchair isn’t working. Great for blind or first dates, expose the bigot in your potential date by hitting them with this line. Unfortunately for humankind, but not for your manipulative self, chances are they won’t be getting back in touch. That’s life.
#14 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!
#15 I’m broke. You’ve no money and no way of even getting to the date—nevermind 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.
#16 My phone was lost/stolen. Stop answering your phone until after the date and then use this excuse, if at all possible. Works like a charm.
#17 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.
#18 Ex-tra terrestrials. 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.
#19 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.
#20 I’m not really into you. Not an excuse, 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!
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 it without forcing the issue. Just get a little bit creative.