I have never left a bad date early, but there was one time I maybe should have ditched. Instead of sneaking off, however, I encouraged my date — who had both his work and personal phones out at the bar — to head out, saying "I know you have an early morning tomorrow; I don't mind covering the tab at all." Despite the fact that said gentleman, er, I'm sorry, said date had checked out two other women at the bar, he insisted on staying and paying. Women leave bad dates early sometimes, and they have every right to. Men do it too, but I was aiming to be polite.
In hindsight, trying to be polite so that a person who had told me I'd get into business school "because [I'm] a woman," and emailed no less than twelve times over one glass of wine did not deem me ungrateful or impolite was not necessarily worth it. In fact, it sort of made me feel like a pushover. Then again, I believe in being kind to others, no matter how sh*tty of people they are. I decided to reach out to the ladies of Reddit — as one does, right? — to see what exactly had encouraged them to straight up leave a date. Here's what they had to say:
1. This Woman Left Because Her Date Made Her Feel Uncomfortable
He suggested we meet up at a bar where I found out he was under age (no big deal at the time. he was 20 and I was only a couple of years older). He argued with the bouncer about markign his hand as underage. Then it turned out he invited his friends to meet his new girl (this was supposed to be a first date so we could get to know each other). He put his arm around me and introduced me as "my girl". Not referring to me by name. I pulled him aside and calmly told him "I"m not comfortable with you grabbing me and I do not belong to you. My name is... please respect that and refer to me by name not as a possession". He kind of half blew me off but agreed. Then he continued the behavior. So I said good evening and I hope he has fun and left. It wasn't a situation I was comfortable with and he was clearly disrespecting my boundaries after being clear that wasn't ok.
If you don't feel comfortable on a date, or if a date touches you in a way that makes you squirm, get out. Period. This gigantic moment in history in which women are finally being listened to about the despicable creeps out there who abuse their power to assault and harass women is a great reminder: you don't have to put up with unwanted behavior.
2. This Woman Just Wasn't Into It
He looked nothing like his picture, and he was pretty dull.
This is bold, but also, like, I can't totally shade her. If you bring cash and simply aren't having a great night, it should be OK to politely excuse yourself and drop some cash to cover your food or drink. Why waste everyone's time?
3. This Woman's Date Brought His Dog To The Bar
He showed up late and with his dog to the busy bar he'd chosen. When I suggested we go for a walk instead, as he had a dog, he said no need! Put his medium sized dog in a bag and hung it from the hook under the crowded bar. By the time I finished the drink I'd started while waiting for him, he'd spoken badly about two exes and his mother. I noped on out of there before he had a chance to buy me a drink.
OK, so two dogs walk into a bar: one ends up in a bag, while the other tries to have a normal date with a human woman. Just, no. Make it stop. But really, this made me LOL and also made me go yass kween, exit that date right now.
4. This Woman Had An Anxiety Attack, So That's Legit
I got anxiety attacky and didn't feel comfortable with telling him that. Back then when I told someone I was having an anxiety attack, the attack would get worse instantly. I did make up a good lie for why I was leaving so he wouldn't think I wasn't interested either though.
Oh, my sweet girl. This sounds just awful and don't worry about lying to him; take care of yourself. Anxiety is the f*cking worst.
5. This Woman Was On A Date With Two People
He invited me out with he and his friends. Night was fun, we hit it off well enough and were joking around, super easy conversation, etc. At some point, he got up to go to the bathroom or something and one of the girls I had hit it off with mentions she really likes him and asked if I could put in a good word for her, since it was apparent to her we were close and he would trust my opinion. Said she was nervous because this was their first date, but she was having a great time. Dipshit had invited both of us out on the same date and was playing it off. I informed her of such, she and I confronted him and left for a different bar. She seemed sweet, wish we'd have stayed in touch. He texted the next day saying he hadn't expected me to say yes, that he was more interested in me but didn't want to bail on her last minute. Asked for a do over. Nope.
I agree with the solid "nope." Did this date Google "what's a f*ckboy?" before arranging said date and then ask himself, "How can I one up that?" WOOF.
6. This Woman Has Something To Teach Me
I didn’t walk out, but ended it early because he kept texting. I had plans with my sister later that night anyway. I think it was in retaliation from a previous date. In a moment of awkward silence, I glanced at my phone out of habit. My bad, but I only touched it once. He called me out on it and accused me of constantly looking at it.
Lesson for all of the millennials: phone plus date equals bad. Just say no to phone.
7. This Woman Has A Whole System
I've had a few instances where I've left mid-date, most reasons were: He was rude to waitstaff (This is a HUGE red flag.. I'd typically tip our waiter/waitress personally and leave)
He was cocky and condescending towards me- treated me like I was beneath him. Noped right on out of there.
He sat on his phone literally the entire first half of the date, even answered a call mid-conversation with me. I can honestly say I've never left a date simply because the person didn't look like their pictures, but insecurity and dishonesty that early on typically doesn't allude to a good relationship in the future so most haven't gotten a second date.
I like how she's not shallow about her reasons for ditching. Only big red flags warrant exiting a date, and I would agree with that. After all, looks are deceiving and I know that because some of the best-looking men I've dated ended up being the yuckiest humans in all the land.
I also enjoy how more than one Redditor commented that they "noped out of there." I'm going to start saying that. Except, I still am uncertain if I'll ever be OK with up and leaving in the middle of a date. Well, that's unless someone touches me inappropriately, makes me feel uncomfortable, or puts their dog in a bag. Then, I'm nope-ing out of there guilt-free.
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