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We bet at some point in your life you’ve been on a terrible date but you stuck it out longer than necessary just because you were too nice to up and leave. Maybe he wasn’t quite what you were expecting (darn those Tinder dates) or maybe, as the time went on, you realised he was definitely not your one true love. Whilst it is hard to so blatantly hurt someone’s feelings, it’s also important to know when to get out and save yourself, so to speak. Which is exactly what these women did when they had enough of their not-so-dream dates, but more nightmares.


My best friend saved me

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My bestie and I had an agreement – if one of us ever needed to get out of a bad date, the other would call or text and lie that she had an emergency. That’s exactly what my friend did. My date was exceedingly boring and I was close to falling asleep. I texted my friend to save me, and five minutes later she texted me back and began calling. At first, I purposely ignored her texts and calls because I didn’t want to my date to catch on to what I was doing, but on the third call I picked up. She pretended to cry – loud enough for my date to hear – and told me to meet her right away. I hung up and told the guy that my friend needed me and I was sorry to cut our date short. Before he could ask me what was wrong, I was out the door.” – Clara*, 29, private tutor


I got the waiter to deliver my message

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I was on a dinner date with the most obnoxious guy. Even worse than bragging about himself the whole time, he was ill mannered, talked too loudly and kept staring at my breasts. I was super-uncomfortable. I felt bad about wanting to leave early and didn’t want him to take me home or ask me stupid questions, so I excused myself to use the bathroom. But, instead of going to the loo, I went to the back exit, told the waiter I was sick and asked him to tell my date that I was going home. My date didn’t even call me later to ask how I was – he probably got the hint.” – Theresa*, 33, accountant



I cancelled the date before it even began

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For starters, my date kept me waiting for 20 minutes. When he eventually showed up he look dishevelled, like he’d just rolled out of bed, plus, he smelled of women’s perfume. My gut told me that he was probably two-timing me. Just as he started to explain why he was late – sheepishly, might I add – I told him I didn’t want to hear any of it and showed him ‘the hand’. I stood up and proceeded to walk out, leaving him looking like a total fool in front of the whole restaurant.” – Sharon*, 37, editor


I faked an illness to gross him out

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I’d just finished a nice dinner with my date when we decided to walk along the pier. He kept putting his arm around me and touching my butt, which I wasn’t ready for and told him so, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The evening got uncomfortable real quick and soon he was pulling me towards him to kiss me. I knew that running away was pointless because he’d probably chase after me, and I didn’t want to slap him or say anything rude, so I turned around, quickly stuck my finger down my throat and pretended to gag, as if I was about to throw up. The look on his face was priceless. I told him I was sick and needed to leave – he was so repulsed, or maybe scared, that he quickly hailed a taxi for me so that I could go home.” – Sarah*, 28, bartender



I stopped my car and told him to get out

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I was driving my date to East Coast Park. We had some picnic food and a bottle of wine and were looking forward to hanging out at the beach. I thought he was a respectful guy, but along the way he kept cursing at other drivers and even criticised my driving. When I told him to simmer down, he got defensive and asked me why I was being so sensitive. We got into a heated argument, during which he called me a stupid bitch. I was horrified! I wasted no time stopping the car and telling him to get out. He thought I was joking at first, but when he realised I was serious he apologised. Unfortunately it was too late; I told him to leave and never call me again.” – Dulcie*, 35, teacher


I walked out and left him with the dinner bill

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I was enjoying my dinner with this guy when he leaned over and whispered, ‘I’m paying a lot for this meal, so I guess you’re going home with me tonight, right?’ Shocked, I made it clear that I wasn’t sleeping with him. When dessert arrived, his attitude towards me changed and he hinted that we ought to split the bill since I wasn’t going to have sex with him. I was beyond insulted but didn’t show it. I quickly finished my dessert and decided to teach him a lesson. I told him I had to use the restroom but when I left the table I headed straight for the exit. When he texted me a few minutes later to ask where I was, I replied that I was on the way home, by myself.” – Kiera*, 35, manager


I told him that my policeman brother was picking me up

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My date was trying his best to get me to go home with him for sex, but I wasn’t having any of it. As much as I liked him, I didn’t want to move too fast, and besides, I could sense his desperation and was starting to get annoyed. At the same time, however, I didn’t want to just leave because I was paranoid that he might follow me home, so I got him to leave first by telling him that my brother was on the way to pick me up. I lied and told him that my brother was a cop. The minute he heard that, his demeanour changed – he couldn’t wait to end the date and get the heck away from me.” – Louisa*, 26, writer


I told him it wouldn’t work out between us

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My friend had set me up with this guy whom I thought was cute, but when we met face to face, it was clear that he wasn’t my type. I could tell he wasn’t attracted to me, either, but we carried on with the date as if nothing was wrong. Things got awkward real fast – we had nothing in common, had nothing interesting to say to each other, and just wanted the evening to end. Midway through dinner, I told him that I could sense he was uncomfortable and said he was under no pressure to see me again. He looked relieved. I added that it probably wouldn’t work out between us anyway, because there was no connection between us. It was the strangest conversation I ever had with a guy but it was the truth. We split the dinner bill and parted ways.” – Desiree*, 38, teacher


*Names have been changed