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Dating is a necessary evil. Assuming that you don’t want to die alone, surrounded by cats, you will need to venture away from your apartment and interact with humanity. But here’s the thing about humanity, there are lot of weirdos out there. A lot of them. And sometimes the weirdos conceal themselves behind a good job and well-maintained personal hygiene and you don’t realize how bat-shit they are until you are sitting across the table from them. Stuck behind a bad date and a happy hour drink special, you must begin to plan your escape.
The Phony Phone Call
This trick is as old as time. You have a friend call with a fake-out family emergency or a “Why aren’t you here, you promised you were coming out to ‘XYZ’?” Suddenly you have to dash, no questions asked. This technique has been effective for thousands of people trapped on awkward dates, but it has a drawback — it’s transparent as hell. Look, everyone within a 100-mile radius knows that there is no emergency and so does your date. You might as well look him directly in the eye sockets and say, “I’m out of here.” And that makes you a heartless monster. Shame on you.
This worked on the Oregon Trail and it will work for you. Don’t feel like hanging around the family’s covered wagon reading “Poor Richard’s Almanac” while Papa repairs the broken axle? Just die of dysentery. Don’t feel like listening to your date go on and on about his ex? Just get a touch of dysentery and leave. Lactose intolerants have an inherent advantage here; just order pizza and self-destruct. For anyone else, pregame your date with some bad sushi if you have a premonition about uncomfortable conversation before meeting the guy. There is the side effect of embarrassment and forever knowing you had diarrhea on a date, but honestly, it’s worth it.
The Bat Shit
Two can play this game. If he starts saying things that make you suspect he will end up on a “Dateline” episode then you need to get out of there fast. Start by saying the most insane stuff you can come up with. He asks about your favorite Beach Boys song, you answer “Kokomo”. Tell him you hate pizza and laughter. Disclose that you enjoy Crossfit and always play with Luigi on Super Mario Galaxy. Whatever it takes. Succeed with this strategy and you will never hear from again. Should he agree with anything you say, you have full permission to starting running.
This is the boldest strategy on this list and should only be used in times of complete desperation. When he starts talking about how excited he is for you to meet his entire extended family on the second date, you respond with your best Slytherin parseltongue. Forget that you were ever speaking in English. When he asks what you are doing, keep making snake sounds. Don’t explain yourself. This requires complete commitment to your escape plan. You risk being judged by everyone in the surrounding area, which is why you must seriously weigh the pros and cons of this technique. When your date starts bringing up your future children’s names, then you know what you must do.