- Have someone call you. Have a friend scheduled to call at a certain time. That way you can actually talk back and forth with someone who can prompt you appropriately, so it sounds like a human conversation instead of someone just talking into their silent phone. Better yet, get up and walk away from the table. Try pacing and looking down as you talk—that will make it look much more serious.
- Download an app. For true emergencies, you will need a better backup plan than a ring tone. There are apps that are designed to help people notify friends and family if you feel in danger, according to Verily Mag. Two of them are called uSafeUS and Circle of 6; the latter allows you to quickly notify your six most important people that you are in danger, or requests that they call, text or find you immediately. The former provides you with fake calls and texts as a built-in excuse.
- Bail after the first drink. Usually, if you’re meeting for a drink, there’s a moment after the first round where you both decide if you want to keep things going and order a second cocktail. This is the perfect exit moment if you’re not feeling it. Saying you have an early morning or you can’t be hungover tomorrow and need to get home is a reasonable way to leave.
- Give an excuse ahead of time. Before you meet someone, tell them when your hard out is. You can say you have plans, you only have one hour, you’re really swamped, etc. If the date is going well, they’ll probably be just as happy as you to forget your reason for leaving. If not, there’s no negotiating. They knew you had to leave, so you do. End of story.
- Say you're sick. I actually did get sick once on a date, and I could tell he thought I was lying. Totally didn’t care, and neither should you.
- Be honest. In a perfect world, we would be able to maturely say to someone that we’re not feeling it and leave. Personally, I’ve done this and it was fine. I prefer to be honest about my interest and I hate to ghost people.