In an ideal world, there’d be just one legitimate reason to peace out in the middle (or beginning) of a first date: because you feel like it. Whether you're uncomfortable, bored, or just wish you could be watching Law & Order: SVU, you shouldn't feel like you're being socially held captive by some person you don't even know.
Though there should be zero expectations on a first date, walking away from a bad one is still easier said than done. After all, how would you feel if someone rejected you mid-fondue? Nevertheless, while soldiering on might feel like the “nice” thing to do, it’s just delaying inevitable rejection. (And, hey, maybe they want to get their Law & Order on, too!)
Here are a few situations in which you should never feel bad for calling it early (if not completely disappearing during a trip to the powder room):
1. They Misrepresent Themselves
You don’t owe a liar anything. So call it a night on that dude who didn't own up to being a Trump supporter—despite your clear preference for the Dems—before luring you to a mid-priced sushi restaurant.
2. They're Sexist
Or racist. Or, any-ist that makes you uncomfortable, really. This isn’t Thanksgiving, and your date is not your Tea Party uncle, so you don’t need to put up with that sh*t.
3. They're Rude to Everyone But You
Treating a server or bartender like “the help” is just a preview to all sorts of trashy, disrespectful behavior that'll inevitably emerge in the future. So anyone who snaps, barks orders, or otherwise punishes people who are just trying to do their job is asking to end the night alone. Let them!
4. You Don't Want to See Them Again
To be clear: A date doesn’t even need to be egregiously bad to end early. Just because someone's not a garbage person, doesn't mean you owe them three hours of your life. Simply try to be respectful and polite when peacing out (you know, be a human).
5. You're Uncomfortable
Maybe this has nothing to do with the person you’re on a date with—maybe you’re hungover, or overworked, or just plain not feeling human interaction that day. You might be hesitant to end a date with someone you like because you’re not at your best, but any first date that deserves a second wouldn’t guilt you into staying out to protect their own ego.
6. You Get a Bad Vibe
Real talk: If you feel like taking on the emotional burden of telling bad daters why you’re not interested, rather than making an excuse or running for the hills, go ahead. But in this scenario, it’s perfectly acceptable (and safer) to make a break for it if your creep alarm is sounding.
7. You Just Feel Like It!
Once more for the seats in the back—no one owes anyone, anything on a first date (besides common decency). It doesn't have to be a drawn out affair. Take a lesson from dogs: When they meet, they sniff each other’s butts for two seconds, and either decide to kick it or move on. Be a dog (but like, a respectful one).