By Sarah Ribeiro

Picture this: you’re on a date and your potential partner walks in 30 minutes late. Plus, they’re a sloppy, sweaty mess. As soon as you sit down, they make sure you’re paying for your own meal and begin to check out the server, setting off all the red flags that romance isn’t going to blossom. It’s enough to make you dread the rest of the night if you haven’t already bolted out of the restaurant. However difficult it might seem, there are better ways to handle situations like this. Check out these tips to leave that date from hell–with class:

1. Try a do-over: The “date from hell” might not be a bad person; maybe they’re just nervous. Stop them mid-idiot and politely tell them that they’re not currently coming across as a potential partner, but you’d like to try again. Set a date for a fresh beginning, and see what happens then.

2. Ask for the bill: Getting the check early is a clear sign that your date–and any sign of a relationship–is over. Doing this quickly cuts out any additional awkward time and keeps you from having to say flat-out how miserable you are.

3. The white lie: Sometimes it’s better to be gentle with your let-down. Tell your date that you have plans you forgot about or that you left something important at home and you have to leave immediately. This prevents you from having to tell them how upset they’re making you.

4. Use your sense of humor: Bad dates are usually some of the most memorable. You’ll definitely be able to look back on your terrible experience and laugh. Stick around and gain some material for funny storytelling with your friends and future significant others.

5. Be open-minded: Your date might have underlying issues that are impeding the success of your night. Try to understand why they’re acting the way they are, and you’ll be able to see them in a better light.

Related: When Dates Go Bad: 5 Ways to Find the Funny in Dating 

6. Ask for a change of scenery: Maybe part of the problem is that neither of you are comfortable in your location. Hating the loud, crowded bar filled with singles? Switch to a quiet, intimate couple’s café–your new environment might bring a new attitude.

7. Call for back-up: If you’re concerned that a date you’ve planned is going to get awkward, make arrangements beforehand. Prior to your date, ask a friend to call you halfway through the night. If things aren’t going well, use your acting skills and tell your date there’s been an emergency that you have to tend to immediately.

8. Enjoy yourself: Try to have a good time outside the date. There’s sure to be something you can enjoy, even if it’s not the person with you. Appreciate your meal or your surroundings and stay optimistic by entertaining yourself.

Related:  Top 10 Sayings That Can Destroy Your Love Life Before It Begins 

9. Take care of yourself: Of course, if your date is being insulting, aggressive or threatening, you never need an excuse. Get up, leave and don’t look back.

10. Be honest: Tell him kindly that you’re not interested. If they’re being such a painful date, chances are they’re not interested either. It will save you both the trouble if you take the mature and truthful route.

What are some ways you’ve gotten out of a bad date? Tell us your story below.