NEW YORK — People will stick out a bad date for an average of 51 minutes before making their excuses to leave, a new survey reveals. The poll of 2,000 adults also finds that it only takes 25 minutes to notice a spark, or lack of one, between potential lovers. As for dates which have a bad vibe in the planning stages, daters typically cancel the reservation 19 hours before the mismatched event begins.
The top excuses people give to get out of a date include an emergency at work, sick relatives, and a broken-down car. However, the number one go-to excuse for avoiding a romantic meeting with someone is still claiming you don’t feel well.
The research was commissioned by breakdown provider, Britannia Rescue, part of LV= General Insurance, which has joined forces with TV personality Denise Van Outen to set up a “Dateside Rescue Hotline,” generating excuses to help people make a swift exit from a boring date.
“Over the years I’ve certainly been on my fair share of bad dates,” says Van Outen in a statement. “We all know there’s nothing worse than when you just don’t click with someone, and desperately want to be rescued.”
“I had a lot of fun coming up with the excuses for this one and hope the hotline goes a little way to help elevate the pain of bad dates this February.”
1 in 4 ghost people before their scheduled date
The survey also finds that 44 percent have used an excuse to get out of going on a date altogether, while one in five have left a date halfway through. Other reasons people use to escape a date include work deadlines, friends or family showing up unannounced, and being stuck in traffic.
Of those who have left mid-date, popular tactics to escape include having friends phone with a fake emergency, claiming to have a headache, and even saying their pet is ill. It also emerged that 23 percent admit to “ghosting” someone — stopping all contact with them before a date. Three in 10 have been the person getting stood up.
Another 58 percent have sat through a date despite knowing there was no spark, because of a need to be polite (72%), a hope it might get better (37%), and feeling uncomfortable saying anything (36%). However, for 48 percent, honesty is the best policy, and they claim that they’re always upfront with the other person about why they are leaving or cancelling a date.
Tell-tale signs a date might not be right before even arriving include poor conversation flow (52%), struggling for topics to talk about (50%), and someone having no sense of humor (48%). Meanwhile, rudeness (48%), constantly checking their phone (37%), and an awkward atmosphere (36%) are behaviors which would cause people to consider making an excuse to leave a date.
So, when is a date a success?
For a meet-up to be successful, 68 percent need to feel comfortable, 58 percent require lots of laughter, and 57 percent simply look for a “spark.” The study, carried out by OnePoll, also finds 53 percent claim to enjoy dating and would even travel an average of 24 miles for a really good date.
The top dating venues or activities are a restaurant dinner (38%), drinks at a bar (29%), and a walk (22%).
Top 20 Excuses People Have Used to Get Out of a Date:
- You’re not feeling well
- A family member is ill
- An emergency at work
- You have a headache
- You forgot about something important you need to do instead
- Tell them you realise you aren’t ready for a relationship
- Your car broke down
- You have a deadline at work
- Friends or family just showed up for a surprise visit
- You’re stuck in traffic
- You forgot
- Your pet is ill
- You accidentally already ate
- You can’t find the date venue
- You’ve had an allergic reaction
- You’ve been arrested
- Your date looks too similar to a sibling or other relative
- You’ve just been mugged
- Your date looks too similar to your ex
- A pipe has burst at home
72Point writer Alice Clifford contributed to this report.