We all want to go out to swanky places and “live the life,” but not all of us can afford it — at least not all the time, anyway. Have you ever agreed to meet someone for drinks at a particular locale only to Google it later and find out you’d be dropping half your paycheck there? It’s an awkward situation, but you may be able to rearrange your plans and still save face. Here’s a few tips on how to back out of an expensive date gracefully.
1. “Let’s meet someplace closer to work.”
The Story: You’re “having a crazy day at work and you’re going to have to stay late,” BUT you don’t want to postpone plans. Suggest that you meet someplace closer (read: cheaper) so that you can still get to the date on time. Make sure, to be specific about the place.
What to Watch Out For: They may suggest that you just meet later. In which case, you can’t have a late night tonight because, as you said, work is “so crazy.”
2. “It’s so nice out tonight, we should really be outside.”
The Story: It’s really too gorgeous a night to waste on some stuffy, five-star restaurant. How about a walk down by the river? This way, you have the added bonus of appearing spontaneous and romantic. AND if you just happen to pass some quaint little family-owned joint (with high Yelp ratings that you might have heard about in passing when you looked it up earlier), all the better.
What to Watch Out For: Make sure the place you’re trying to get out of doesn’t have an awesome patio, or this excuse won’t work. And check the forecast for rain.
3. “I read a bad review”
The Story: You read a bad review (which you may or may not have written) of the ritzy place you had planned to go to. The service is bad, you heard, and there are mice running amok all over. How about we go to (this much more reasonably priced place), instead?
What to Watch Out For: Your date may have already been to this place and loved it. It might be their favorite place. And now you’ve insulted their taste.
4. “Can we reschedule?”
The Story: “I have (a friend in town unexpectedly, a deadline, an early meeting in the morning). Can we reschedule for (after I’ve gotten my tax return)?”
What to Watch Out For: Your date could lose interest. If you really want to go out with this person, you might just have to bite the bullet (or sell your guitar on craigslist) and cough up the dough.
5. The truth
The Story: You kinda screwed up. You didn’t realize the place was so upscale and it’s really going to break you to splurge right now. HOWEVER, you do know of this great little family-owned joint down by the river that got great reviews on Yelp.
What to Watch Out For: They might offer to pay, and it’s up to you whether or not you’re comfortable with that. Could be awkward. They might also just really appreciate your honesty and respect your ability to be financially responsible even in the face of possible embarrassment. Honesty probably really is the best policy in this case.
Next time, though, check the place out before you agree to go, okay?