Some guys just can’t take the hint, our columnist says.


Working up the nerve to talk to someone you’re attracted to can be tough. Getting out of a conversation with someone you’re not can be even tougher.

I once saw a friend at a party end up ankle-deep in the backyard garden. Why? She couldn’t think of a polite way to exit the conversation she had entered into and thought the man she was talking to might get the hint if she kept backing away from him. He didn’t and she ended up spending the rest of the evening picking shrubbery off of her clothes.

Pointedly telling someone at a party or a bar that you’d rather be talking to the wall seems a little harsh, but I’ve found a few other ways to get out of a conversation with someone without ruining your Steve Maddens in a freshly fertilized flower bed.

The bathroom excuse seems to be a popular option —- one I have used on occasion. However, there is a big problem with this excuse. The conversation tends to go like this:

Me (feeling bored and looking for an escape): “Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom.”

Guy I’m talking to: “Sure, see you when you get back.”

Then I either have to spend part of my evening in a public washroom I don’t need to use — nor wish to loiter in — or inevitably end up running into the guy two minutes later and feel especially foolish for having fabricated a bathroom situation in order to get away from him ... and still find myself stuck in the conversation I was trying to escape.

Another common excuse — which I’ve also used — is “I have to get another drink.” But this opens the distinct probability of him following me to the bar, like a stray pup looking for its owner ... all the while getting myself deeper into a conversation with a man I’m not interested in.

So, how do you avoid these pitfalls?

The best way to get out of these awkward mingling moments is to add a dose of directness to the exit. A simple “It’s been nice talking to you, but I see someone I have to talk to,” or “It’s been nice talking to you, but I have to find my friends” sends a clear yet gracious message: I’m just not that interested.

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