"Sorry. My neighbour's dog swallowed my ATM card."
Maybe you went through their social media and realised they appear horribly dull or seem rather unpleasant.
Or you have met someone else who you click with a lot better and you don't want to lead the other person on.
Getting out of a date without being callous, rude and ungrateful is a tall order.
1. Call ahead
If you are going to meet in the afternoon, make sure you call in the morning before they leave the house to meet you. Ensure that they have enough time to make different plans since you've ruined their day.
Do. Not. Text.
2. Give a good reason
Saying you've just come down with a migraine or the flu has to be believable. Since you've already exchanged numbers, saying you're sick will lead him/her to calling to check up on your later. Don't use emergencies that could lead to them wasting their concern. Use a reason laden with baggage like dealing with a sibling's baby mama trouble or a drug addiction of a room mate. That makes them back off since they probably wouldn't even know how to handle it.
3. Don't be active on social media
It's very easy for people to find you on social media. After turning someone down with a lie, make sure that you don't record your activities for a while.
4. Block their numbers
If you really don't want to lead them on, after they accept you reason for cancellation, avoid contacting them for about two weeks. After that, block them.
ALSO READ: 7 reasons why good men are unlucky in love
5. You can just be honest
While this may carry elements of rudeness, you can go ahead with the date, change the event to a casual lunch meeting and tell them that you aren't really interested. You should pay for lunch and even leave open the chance of friendship.