So, you did it. You put on pants and went on another first date. Their effortless banter and trendy bar choice were enough to discourage you from canceling to stay home and binge watch “Sex and the City.” And so far, it’s going well. They’re making you laugh, and the conversation is flowing. It, surprise surprise, is a good date. Is your good karma finally coming to repay you?

Then it happens. Just as you’re sitting there starting to believe your date luck has taken a turn for the better, they say it: the exact thing that automatically makes you shut your eyes in hopes that they don’t see them go straight to the back of their sockets. They were doing well! So well, in fact, that you were starting to consider saving their number once you parted ways for the night! Why did they have to ruin it!? 

There are few things worse than the feeling you get when an otherwise great date turns sour because the person sitting across from you didn’t take a single beat to think before they spoke. And said thoughtless comment doesn’t even have to be colossally awful (e.g. sexist or racist) — it can be just stupid enough to rub you the wrong way. So, here are some responses you can bust out when your date says something that you don’t fuck with. 

1. “I don’t read.”

This is something that no one should ever admit, so if your date shares this tidbit with you, run. But first, ask them if they at least read lips. Then mouth this: “I’m going home to read a book called ‘Why You Shouldn’t Date People Who Don’t Read.’” Then bounce.

2. “I have [insert drink you’ve been sipping on over the course of the night] at home. Wanna go back there and drink it?”

Your date thinks they’re slick. This is the most common way of saying, “I’m trying to take you home and bone ASAP.” If you’re down for that, then by all means embark on that journey in the safest way possible. However, if you’re not interested in sleeping with your date, at least not yet, say, “I have (insert said drink) at my house, too. I could’ve stayed there and drank it, but I decided to come here and enjoy it with you. How about we keep it that way?”

3. “Why are you still single?”

Why do people consider this question a compliment? Let’s be real — no one has a real answer for it. And, if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn’t be sitting across from the person asking to begin with. Keep your response simple and to the point: “Because it’s fucking awesome. How about you?”

4. “I’m not looking for anything serious.” 

This presumptive statement is the crutch upon which all that is wrong with modern dating rests. We get it — commitment scares the shit out of you. It scares all of us. But, dude, we’re on our first date. Relax. We don’t even know if there’s going to be a date number two. If you find yourself at the receiving end of this flimsy-ass defense mechanism, respond with, “Serious? Who said anything about serious? If I were trying to get serious, I would’ve taken you to get your chakras cleansed. I didn’t, so calm down.”

5. “All of my exes are crazy.”

OK, first off, it’s 2019. We’re done calling people “crazy,” and we’re most certainly done with not being self-aware. If you’re on a date with someone who shit-talks their exes, start envisioning yourself nestled in the comfort of your fluffy pillows and weighted blanket, because that’s where you’ll soon be — but only after you reply with, “Lack of accountability is the reason why I’m always fighting parking tickets and why you’re spewing negativity about your exes to a complete stranger. That reminds me, I have to go home and dispute a ticket. Have a good night!”

6. “Are you going to write an article about me?”

Let me, a writer, break this down for you. I sat in an hour-long pitch meeting where I picked up this article. I then spent two hours telling people — and myself — “I can’t talk right now. I’m so busy. I have to write an article. Up against a deadline.” Then, I spent approximately three hours over the span of one-and-a-half days writing the thing. And I’ll spend another hour making tweaks and questioning whether or not it’s total trash before saying “fuck it” and sending it to my editor. That’s six hours spent on the rough draft alone. A date lasts a fraction of that. Why would anyone spend six hours documenting a sub-two-hour interaction? So, for all my wordsmiths out there, here’s how you answer this question: “No.”