5 clever ways to leave a party early (without feeling like a party pooper)

Leaving a party early is always a touchy subject. No one wants to be seen as a party pooper, especially if more people follow suit. 

Whenever we go to a party, we don’t plan to leave early, but as we have kids, we can’t stay indefinitely. Of course, kids (and pets) are a great excuse, but what if you don’t have kids? 

Well, you just need to be more creative. 

Here are some clever ways I’ve used to leave a party early without letting down the host and their guests. 

1) The reliable friend

This is my favorite way to enter and exit parties, especially if I’m going to a party that’s thrown by a dear friend or someone I haven’t seen in ages. 

Arriving early and offering the host my assistance with setting things up allows me to spend more time with them while there aren’t that many guests yet. 

If there aren’t any caterers, this often includes putting the finishing touches on the food and setting the tables. Two things I love to do and that aren’t difficult at all. 

Of course, we’ll have drinks along the way and have fun talking and meeting guests as they arrive. 

It’s somewhere at this point that I’ll casually mention that I have to leave the party early because of reasons. 

I also tell them I don’t want to make a fuss about it and that I’ll just leave so they don’t have to worry about me. 

The next day, I typically get in touch with them or simply text them that I had a great time. 

2) The impromptu photographer

This following clever way to leave a party also requires some light work upfront. You see, you’ll offer the host that you’ll take photos throughout the party and make a cool montage, collage, or slideshow for them. 

Simply use your phone and take photos of folks having a good time. As a bonus, ask some of them to make funny faces or to say some good things about the host/party. 

When the time comes for you to go home, simply excuse yourself and tell the host that you’re going home to make whatever you promised them. 

Use Canva or a similar free app with cool templates and make a good-looking product you can share with the host/guests via a link. 

If you do a good job, don’t be surprised if they print out what you made for them. They’ll also be extremely grateful to you. 

3) The Irish exit

The Irish exit, the French farewell, the Dutch goodbye, this easy way to go home early has many names. 

These catchy names basically mean one thing – leaving the party without saying goodbye. 

Although it’s often portrayed as a bad thing, I have to say, I don’t see anything wrong with it. 

Hear me out.

By sneaking out of the party unnoticed, you don’t stop the hosts in their tracks and engage in long-winded goodbyes, stopping conversations with other people. You also leave alone, without other people gladly piggybacking on your exit. 

However, sometimes, leaving without saying goodbye shouldn’t be done. I’m talking about small groups of people (fewer than 7), going without paying the bill, and not answering people’s texts asking if you left or where you are.   

In conclusion, slipping out of the party without anyone noticing is an easy way to leave without feeling like a party pooper. I’ve done it many times, and rarely have I felt bad for doing it. 

Read the room and don’t do it if you think that someone’s feelings will get truly hurt. You can always text later, expressing your regrets and explaining that you had to leave unexpectedly.

In other words, asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission. 

4) The essential item 

This strategy involves pretending to have misplaced or forgotten a crucial item at the party and using that as a clever excuse to leave early. I have used this excuse personally, and I have to say, it has worked as a charm!

You have to choose a thing that is important enough to make a fuss about. Your phone, wallet, ID, keys, and similar things should do the work. 

After spending some time at the party, casually mention to a few people that you can’t seem to find your essential item and that it’s causing you some worry or anxiety. Let them know that you need to locate it as soon as possible.

Now, I don’t like to make a huge fuss about it and ask the host and other guests to look for it, but you can if you want to. 

Also, remember that you can’t pull this off every time for obvious reasons. You can use it more often if you’re going to parties in different social circles that don’t know each other. Otherwise, you’ll just be seen as strange. 

5) Be the party MVP

This party exit isn’t that hard to pull off, but it encompasses many of the party exits we already covered. Although it might be more difficult for the introverts among us

You see, to be the party MVP, or the most valuable person there, you need these 5 ingredients:

  • Arrive early and engage with people
  • Have positive energy
  • Entertain the guests
  • Create memorable moments
  • Make a graceful exit

As you can see, you need to actually have some fun at the party in order to pull it off. Heck, you might not even want to leave early as you intended. 

On the other side, if you’re an introvert, you’ll be completely drained and begging to go home.

Here’s why.

First of all, you need to be one of the first guests to arrive. Engage with the host and other guests, and be genuinely interested in the conversations happening around you.

After the room starts to fill up, be enthusiastic and upbeat and leave a lasting impression on the host and other guests. Showcase your skills or talents and create memorable moments.

As the night progresses and you sense it’s time to leave, take a moment to express your gratitude to the host for their hospitality and the fantastic party they’ve thrown. But inform them that you have to leave, unfortunately. 

Final thoughts

Although I personally try to enjoy most of the parties I go to, some parties are better than others. Leaving a party early if you aren’t having fun isn’t something you should be ashamed of. 

Just don’t make the host feel bad about it, and that’s it. If you need to slip out unnoticed, so be it. It’s better than dragging half the party out the door with you!

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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